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.