27 September 2010


The end of September is always a quiet time for birds, just after the wader migration and just before the main movements of passerines in October. The thinning vegetation along the river has exposed quite a few Night Herons though.......

The above 2 are both young birds, there were also quite a few adults around too.

They can be quite difficult to find..............just look for that big red eye.

They seem a little lethargic, just one offering any BIF opportunities.

I had a last go at the Japanese Green Pigeon this season, despite great light I couldn't get many good shots at all. The sea was so rough and the waves so high it was very hard for them to come down and drink safely.............so only BIF shots in this case........

Here's a view at Onuma taken on my cellphone.........

The weather has finally cooled down and the first ducks of autumn have appeared; Pintail, Wigeon and Teal. Not much else around, a few things flitting around in the bushes................

If you have Delta Skymiles and want to use them don't bother. A very frustrating time was had last week as I tried in vain to book a flight back to the UK. I should start a website called 'donotflydelta.com' to make me feel better.

Why have frequent flyer programs that are impossible to use?

They offered me Tokyo to Manchester via Detroit and Atlanta for 250,000 miles.


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22 September 2010

On this day (September 22nd)....................

September 22nd 2009.

Curlew Sandpiper at Oshamanbe. I initially overlooked this as a Dunlin until it was pointed out that it was in fact a Curlew Sandpiper. Not rare as such but still a pretty nice find and one I've yet to see down in Hakodate.


20 September 2010


A selection of waders from the last few days. I'm 42 today, time marches on..............

I got up early today (my 42nd birthday) and went to Kamiiso. There were 7 species of wader. Most interesting was this Grey Plover.

3 Mongolian Plover, 1 Bar Tailed Godwit, 1 Sanderling, several Common Sandpiper, 1 Whimbrel and lots of Red Necked Stints were the other shorebirds around.

I met Kim a few times recently, he saw a Marsh Sandpiper yesterday to add to Temincks Stint and Curlew Sandpiper, all these would have been local ticks for me. My local list is on 196 now and I'm eyeing the big 200 so three new birds would be nice......

In the afternoon we headed out to Shikabe. Several years ago on this date I saw lots of Common Terns close inshore at a particular spot and have gone back every year in the hope of photographing them. They've never been back needless to say. I did find this tame Grey Tailed Tattler though.

And here's a short handheld video...............

There were also a few Japanese Green pigeon here too..........

We headed to Shikabe to the well known spot for this species but they only came close when I went back to the car for something................I had to be content with dodgy flight shots only.

At Onuma the forest is still dark and full of mosquitoes, I got bitten on the only part of my body not covered with repellent (my index finger joints). Here are a couple of high ISO shots from deep in the greenery..........

Last week there wasn't much around except the inevitable Red Necked Stints.

How cute is this?

And here's a BIF shot.

This may be the last batch of Stint shots of 2010...........

Yesterday was annoying as hell. Liverpool using to Man Utd was bad (oh and f**k right off Fergie, O'Shea should have got sent off). I also tried booking a flight back to the UK using mileage I've accumulated over the years. Without boring you with details suffice to say the airline in question (Delta) make it as tricky as possible to do this, I can't even do it online. That was bad too.

So 42, wasn't that the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything? Wisdom awaits perhaps.

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16 September 2010

Another day on the beach

Another day off and another day on the beach at Kamiiso. I didn't find any rare waders but I did find a very tame Bar Tailed Godwit.

I had a lot of time and it wasn't going anywhere so I took some wobbly handheld video. Apologies for the ropey sound quality.

Bar Tailed Godwit from Stuart Price on Vimeo.

It tended to feed higher up the beach than the Red Necked Stints, that long bill comes in very handy I guess.

Lots of pictures of the same bird but it's not a bird I usually get close to.............

There were 6 species of wader; Greenshank, Grey Tailed Tattler, Whimbrel and of course lots of Red Necked Stints. Again............

Forgive me for posting so many Stint shots, they come and go pretty quickly and are a very photogenic bird indeed.

I was hoping to find something interesting with the Stints. Last week in Hakodate other folk saw Curlew Sandpiper and Red Necked Pharalope with the Stint flocks, today all I could find was Mongolian Plover (these seem very numerous this year).

I stuck around until late afternoon to catch the Godwit in nice light. You can see it catching little worms here............

There were 4 species of Heron around. Grey Heron, Great Egret, Black Crowned Night Heron and this lone Little Egret, another bird I don't often get to photograph up here in Hokkaido.

And the Ospreys are still around.

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I watched the latest 'Robin Hood' movie last night. Wow, talk about dodgy accents and wild historical inaccuracies.................

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