9 January 2008
I feel like sh*t
Very very cold gloomy weather the last 4 or 5 days................plus I caught a cold and feel like crap.
I have discoverred a new place for birds though, a little river tucked away in the countryside just outside Hakodate. It's basically where I was looking for the Rough Legged Buzzard (which I never did get to see). Lots of raptors...........Merlin, White Tailed Eagle, Peregrine, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and the ubiquitous Black Kite. But no Roughlegged. Lots of snow the past week, I've been wading through deep snow a lot and the countryside looks like that movie 'Fargo'.
Today there was a flock of paridae which included a bird I've been trying to get a shot of a lot recently but they are so fidgety. Long Tailed Tit. Lots of photos of birds with branches in the way today.
Also in the flock were Varied Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, which looked a bit odd climbing around in the reeds. This was taken in a one hour break in the snow.
The small river held Brown Dipper, Black Backed and Japanese Wagtail and 3 Great White Egrets flew overhead presumably flying south as quickly as possible. We went there on Sunday too (just as my cold was kicking in) and saw Eurasian Jay and Yellow Throated Bunting amongst other stuff.
Didn't really look on the sea at all today..............last week most of the usual stuff was around including thousands and thousands of Red Breasted Merganser offshore. We had a quick look at the fishing harbour in Kamiso today, lots of retirement age Japanese men fishing for chika, a kind of small fish. This attracted quite a few Gulls and lots of Scaup.
One of the annoying things about Japan is medicne, especially simple stuff to relieve the symptoms of a cold. Basically, over the counter stuff isn't strong enough to medicate a newborn white mouse in a western lab. To get stuff that might actually work you have to go to a doctor and pay through the teeth (and pay for all the extra crap like blood tests) if you don't have local health insurance. You can't just pop down to Boots and get some flu strength decongestant, oh no. That would mean the doctors make less money wouldn't it?
Here's a couple of crappy record shots of Brown Dipper and a Black Woodpecker just before sunset at Onuma a few days ago (co-incidentally when I noticed I had a cold).
Black Woodpecker is a target bird photo-wise this year, I've located a hole where I think a female roosts. Oh great........more standing around in the snow.
A quiet week for sport, I watched Ipswich v Portsmouth in the FA Cup on my ancient PC via sopcast at the weekend. I can't believe David James is still playing. I saw Spurs play Liverpool at White Hart Lane in the early 90's and saw him walking down the Seven Sisters Road, sports bag over his shoulder after the game, with 2 or 3 friends presumably off for a night out in London. I think he must have been a sub that day. Maybe.
I hope the weather and my cold improve soon.