28 January 2008


I have discovered bad light and an absent minded approach to camera settings results in crappy photos.

Well this is actually my 100th post on this blog. Nothing especially interesting to say today. The lousy weather has resulted in sparse photo opps and today's pics are heavily cropped and photoshopped. The male Merlin was one of 2 present at Kamiso where there were lots of Long tailed Tit and the mammal above. Some kind of Weasel I guess. The usual problems with twigs in the way again, for example with this Jay.

There were quite a few birds at Kamiso again. Several Common Buzzard, the aforementioned Merlin and Jay, 3 Brown Dipper, Goldcrest, 2 species of Woodpecker and 3 species of Tit, Whooper Swan, Mute Swan, several Glaucous and Glaucous Winged Gull, Great Crested Grebe and the usual common Ducks.

The Long tailed Tits were so active it was impossible to get good shots in the gloomy light.

The Weasel hung around for a few moments before disappearing into some snowhole.

Ther are lots of tracks in the snow, some I guess belonging to Foxes(or dogs) and others to Weasels and mousey type things. No Bears alas. Not that there would be any so near town as they'd be shot and turned into bearmeat before you even had time to say 'oh sh*t there's a Bear!'. Plus they should be fast asleep now anyway.

It was nice to get a Merlin photo, this was just before sundown and it was rather dark. There were actually 2 of them on the wire but the female flew off as soon as I got out of the car.

We went east of Hakodate yesterday. We both had nasty hangovers and the weather was awful. There was a flock of about 40 or 50 Asian Rosy Finch. I fired off some shots of these and also Harlequin Duck, Pelagic Cormorant and Brent Goose. And all the pics were complete crap. I mean really crap. Later on I discovered I'd switched off my lens' IS system. I was using a 1.4kg 400mm lens at shutter speeds of between 1/50 and 1/200 in poor light without IS. After I return the lens I now know IS is essential and will settle for nothing less when the time comes to buy my own big lens. Great for photos, bad for bank balance. Here's the best of a very very bad bunch.

So I've been pretty bored the last week. I've uploaded loads of photos to my flikr page (see link on the right) but have used all the half decent ones I posess. Watched a couple of FA cup ties on sopcast (that headshake goal celebration thing of Ronaldo-what a tosser), met a friend on Saturday night and drank way too much........and just wrote my 100th post on this blog.


  1. I wouldn't complain about those shots at all!!! Superb photo of the merlin...still haven't nabbed one. Brilliant shots of the Rosy Finch, LT-tits and weasel. I am going to Nagano on Saturday for the snow monkeys. Looking forward to that. If you're not careful, I might have to come knocking on your door in search of Black Woodpecker if I get a chance!

  2. I really like the pictures on your blog, especially the eagle shots. Really makes me want to go to Japan.
    I recommend your blog on my website. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing more pictures from you. The Merlin is wonderful, too.

  3. Hi Carmo......you'd be welcome anytime.

    Hi Markus, thanks for your recommendation. I checked out your site too.


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