19 April 2009

Black Woodpeckers and other stuff.....

A Black Woodpecker this morning at Onuma, we came across a pair excavating a nest hole, snapped some shots and moved on quickly(although the birds didn't seem to mind so much). The male was shyer than the female though, so most of the shots were of the female.........

It was a beautiful spring day but the forest was surprisingly quiet. All the resident species were present including the inevitable Tits and Nuthatches.

Also seen today were Mandarin Duck, Goosander, Long Tailed Rosefinch, Siskin, Rustic Bunting and 4 species of Woodpecker.

Some birds were tricky to see.

Otherwise a pretty quiet week again................

On Friday I climbed to the top of Mt Hakodate, it was a beautiful sunny day as you can see from this view from the top. The mountain trails were rather busy and full of retired locals hiking up the modest hill ('mountain' is too grand a term). Despite the mild spring weather and total lack of snow for the last month some of them were kitted out in full hiking regalia and I actually burst out laughing when one woman walked past me in a gore-tex coat and gaiters (it was very bright and sunny, it has only rained once in the last 2 weeks and the forecast is good for several days). I didn't actually see any ice-axes but I'm sure some of them had them in their packs. I swear I went trekking for 10 days in the Himalaya with less gear then these folks used for a 60 minute stroll to the top of a hill that has a road to the top and a tourist cable car...........

Memo to Japanese hikers #1: When walking it is more efficient to hold a conversation with someone next to you rather than shout to someone 50 yards in front or behind.

Memo to Japanese hikers #2: Please leave your stupid f**king radios at home and don't play loud tinny sounding radio shows from a radio dangling from your pack.

Birds? Lots of Red Flanked Bluetail but these were difficult to photograph, darn active little critters........this was the best of a bad bunch.

Other new arrivals included Black Faced Bunting, Siberian Stonechat, lots of Japanese Bush Warbler and Japanese White-eye. On the sea were Rhinoceros Auklet and Black Throated Diver and the usual resident species were much in evidence.......

Other stuff included Long Tailed Rosefinch, Siberian Meadow Bunting and Blue Rock thrush. The last few Crossbills, Bullfinches and Brambling were hanging on in the forest at the foot of the mountain (I actually briefly saw a male Crossbill in the tree opposite my flat a couple of days ago).

The most photographed creature of the day was this, lots of Asiatic Chipmunk live in the forest on Mt Hakodate and you have to admit they are cute.......

And here's a sunset from my balcony tonight........

More bird photos are on my other blog.............which nobody seems to ever look at according to google analytics.

And a familiar view that I have shown on this blog many many times...........but never in sepia tones.

Villain of the week: Yamada Denki for unbelievably crap service.

Disappointment of the week: the fact that Liverpool's season may effectively be over on Wednesday night.

Photoshop thingy of the week: I'm trying to get a handle on the curves thing.


  1. Great story I hate those Fnnn tinney sounding radiod too amoung other things.


  2. Don't be a tease. Tell us what happened with Yamada Denki.

  3. Hi Simon, it was nothing serious...........my wife wanted to get more RAM in her creaky old laptop and I wasn't sure which type was needed so we took it to the 'professionals' who didn't even have any in the store to fit so the ordered some but that didn't fit and now they ordered another type which is twice as much. In this day and age with overnight takubins and the suchlike it has taken 11 days and still no RAM in the laptop. Morons.

  4. That is a horrible looking woodpecker - compared with our ones. I like curves.

  5. You have a fabulous blog. I really am interested in all the different birds you have to photograph. I like your descriptions too. Most of the birds have a cousin or so it seems, here in my country (USA) and my state, Ohio. I have black-capped chickadees that look like you tit and so on. The birds that I get to photography must fly into my backyard. I have some photos of those on My Birds Blog.

    I was in Hokadate the first time in 1953 on my way to Camp Crawford, near Sapporo. And then I was there in 1954 on my way south to Sendai, Honshu where I was stationed in the US Army. Your city looks much larger than it was in those days. The big ferry had sunk just before I got there and most people drowned. It was the regular ferry between Honshu and Hokkaido. Do you remember that?

  6. Hi Abe, thanks for reading the blog........

    I have heard of that ferry disaster, my wife's parents can remember it.........a bit before my time though.......

    Yes a lot of birds are similar to the US (but even more similar to England where I grew up).....

  7. Hi Gallicissa, hey it IS the biggest Woodpecker species in the world............

  8. Hola Stuart,
    That Black Woodpecker is SO cool!
    Wish I had those sunsets from my office's window :(
    Take care,


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