12 February 2010

Some sunshine

I spent the last couple of days birding with Franck, a French cheesemaker who used to live in Hokkaido and was back in Japan for a holiday.

Today was bitterly cold and icy but was actually sunny. I'd forgotten what sunshine and blue skies looked like.

Yesterday we went up to Yakumo. There were still quite a few eagles but it was snowing most of the time and there were very few photo opps.

This may have been my last day with the eagles this season, it's been a good one so I can't really complain. We looked up the coast, I wanted to show Franck the Long Tailed Ducks but there were none about. Most of the common seaduck were present including White Winged Scoter.

Today we were at Onuma. The Varied Tits were especially photogenic.

The Nuthatches too...........

They are so tame they are almost like pets, hopping around on my hat and perching within a few inches of us as they awaited a handout of sunflower seeds.

Not much else around at Onuma: a couple of White Tailed Eagles, the usual resident Tits and Woodpeckers. Shikabe was also very quiet, the Black Necked Grebes were few and far between and not easy to photograph.

Franck is the person who sold me the 100-400 a couple of years ago. He has the 500L F4 and he uses it handheld most of the time too (lifting all those heavy cheeses is good training I guess). I tried his lens a little and it is so heavy compared to the puny little 100-400..............

I got up to watch Wednesday night's footy. 3 interesting games, annoyingly Liverpool lost and it's going to be tough to get 4th now. They have to beat Man City next week I suppose, easier said than done. Ashley Cole may miss the World Cup, that's not good news either.........



  1. Wow again this is a very beautiful set of pictures. You truly amaze me with the quality of your pictures! First because most of the time I've never seen these birds which are gorgeous and second because you've a lot of skills! The varied tits sequences is my favorite there... it is gorgeous...
    I start to think that I might have to visit japan one day ;-)

  2. Yes, a bit of sun makes all the difference. We had some lately, makes photogrphy and birding so much better. Swap soem of your Varied for a few Bluies?

  3. Hi,these are very fantastic photographies.you did very well.

  4. Excellent photos of the Tits and Nuthatches and really love the detail in the Steller's flight shot in the pale sky. A great photograph.

  5. Pure grip off! I have always wanted to visit Japan.
    BTW I have the same lens as you but my pictures are crap.

    P.S. Kudos re the taste in music, film and books (I. Banks is my, very occasional, celebrity customer at work).

  6. Hi, and my real name is Stuart too.............

    Iain Banks? Nice. Wish I could say I had any contact at all with celebrities but none whatsoever although I did once take a p**s in a urinal next to Kurt Cobain.

  7. Beautiful series of images, The image of the white tailed Eagle is my favorite...Thomas

  8. Always love your image of those tits...they are so cute ;)


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