14 May 2008
Pointless early rise
So we got up at dawn today and were atop Mt Hakodate at 4.30am. The weather was cool, overcast and a bit foggy and rapidly getting worse. Perfect for a fall of migrants? Nope. Almost no birds at all. A few Siberian Blue and Japanese Robins singing somewhere down in the mist, a lone Sparrowhawk flying over, the odd Japanese Thrush here and there, the inevitable Black Faced Buntings and Bush Warblers and that was about it.
With my wife (justifiably) complaining bitterly about the pointlessness of it all we headed down and the above Red Fox was right at the foot of the mountain. Actually at one point there was a Mexican standoff between me, the Fox and a local cat. My wife said it reminded her of the final scene in The Good, the Bad, the Ugly but she tactfully declined to say which one I was.
Narcissus and Blue and White Flycatchers were in the woods at the bottom too but it was too dark for any pictures. There were 2 Grey Tailed Tattlers at the fishing harbour nearby but the light was awful as you can see.
So we headed out to Onuma where the forest was again full of birds. Absolutely loads of these.
In the small area of forest I checked there must have been half a dozen males buzzing around although the poor light meant the photos were poor compared to last time. I also saw (from a distance) Black and Grey Headed Woodpeckers at nestholes, lots of Siskin, a few Long Tailed Rosefinch, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Brown and Japanese Thrush. Here's a crappy record shot of the latter.
Another Fox on the roadside provided the best photos of the day.
It's pouring down with rain outside now but the previous 2 days saw nice bright sunny weather, here are some Red Cheeked Starling pics from Monday..........these are slowly improving.
Nothing much else about near my flat..........here a couple of random shots.
So the end of the Premier League was a bit of an anticlimax after all. I'll halfheartedly watch a bit of Euro 2008 next month I suppose. Actually I haven't even checked if it's on regular Japanese TV or not. It's on Sky but I can't be bothered paying for it. Last time some of the games were on terrestrial TV but most weren't........and anyway the games will be on in the middle of the night and without England's involvement I won't muster the energy to get up and watch stuff at 4am. I might watch some of the big games on sopcast if they're on at a reasonable time.
England's bi-annual flop at a major tournament will be something we miss in 2008. The last time they didn't qualify was in 1994 and that was odd watching the World Cup with no England. It spoiled my summer somewhat but at least my life was full of other distractions then (I was getting ready to quit my job in Hackney and travel around Australia and Asia and the summer of '94 consisted of endless drinking and pot smoking, moving out of my flat and crashing at various friends' pads around London) but I lead a dull life these days I'm afraid.
Perhaps I'll use the free time to finally start to learn photoshop properly.