4 May 2008

Clouds of Godwits

Early May is arguably the best time of year for birds around here but for various reasons I haven't been able to get out much. The above pic was just east of Hakodate, a few hundred metres behind me were thousands and thousands of Short tailed Shearwater.

Not Shearwaters here, these are Bar Tailed Godwit.......plus Eastern Crowned Warbler and Stonechat.

Today we went to Asabu to watch the Ospreys on their nest on am offshore stack. Too far away for pictures though we could see the male bringing fish to the female. the most conspicious bird was Bar Tailed Godwit, a skittish flock of about one thousand of them.

Also around were 5 Great White Egret, 1 Intermediate Egret, a lone Grey Tailed Tattler and lots and lots of Stonechat.

Ever since I got the 100-400 lens as mine officially (rather than just on loan) the picture quality seems to have declined rather rapidly. I have to send the money this month and next month. Maybe after I do that the curse will be lifted. Here's a Latham's Snipe from just outside Hakodate this afternoon.

We went up to Yakumo last week. Very very hazy, no decent photos at all. Red Necked stint and Velvet Scoter were 2 of the more interesting species. We actually ended up near Niseko where the snow was still piled up at the side of the roads........

I went to Yunokawa a few days ago but the huge construction project next to the river seems to have rendered the area birdless. A depressing place now. 6 huge new stores are being built. No doubt this will mean existing stores in town closing up and relocating there leaving unused derelict mildew encrusted shells whilst the breeding habitat of 20 or so species of bird is gone forever. I won't bother going to Yunokawa again for a long long time anyway. Never liked the place much in the first place.

I managed to pop out to the river near my flat a couple of times. Asian Stubtail and Eastern Crowned Warbler were the 2 main birds of interest here........

So the footy season is fizzling out. Man U will surely win the title at a canter, tonight's 2 games are meaningless, Liverpool never really looked like going through on Wednesday............and something is happening in the Alpine region next month, can't quite remember what though. I hope Chelsea v Man U in Moscow will be a bad tempered red card strewn battle. A fitting end to a lousy season.

My cold has gone.......as have the cherry blossoms. Should be some good birding coming up over the next 4 or 5 weeks and our first camping trip of the summer too......


  1. jayzus...amazing shots of the Eastern Crowned Warbler and an incredible flock of Barwits, not to mention the Latham's snipe. Superb stuff. I didn't realize that the 100-400 is now yours...nice :) I look forward to seeing some more shots with it.

    I was in Sardinia for 3 days in the middle of April but only now have managed to post a couple of shots. I have a couple of more from there. I was visiting my sister and her daughter (6 weeks old) so birding was not on the agenda (I did manage 2 hours at the local salt marsh though).

    Liverpool need two more strikers, two more wingers, two more defenders of world class quality to have any chance of the league next season. Torres can't do it on his own and Stevie G looked jaded in the last few games.

    Hope all is well.

  2. Good to know the cold is gone :)
    Sad news about a new birdless area, seems to be getting way to common these days... :(
    Beautiful pictures as usual!


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