29 January 2010

Grey January continues.........

The crappy weather continues. After the blizzards came rain which then froze everywhere, not much birding done. The above White Wagtail was on the coast, I'd walked down there this morning looking for Asian Rosy Finches (no luck). A Buff Bellied Pipit was around but not much else.

This immature Glaucous Winged Gull was amongst the predominately Slaty Backeds.......

Several of the local subspecies of Common Gull were present too.........

I was hoping to find the Thayers Gull which had visited the previous 4 winters but this winter it hasn't appeared..........

A few raptors flew over this week (and always before I could get my camera out), these included Merlin, White Tailed Eagle and Peregrine. Otherwise, not much to report, still no Waxwings in town.

Hakodate City is 'improving' the river near my flat. They're digging up stuff and cutting down yet more trees. It appears to be a 100 meter or so walkway that starts nowhere and ends nowhere. Hakodate is very very heavily in debt. They are using money they don't have to build something they don't need (actually this pretty much sums up postwar government spending here). 

The trees and bushes they've cut down recently used to look nice, they included a beautiful old weeping willow. Now we will have a concrete pathway that doesn't go anywhere. I got my first Siberian Rubythroat in those trees and bushes as well as Wrynecks and all kinds of migrants. Oriental Reed Warblers nested there, Night Herons roosted there. What a waste of time and money for something that makes the area worse not better.

Some Japanese, especially those in positions of power,  appear to love concrete. It's everywhere and is winning the battle with grass and trees for ground space. I'm sure there is a big government office in Tokyo with a map of Japan slowly turning from green to grey with a lots of old men in grey suits from the concrete ministry sagely nodding their heads and saying 'one day one day there won't be any green on that map and our work will have been completed'.



  1. Love the gull pics. We also suffer from "concrete brain syndrome", maybe not as much as you describe yet but I think given half a chance.....

  2. And I thought it was cold here! Just found your Hawfinch pics from earlier in the month: my favourite bird. Great stuff.

  3. Great flight shots of the Common Gulls!
    I wish I see them more often around here. There are not so many and I'm still waiting for a chance to photograph them properly hehehe.

  4. The shots of the Mountain Hawk Eagle are stunning. What sort of lens did you use and how did you expose for the snow?

  5. Hi Dev, I overexposed by between 2/3 to 1 and 2/3...............

  6. Oh and it was with a 100-400L...........

  7. Hi Stuart,
    The city hall is ignorant about the benefits of the riverside trees. Please let them know what you think and complain to them. You could ask your wife to translate what you have seen and thought about the pointless development. You could ask your in-laws, your students and your friends to write to the Hakodate officials. You can start somewhere. As they say think globally and act locally.

  8. I might just do that..................although I suspect I won't get very far. I guess the trees aren't 'supposed' to be there. Still, I'll give it a try......


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