30 November 2009

A day with some eagles





Another Sunday at Yakumo with the Stellers Sea and White Tailed Eagles................

One advantage of the very mild weather this November is that it is possible to walk across fields down to the river at Yakumo and get closer to the eagles. usually it's knee or hip high in snow but this weekend there was absolutely no snow whatsoever.

There were a lot of eagles today, even in this shot I can count about 40.




There were several Crested Kingfisher around too and on the way we saw some large crow flocks which included Rook and Daurian Jackdaw. The day belonged to the eagles however...........




Almost all the shots are in the sky. Here is one adult White Tailed Eagle perched, it is strange not to have a white icy background..........




An all white background has the advantage of faster shutter speeds, a lot of my BIF shots today suffered in the autumnal hues.




I have found January to be the best time for eagle shots. The bad weather means they sit in the trees more and hunger drives them down to the river to feed. In November they just fly around a lot high in the sky..........some fairly heavy cropping going on with most of these shots.







I naturally tend to go for the above adult Stellers but not always. Here is an immature White Tailed.




And here is an immature Stellers. Note the big yellow bill............




As the light began to fade the eagles were in their roosting positions. Like I said these are usually in fairly inaccessible spots due to the deep snow but this time I could at least get closer. In the fading light the pics weren't so great though.......







So Liverpool are on the road to recovery, hell they will probably even catch Arsenal and finish 3rd.

I watched 'Zombieland' which was great for 20 or so minutes but fizzled out very quickly and is nowhere near as funny as 'Shaun of the Dead'.

人気ブログランキングへ

28 November 2009

A quiet week in November


A quiet week just went by, for various reasons I couldn't get out much...........

The 3 species of Heron (including the above Great Egret) were on the local river and a couple of days ago I relocated the Taiga Flycatcher. Not great shots (the camera settings were intended for large airborne Herons against bright skies not little skulkers in the bushes) but here we are.......










We'd heard reports of a Great Grey Shrike nearby and we went to look for it this afternoon. Nothing doing (and no Rooks or Daurian Jackdaws either) but we did see this male Merlin. This was the only shot I could fire off before it disappeared...........




There were loads of Salmon in the river in Ono. And hundreds of dead ones in the fields next to the river too, presumably a result of last week's heavy rains. Sadly no eagles feeding on them though........

A dull old week not helped by Liverpool plunging out of the Champions League.

Nothing interesting to say, I'll sign off for now.........

人気ブログランキングへ

24 November 2009

A Tale of Three Eagles


So here's an adult Stellers Sea Eagle enjoying a breakfast of Salmon yesterday. This species, the biggest eagle species in the world, shares the river with its congener, the smaller White Tailed Eagle.




You'd think it would be the dominant one and wouldn't be bullied by anything with feathers, right?

Here comes an immature White Tailed Eagle.







After some posturing the Stellers backed off. It had its white feathery ass well and truly whipped by an immature White Tailed! It didn't even attempt to wrestle back the Salmon but just stood there looking pi**ed off.







Enter an adult White Tailed.







The Stellers left in a huff.




The immature left too leaving the adult White Tailed to dine alone and in peace.




Well alone except for that Carrion Crow.




So are White Taileds dominant over Stellers? I've seen this several times now. Or we just talking about personalities of individual eagles and this Stellers was particularly cowardly? Who knows............

These shots were taken out of the car window. When the snow starts to fall (next week I guess but this winter has been very mild so far) it'll be impossible to do this as the snowbanks on the side of the road will be too high to see over plus anyway the road will be too narrow to safely pull over.......

These photos are all cropped over 50%, I tried taking video with my 7D but haven't gotten the hang of it yet (and handheld is a no-no I think).

Lots of Salmon in the river and already a fair number of eagles point to a good winter for such photos, fingers crossed.........

人気ブログランキングへ


23 November 2009

Winter Staples



A Varied Tit at Onuma yesterday morning. We stopped en route to Yakumo and the tame Tits and Nuthatches were present and provided good photo opps in the morning light.

The Varied Tits were joined by Nuthatch and Marsh Tit.










The forest was full of all the usual resident species. Black Woodpecker was the most interesting but I couldn't get a decent photo. Although there was some snow on the ground the lake remains ice-free and there were various common ducks scattered around including flocks of Goosander and a few Goldeneye.

Varied Tits are pretty photogenic it has to be said.










The local Red Foxes look a lot better in winter than summer.........




We then headed up to Yakumo to  find some eagles. We stayed in a hot spring hotel deep in the mountains so we had plenty of time. The first day saw us arrive in great weather but the eagles weren't very approachable and tended to stay up in the skies.........like this adult White Tailed Eagle.




There seemed to be about 40-50 individuals of both species present. Most of the Stellers Sea eagles were adults. They were either high overhead up in the trees in places it was impossible to stop or approach. I walked over a slushy field to get a closer view of some (this will be impossible in a week or 2 when the first heavy snow hits).............







I have some better eagle shots i'll post in a day or 2.




Also around at Yakumo upstream with the eagles were several Crested Kingfisher, Brown Dipper, Japanese Wagtail as well as common woodland stuff and winter ducks. Lots of Black Kites too which fly much closer than the eagles...........




Not much at the river mouth, a few Great Egret..............




F**k up of the week: I accidentally washed my wallet. It was in my pants pocket and i forgot to remove it fwhen I washed said pants in the washing machine. Oops. I now have a very clean but soggy ¥13000 and even cleaner credit cards. It could have been worse: the money will dry out and the cards seem to have come through unscathed.

The hotel we stayed in was pretty basic but in a great location. The room didn't have a fridge but it was cold enough on the windowsill to keep the beer drinkable. The food was also very basic but OK. After 10 years here though the words 'Japanese Breakfast' fill me with dread. I ate several fish heads at dinner and they were much better than I could possibly have expected.

Liverpool were poor against Man City and after they get knocked out of the Champions League the 2009/10 season is shaping up to be the worst in a long long time..........can Rafa confound us all and actually buy a decent player in the January transfer window?

人気ブログランキングへ

20 November 2009

Colourful birds and grey grey weather......


A male Harlequin Duck near Hakodate dock this morning. I went to a nice spot I know to see if the Brent Geese had arrived yet but there was no sign but the Harlequins were not as shy as usual and came much closer than normal.










Shame about the weather, it's been awful this last week. Rain earlier on and snow the last 2 or 3 days. One day I'll get a photo of a Harlequin Duck up close and in good light.

They were diving for small crabs, as you can see in this picture.




On the way I walked over a long bridge that looked down into the bay and noticed this strange little bird in the distance.




Lousy photo (a 100% crop) but it shows an Ancient Murrelet, a Hakodate tick and #193 on the local list......

A couple of weeks ago I saw lots and lots of Black Legged Kittiwakes at Yakumo. Whilst I was watching them I spoke to 2 birders from the Hakodate branch of Hokkaido University. Kura and Kim. They said they hoped to see a Red Legged Kittiwake (much rarer) amongst all the Black Leggeds. And see some they did as you will see if you click on the links. They must have been blown in by the big storm last Sunday. The birds in question were in Sawara which is fairly near Hakodate (I often go there). From their blogs I note the Rooks/Daurian Jackdaws have returned too.........and in the local paper I noticed  a Japanese Wood Pigeon flew into someone's window in Shikabe.

Not much else around Hakodate for my good self today though. A few Wigeon, Pelagic Cormorant, lots of Dusky Thrush. earlier on in the week saw the usual birds in Goryokaku Park and the local river. Here are some more BIF shots that show the 7D can do it in crappy dull grey snowy weather too...........










Thierry Henri, what a cheating tosser. I didn't watch the game but I've seen the incident on youtube many times now.

I think of 2 times England suffered from extremely  bad refereeing/cheating in my time following football since the late 70's. Maradonna's hand of god of course but also that game in Holland in 1993. The 'do I not like that' game when Koeman scored after he should have been sent off for a penalty that wasn't even given either. It meant we didn't go the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA which still rankles. Still, we won our only World Cup thanks to a dodgy linesman so I'll shut up there. Glad I'm not an Irish fan though.

Off to Yakumo for a couple of days at the weekend, hope the eagles have arrived and they skowly flap around just like those Great Egrets and Grey Herons.

人気ブログランキングへ
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...