21 June 2009

Midsummer in the ricefields..........



A Siberian Stonechat at Ono this afternoon.



The sun finally came out today (and I even got a nasty sunburn on my neck) and we headed out to Onuma and after that the ricefields in Ono. Lots of activity in the padis, lots of young birds and singing adults. Night Herons were everywhere feasting on the frogs and tadpoles, Skylarks were abundant, Chestnut Eared Buntings were singing from the fenceposts, Swallows and Asian House Martins were swooping low over the water and family groups Siberian Stonechats were all over the place.





This tame but bedraggled looking male was star of the day...........









Black Browed Reed Warblers occupied very patch of long grass............a shame that I couldn't get a clear shot all afternoon........





Oriental Reed Warblers were even more numerous.........



And here's a boring pic of a bird I don't get to photograph so often, a female Reed Bunting.......



Earlier we were at Onuma, I got my first mosquito bites of the summer. Not much here. There were birds in the forest but now it's so lush and overgrown they're difficult to find. Lots of Narcissus Flycatcher singing, we heard a Black Woodpecker and I got this so-so shot of a Moorhen in amongst the lotus..........





I spent a frustrating night trying to watch the Lions game on P2P last night. I have to watch this type of stuff on a Windows system alas. Sopcast doesn't seem to work on IE8 and the usually reliable JustinTV seems to be pay per view now..........

Tuesday is the 10th anniversary of my arrival in Japan. My God. I can't believe it's been 10 years. I arrived as a slightly jaded 30 year old and spent the first 4 months in a boring small town about 2 hours north of Tokyo. It was stinking hot and I wondered what I had let myself in for. Things improved when I moved to Hokkaido though........

10 years ago! That was when the internet was still a bit of a novelty (well it was to me anyway). I was single, a heavy smoker and drinker, in debt and still living life as if everything was temporary, nothing had changed since I'd left university. I had no interest in photography and was a partially lapsed birder. Man U were the top team in England and Europe, Liverpool were good but always second or third best. I still cared about music and fashion. I wasn't overweight.

I'm going to crack open a beer (note use of the singular) and think what else has changed since then..............and what hasn't.

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