10 October 2007
Nasty headaches but Autumn migration well underway
Autumn is definitely here. Lots of nice colours but no nice photos I'm sorry to say so here's one of some kind of grass that always looks like this in October.
A beautiful clear morning today saw me up Mt Hakodate just after sunrise. In addition to the stress of getting up so early I've also been a martyr to a nasty headache all week. Being punished for past indiscretions maybe. Or maybe too much time spent hunched in front of the computer.
The above species, Japanese White-eye was one of several abundant migrants present today. Other species passing through in large numbers included Siskin, Great Tit (thousands of these), Black Faced and Rustic Bunting and Japanese Bush Warbler. Here's a boring looking Siberian Meadow Bunting.
There could have been anything about really. So many birds it was easy to miss stuff. Bird of the morning was a male Siberian Rubythroat which I saw for all of 2 seconds. Raptors quickly passed overhead.........god only knows what some of them were. A tiny Japanese Sparrowhawk was mobbing a much larger raptor that I couldn't ID. Arctic Warbler and Eye Browed Thrush were other noteworthy species that I managed to get a fix on before they disappeared into the undergrowth (or across the Tsugaru Straits).
Here's a couple of lousy pics thst gives you an idea of typical views of today's birds. A Brambling and (I think) an immature Siberian Rubythroat.
Over at Kamiso the Night Herons were still present and 8 species of Duck. Duck numbers grow until the first snow and ice after which they usually head south. Shoveler were the most interesting but I find it frustrating (especially with aforementioned headache) to pick through the flocks of females/immatures/eclipse males. It is worth it though.........last year I got Gadwall and the year before I got American Wigeon. I'm hoping for Flacated or Baikal Teal this autumn. A hunting Peregrine spooked all the wildfowl before I could get a decent look anyway.
After lunch we headed out to Onuma. The leaves are starting to change but are a bit later than normal this year. No doubt I'll post some pics in a week or 2 when they reach their peak. Otherwise it was a present stroll around several lakeside trails in the now mercifully mosquito-free forest.
Lots of birds around Onuma today. 4 species of Woodpecker including Black and Greyheaded, loads more Siskin and White-eyes plus the common resident species such as this Varied Tit.
We finished the day at Moheji watching the salmon spawning. Too dark for any photos.
I downloaded some Not the Nine O'Clock News torrents last night. Should be interesting to see how much they've dated and if they're still as funny as I remember. I've been listening to a lot of Tindersticks stuff recently. I can't work out if it's depressing or uplifting. I have the rugby WC semi-final plus the 2 England Euro 2008 games to keep me occupied sports-wise in the coming week. Next Wednesday I'll be up in the early hours sitting in front of an ancient PC watching live jerky heavily pixelated TV images with Chinese commentary yelling at Peter Crouch to pull his finger out as the ball bobbles around on a frozen plastic pitch.