31 March 2011

A day on the coast

An Osprey at the river mouth in Yakumo this afternoon.

It was a nice spring day, alternating between mild and sunny and cool and foggy. Lots of stuff on the move, skeins of White fronted Geese and smaller flocks of Bean Geese high overhead, flocks of Whooper Swans here and there and large numbers of ducks of many species everywhere. Scaup were abundant in several fishing harbours.

I managed to take a crappy handheld video too.......

I've seen about 20 species of wildfowl this week but not many pictures were worth posting from today. Still no grebes anywhere except loads of Great Cresteds at several locations. This is usually the scarcest of the 4 marine grebe species but this year it has been by far the commonest.

At the river mouth and on several beaches I tried to get some Gull shots. 7 species were present including lots of Glaucous Gulls of various ages.

Dunno why the biggest Gull species is so shy, I could only get BIF shots.

Yu can see how pale they are, especially on a sunny spring day. Indeed the Japanese name is 'shiro-kamome', literally 'white seagull'.

Glaucous Winged Gulls were also common.

And here's one chasing an Osprey.

The Osprey was one of a pair fishing at the river mouth at Yakumo.

At the port at Oshamabe I was surprised to find a flock of 30 or so Dunlin............

There were many common seaduck offshore like these Red Breasted Merganser.......

The day started at Onuma, the Varied Tits were on form here.........

Other stuff at Onuma included a couple of White Tailed Eagles sitting out in the middle of the still frozen section of the lake, Great Cormorant, Whooper Swan, Bean Goose, Smew, Goosander and Pintail, plus the usual Tits and Woodpeckers. At Yakumo there were the usual common ducks, more Swans and at all locations there were singing Skylark, a sign that spring is here......

Yesterday I went to Kamiiso and there was nothing at all really, a lone White Tailed Eagle high overhead and that was about it.

Thanks for clicking this link.......



  1. You got a beautiful day Stu.. Well done... I'm definitively in love with the varied tit!!! It is a very cute bird and you got wonderful pictures of it!

  2. That might explain why there are so few Great Crested Grebes down here this winter because they all stay up there in Hokkaido. Lovely video of the scaup. I love birds that dive, so I can run closer to them while they're underwater and just wait until they come up again.

  3. The shot of the GWG seeing off the Osprey is pretty spectacular. the gull looks almost as big as the Osprey?


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