16 July 2010

Down and (g)out

I've been stuck at home the last few days immobilized by gout. This affliction runs in the family and it gets me about once every 18 months or so.

What didn't help was the fact that last week I ate or drank basically every single food/beverage item that gout sufferers should avoid. To excess too I might add. My wife has no sympathy. 

I could have posted a pic of my red swollen big toe but decided to recycle some Black Crowned Night Heron pics instead. The 3 shots above are of an adult this time last year (2009), it was very active in early July, presumably the young were clamouring for food.

I saw an adult flying around the river this year in June but haven't seen any signs since. No young birds, nothing. Often in previous years they stppd around in the open. Here are some shots of youngsters from late June/early July 2008 (these taken with a 70-300). You can see how much trash the local wildlife have to put up with.

Before I came to Japan I had only ever seen 1 Night Heron, an adult in Redscar back in 1987. When I arrived in central Japan in 1999 I noticed some strange heron like birds flying around at night and squawking loudly, I now these were Night Herons.

I hope they bred again this year, I'll check again next week when I can walk more than 10 yards without wincing in pain.

I've seen plenty in the ricefields this summer but like I say they haven't been active on the local river so much. Maybe they're breeding further upstream than normal? The place where I saw them the previous 2 Julys has a very aggressive pair of Large Billed Crows nesting nearby and they don't take kindly to people lingering and will swoop around your head like that scene in the Omen Part 2.

In autumn along the river they are easier to see as the vegetation slowly dies off, they usually hang around until the first snow comes and then they head south.

Thanks for clicking this link.



  1. Very nice recycled images! We have the same heron here!! Hope everythings is better for you now!

  2. I wish you would get well soon. I find that bird's colors quite unique. I'm surprised to see garbage in that waterway after all I've heard about Japan being a very clean country!

  3. I've checked in to your blog's "my location" place.Could you tell me how I can embed a map like the one you have on it in my blog?

  4. Hi Anlla, I thought Japan would be clean until I arrived here and saw the state of the beaches/forests/rivers.......

    You need to have Google Earth (or Google Maps), there are various options for embedding maps. Just google 'embed google map'.........

  5. My sympathies Stu. I once had an attack of gout in my big toe and although I put it down to my partiality to a glass or two of Shiraz, the quack didn't tell me to lay off it so I didn't, no reoccurence since. Good looking herons

  6. Thanks for the how to info Stu,that did the trick! :-)

  7. My friend,

    Sorry to hear about the gout ... Nice pics as usual kekekek

  8. Nice shots! These night-herons are around here as well, but I still haven't got so many photos of them. It either rains or I always get too lazy to find some nice posers. Hope you'll get better soon!


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