30 December 2007

Rosy Finches in the gloom

We drove out to Shikabe this afternoon. Yesterday had seen heavy rain all day. Rain. Unusual in Hokkaido in winter, all the snow in town and quite a lot in the surrounding countryside has vanished. En route I saw a huge flock of finches, god knows what they were as the flew off into the clouds. They could have been Asian Rosy Finch perhaps. 7 were at Shikabe Harbour and very flighty they were too. Difficult to approach, these were the best shots I could muster. This is a fairly scarce winter visitor to Japan, before today the only sightings I'd had were 2 singles in Hakodate.

Also in the harbour were a couple of Black Necked Grebe and a couple of female Harlequin Duck. In the previous 2 winters I'd been frustrated at trying to get a decent digiscoped picture of this species as they swam around very close to the edge of the harbour. This time, being armed with a decent camera and lens, the damn things stayed out in the middle.

We went back to Onuma. Not terribly good light so not many photo opps. Pretty much the same birds as last time. The Geese, Smew, Eagles and Woodpeckers were all still present but no decent pics today. A close up of some of the Whooper Swans and sunset over the last bit of unfrozen lake.

I downloaded and watched the Extras Xmas Special last night, pretty funny I thought. I miss TV shows (especially comedy) from back home so thank the lord for P2P downloading.


  1. we had some Asian Rosy Finches down our way this year already...pretty unusual. SUPERB shots by the way. They are so difficult to get to close to. Hope you have a good night, if you are into celebrating the whole new year thing.


  2. Thanks for that Mark, you too.............

  3. Nice final entry for the year. I envy the ease with which you write your blog and the pics are shaping up pretty good, a darn site better than mine anyway...I love the Eagle and the Rosy Finch.

    Felt a bit ashamed about not updating my blog, but will link it to the Birdforum one.

    Can't see anyone beating Arsenal this season..Man U look wobbly, Chelsea past it. Just wish my team Ipswich were up with the big boys.

    Enjoy the Sake/Shochu etc and watching the red and white singing contest!

    Maybe see you down my way for some birding one day.

    3 nomihodais...whew!!!! YoYotoshio

  4. Thanks Sean.................

    Dunno about sake/shochu......I want to get up while it's still daylight outside. They tend to give me a nasty head...........

    I'd love to head down south for some new birds. One day, one day............


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