31 May 2010

Not happening

A roadside Skylark from yesterday. 

After a whole week of rain and mist the weather has suddenly improved.

Yesterday we went to Yakumo and Oshamanbe. There were lots of birds around but nothing, just nothing was posing for the camera. It just wasn't happening at all photo-wise. Don't know why but it was just one of those days.

The scrub and wetland areas had all the usual birds including the first singing Grays Grasshopper Warblers of the year, lots of Oriental and Common Cuckoos, Long Tailed Rosefinch, Reed and Chestnut Eared Buntings, Wryneck, Lathams Snipe etc......

Not so many Black Browed Reed Warblers yet. This is one of my favourite summer visitors but near Hakodate their usual haunts have all suffered from the curse of the grass-cutters (Hakodate City's usual waste of tax revenues by throwing money at unnecessary projects to keep unemployable men occupied). None at Yakumo either but there were a few singing at Oshamanbe, this poor shot being the best of a bad bunch.

I have managed some OK shots of this species before but not of Chestnut Eared Buntings which seem to hate me and my camera.

Lots of waders around today: Bar Tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Grey Tailed Tattler, sumer plumage Red Necked Stints, Mongolian Plovers and Sanderling. None close enough for a photo though. At Yakumo we watched the Heronry from the bridge. I took some video but the quality wasn't so hot due to the traffic noise, obstructed views and distance. I was using a 1.4 teleconverter which at least turned out handy for this shot, a pair of Falcated Duck.

I saw a very late Dusky Thrush today and another late Daurian Redstart last week and several Asian Brown Flycatcher, otherwise the flow of migrants has dried up in town.

Here are a couple of views from Onuma. One taken with a 100-400 and the other with my crappy old 18-55 kit lens. Guess which one is which.

I watched England triumph over Japan 2-1 last night. 2 very well taken goals, bodes well for South Africa. I can relax now in the certainty that our talented boys are in great form and the quality will just flow and flow.

Why is Walcott so bad? Why does Heskey always miss? Why will both probably not only be on the plane to South Africa but also possibly in our starting X1 in the first game? Why? Why?

Thanks for clicking this link.


Hope the weather stays fine this week...........


  1. That's a nice bird list! I've never seen any grasshopper warbler in Japan as well as the beautiful Falcated Duck. The drake looks stunning!

  2. You'll be very lucky to see a Grays, possibly the most secretive bird in Hokkaido.................

  3. That is a good bird list. And you're right about some days the birds just wont or can't play ball, just like England.

  4. Hi Jason, it was closed for the last 10 years (it's a volcano) but this May it was declared 'open' again. It is about 1150 metres high, I've never climbed it..............maybe this autumn i'll try.

  5. I bet the last one was shot with the 100-400 and the one above it by 18-55 kit lens.

  6. Great scenery and I think you have buckets more birds there than in Niigata at this time of year.

  7. Sorry Gallicissa, the other way round, I meant to say something like 'here's 2 pics of the same view, it's obvious which one is which', on rereading it it didn't come across like that...............


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