12 March 2008
A female Black Woodpecker at Onuma this morning provided fantastic views. I hadn't even intended going to Onuma. I got up at 4.45am to watch Liverpool beat Inter Milan (nice one there lads) and headed out to the local park to see if the Crossbills were still there. It was a beautiful clear morning and the Crossbills (and Rosy Finches and Redpolls) were all around. My wife called my cellphone suggesting we go to Onuma. So we did.
Although almost all the snow has gone in Hakodate, most of the lake at Onuma was still frozen and the forest is still under deep snow. I had to wade through snow to get these Woodpecker shots.
The male appeared briefly and the female kept getting buzzed by the Nuthatches who seemed to see her as a threat. The Woodpecker flew off after a few minutes to another tree (and I'll post those photos tomorrow plus see below).
The forest was full of birds, all the common stuff plus the first Japanese Grosbeak of the year. The Woodpecker got most of my attention however. I did spare a few moments to feed the usual Tits and Nuthatches.
One of the main reasons to go was to see if there were any Eagles on the ice like there were last winter when the ice starts thawing. This was the place.
Note the lack of Eagles. My wife flushed an adult Stellers Sea Eagle from the trees but I didn't even see it let alone photograph it. There were lots and lots of Ducks including several groups of Smew but all too far away to photograph.
We eventually found an Eagle sitting out on the ice. This was also too far out to photograph but I was there to take pics of Eagles so take pics of Eagles I did. The first is the original (the 400mm lens zoomed to the max) and the second is a 100% crop. An immature White Tailed Eagle.
At least I took a few nice eagle shots in January......
Anyway here's a video of the Black Woodpecker drumming. My wife took this on the Fuji F31FD, our (well my but it's been requesitioned (sp?) by her) first choice compact digicam..
I'll post the better Black Woodpecker pics in a day or 2.