3 September 2007

Godwit and grey skies

A Bar Tailed Godwit at Kamiso yesterday. Very grey skies, wet weather and high winds have reduced birding over the last few days. The Godwit was the main thing of interest at Kamiso, there was a lone Red Necked Stint and a few Common Sandpiper too. Not a great day for pictures. This was my favourite, the Bar Tailed Godwit hanging around with a couple of Gulls.

I hadn't seen this species in Japan until last spring and now I can't stop seeing them. They're everywhere. This was my 4th or 5th sighting in Hakodate this autumn.

Elsewhere not much. Hawfinch, an unidentified phylloscopus warbler flitting in and out of the bushes, a few Grey Herons. That's about it.

Lots of these yellow Butterflies about a few days ago when it was still sunny.

I made a joke about Emile Heskey being recalled to the England squad a couple of posts ago. I didn't know Steve Mclaren was a reader. Hey Steve-I was only joking.

Here's some more odd Japanese English above an ATM.

Around September 3 down the years:

1983 (Sept 3) Ribble at Penwortham. Peregrine, Black Tailed Godwit and Greenshank.

1984 (Sept 8). Also on the Ribble. 12 species of wader including Great Knot and Spotted Redshank.

1987 (Sept 8). Seaforth. Ringed Billed Gull, 37 Little Gull, 2 Black Tern and the usual common waders.

1991 (late Aug/early Sept) Scarba, Scotland. I was an adult 'counselor', 1 of several adults accompanying some deprived kids from Hackney for a week on an uninhabited Scottish island. An ex SAS soldier ran the program. The island itself was gorgeous but it was spoiled somewhat by the midges (which were really bad) and the fact we had to watch over the kids (aged 12-15). Luckily there were no major incidents.I abseiled down a cliff amongst other death defying acts.

One of the other adults was Sylvester Mittee, He was a professional boxer (Euro and Commonwealth champion no less). The best night was when me and 2 of the other adults had to camp in the wilds in a cave and 'live off the land'. Luckily Sylvester produced 3 mackrel and some Mars Bars. On the way back we stopped at Glasgow bus station. Sylvester took one of my cigarettes to go with his Carlsberg Special Brew (he said the combination would get his bowels moving properly again after a week roughing it sleeping in caves). Yes we were drinking hi strength lager having not had a shower or bath for a whole week sitting on the floor in a corner of on Glasgow Bus station.

Gannet, Short Eared Owl, Twite and all the common seabirds were around on what was like I said a quite beautiful spot.

1994 (early Sept). My first visit to Lake Tinaroo in Yungaburra. I spent a fair bit of time birding at this location. Despite the drought in Queensland it was still teeming with birds. Bush Thick-knee, Royal Spoonbill, Brolga, Glossy Ibis, Magpie Goose, 8 or 9 species of Duck including Pink Eared Duck, Caspian and Whiskered Tern, Comb Crested Jacana, Black Winged Stilt were some I can remember off the top of my head. What a great place this would be for a local patch.

2004 (Sept 8) Hakodate. A huge typhoon hit Hakodate. Typhoons have usually fizzled out before they get this far north but not this one. It knocked the power off for almost 12 hours for the whole city and blew down countless trees. I ventured out to see the aftermath. Roads blocked because of the debris, no traffic lights operating......absolute chaos. Brown Flycatcher, Eastern Crowned Warbler and Stonechat were a few migrants passing through that survived the storm.

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