31 December 2009

New Years Eve 2009/10

A female Hen Harrier at sunset near the mouth of the Mukawa River a few days ago..........

Just got back from my 5 day trip. We saw lots of birds on the way, lots and lots of snow while we were there and came back today through grey skies and more blizzards...............

I'll do a full update in a day or two as I have to go and get drunk at my in-laws in a few minutes........


28 December 2009


A wintry image from central Hokkaido. Taken with the crappy camera on my cellphone just before a huge blizzard hit.

25 December 2009

A White Christmas

A quick trip up to Yakumo this morning. Beautiful blue skies and deep snow fields were a stark contrast to 2 weeks ago.

Not a vintage day for eagle pics, this subadult White Tailed Eagle provided the shots of the day.

Past experience has taught me January is the best month for eagle pics.............

The Stellers were all very distant today.

First winter White Taileds appear to be the least shy.........

A lot of floundering around in deep snow ( a hot sweaty business too I might add) caused me to to invest in some cheap plastic snowshoes on the way home. Next time I'll be ready to tackle those snowdrifts........

Not much else around, here's a drake Scaup.

And a wintry view of Mt Komagadake. This location is just north of Yakumo, we were looking for Snow Buntings (there weren't any).

I'm off to central Hokkaido for a few days, I may update from my cellphone whilst I'm away but I won't be able to moderate any comments until at least the 31st.

I'm hoping to see Snow/Lapland Buntings or a Rough Legged Buzzard.............fingers crossed there then.


24 December 2009

A quiet run up to Christmas

A big influx of Dusky Thrush this last week, with them were a few Hawfinch and a pair of Bullfinch, something I don't usually see until the early spring.

Lat winter I saw a Fieldfare with the Duskys and this week I was hoping to find a few Waxwing perhaps but nothing doing there. Otherwise only common stuff in town........

This female Sparrowhawk flew over during a rare 10 minutes with blue sky..........

We went to Onuma yesterday, the usual suspects posed nicely for photos.

Just in case you stumbled across this blog and are impressed by the above photos I'll show you this one to shatter your illusions.

Most interesting photo of the day was this.

A White Tailed Eagle and lots of crows eating a dead frozen Red Fox at Onuma. I tried to get closer for a better shot but my foot went through the ice................I didn't want to end up like the fox.

So Christmas Eve. Here I am on my own drinking mulled wine and beer (the wife is out at some office party or other). I may switch on one of the christmas stations on itunes or listen to the BBC (Radio 2 I suppose these days?) to find some seasonal tunes. I can't get that s**t-awful Shakin' Stevens song out of my head ('Merry Christmas Everyone' I think it's called). I hope they don't play that particular one.  Damn. Maybe they'll play Slade though. On that rather sad note.............

Happy Christmas to the regular readers of this blog. If you're lonely or down just think about what kind of christmas that fox's family is going to have.................


By the way I've had to enable comment moderation after getting spammed by folk suggesting I buy all kinds of products for sexual dysfunctions and the like.

20 December 2009

2009 winding down

Nuthatch and Marsh Tit at Onuma this afternoon. S***loads of snow this last few days and Onuma has transformed into a white winter wonderland (I've been listening to to too many christmas songs obviously). The Whooper Swans were present and joined by a few common duck species.......

5 species of tit, 3 species of Woodpecker, White Tailed Eagle and Yellow Throated Bunting were the main birds of interest at Onuma. Oh and Nuthatches of course.

This was taken with a 100mm macro lens and only slightly cropped. This gives you an idea how tame these are............

Pretty sharp. You can even see my reflection in its eye when zoomed in full size.............

This one is from a 90mm macro lens (we have 2) and is cropped but not heavily.

I couldn't get as close to the Marsh Tits and there were no Varied Tits nearby either...........

Here are a couple of crappy shots to give a wintry atmosphere............

Liverpool go from bad to worse. England look like they're going to get a draw in the 1st Test.........hope I didn't speak too soon there.


18 December 2009

Winter arrives finally

Well winter finally hit and outside it's f****** freezing and there's loads of snow and ice. The Brambling was a new arrival as was the Glaucous Winged Gull but otherwise it's been a pretty low key week. A Coot, 5 Brent Geese, some Wigeon and Scaup were in the harbour with the Gull. Not much showing so here's some of the common stuff.

Like Tree Sparrows. These are pretty scarce in the UK these days (I can't even remember the last one I saw there) but they are the common urban sparrow of east Asia. I tend to ignore them but there really wasn't much to photograph this week...........

Birds and snow also go well together...........

Plumbing the depths a bit here, here's a Common Teal on the local river.

The Glaucous Winged Gull at least did something entertaining.

This sign states the obvious somewhat.

I'm watching the 1st Test in South Africa on and off, England are struggling a bit. Liverpool's 2nd half showing against Arsenal was as bad as I can remember them playing for a while. Gerard has turned into a petulant brat, Torres doesn't look fit and let's face it half the team aren't actually that good. Still they managed to hang on for a victory against Wigan the other night (can't believe I just typed that!).


17 December 2009

A shameless plug

These are the photos I chose for my 2010 calendar which you can check out via the links on the right or at this link here:  My 2010 Calendars

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