4 June 2008
Summer arrives suddenly
One of the local Stonechats this afternoon.
Only 3 days ago I was shivering in a sleeping bag getting ready to get up and drink a mug of hot tea whilst wrapped in a down jacket. Today I was getting mercilessly bitten by mosquitoes and eating ice cream. We went to Onuma to try and see the Ruddy Kingfishers (which showed very well last year on this date).
Unfortunately there were no Kingfishers but we did see some fledgling Ural Owls.
The above shot was on a borrowed lens (another birder's 500mm) wheras the one below was shot handheld on my own. They were quite a way off the road and these were the best I could manage.
The forest was alive with birds but it was difficult to even see most of them for more than a second because the forest has become so overgrown so quickly. This happens every year of course so I shouldn't be surprised. The mosquitoes have appeared since my last visit. The little bast*#ds.
I even did a bit of digiscoping today. A Japanese White-eye on the nest.
The top one is from a Fuji F31D and the bottom one from an ancient Nikon Coolpix 4200. the former is supposed to be a good digiscoping camera but I've never really sussed out the settings. Both images are equally crap I suppose.
We headed back to Hakodate through Ono and checked the ricefields. This Black Crowned Night Heron didn't allow a close enough approach for a decent shot but it makes a change for me to see one out in the open.
There were loads of Stonechats of course........and also lots of Black Browed Reed Warblers. A tricky bird to photograph as I'm discovering.
As always I'll finish with another view of my favourite mountain.....
Another summer in Hokkaido then. I miss the long summer evenings back in the UK (and no mozzies there either) but summer here does have its' charms too. Like the beer I'm going to drink on my balcony later on this evening.
Wish I could look forward to watching England play (badly no doubt) in the Euros this weekend but I can't can I Mr MaClaren? The question is can I be bothered watching any of the games at 1am Japanese time (maybe but only if it's a big game between big teams) or 4am (no f#*king way)........