31 October 2007

A LONG day, a mistake and some winter returnees

Just after sunrise we were at Matsumae to check out the large numbers of migrating Brown Eared Bulbuls heading south for the winter. And see them we did. Loads of them.

Several Goshawk were eyeing the Bulbuls. Lots of other common small migrants were on the move. Long tailed Rosefinch and Olive Backed Pipit being two of the more interesting. Heading back to Kikonai the autumn colours were stunning.

Kokonai had some good birds. 4 Great White Egret, more Rosefinch and Rustic Bunting, my first Dusky Thrush of the season, a lone Black Legged Kittiwake and one of those dodgy Herring type Gulls with yellow legs were with the Gull flocks, the usual common Ducks and the Whooper Swans from last month were still present.

An easy photo on an otherwise poor day for my camera. Cutest bird of the day was this Hokkaido race of Long tailed Tit.

Back at Kamiso the first Brent Goose of the winter had returned. And yesterday there were Black Necked and Red Necked Grebes offshore. A crap shot of some flying Brent Goose.

We then headed out to Onuma. maybe because I'd been up so long or maybe because I'm just an idiot I got confused by a raptor en route. It was big, obviously an Eagle. Soaring over a forest, no white tail, rather dark. I thought hold on a minute....isn't that a Golden Eagle? A rarity up here (though I think I may have seen 1 last year in central Hokkaido). I took some crappy pics and posted them on birdforum's ID section. It's a first year White Tailed Eagle. Oh the shame.

By now the brilliant light and autumn colours at Onuma were fantastic-the best I've ever seen.

Not so many birds at Onuma or perhaps I was too knackered to find them. We finished off watching the sunset..........

I need a new fridge. The motor is so loud it gives me a headache. I'm 39 years old and have never bought a fridge. Always in furnished apartments or I've had old ones given to me. Expenditure on a fridge may scupper some of my more ambitious lens purchasing schemes.

Today had a 'the last warm day just before winter' feel about it. Yuki-mushi ( a kind of white midge) were everywhere (and have been for the last week) and these are a sign winter is not far away. I wonder what kind of winter we'll get this year? Last winter was very mild but the previous one was the harshest I've ever experienced. Some of the winter stuff seems to be arriving rather early this year. Hmmmmmm........

Right. 1 beer (only), a bath and off to bed. I'm f#*ked.

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