I was listening to some birders talking about this "owl activity" at an birder's observatory just last Saturday. Seems other hotels are setting more freebies around the place and now it's a gamble as to which one the owl will attend. Incredible Owl and you did well to get such great photos. I didn't imagine it was possible to see such a rarity when I visited Rausu. Guess I'll just have to go back there! Love the way he/she's looking at you.
I was there a couple of weeks ago. The set up is as you descibe and costs 3,000 yen. No flash is allowed and the spot in the river is illuminated by 2 big halogen lamps.we didnt have any sake and spent about 4 hours freezing in the car with the windows open and the engine turned off along with about 6 other cars. Still a great night.
Hi Russell and Peter, thanks for the comments.Peter-I didn't know you had to pay, I stayed at Washi-no yado and (2 years ago) the guests didn't have to pay, were you staying there or somewhere else? Some photographers also had multiple slave flashes set out. We also had the engine on for a few minutes every half hour or so...........the Owls still came 2 or 3 times before midnight. Seems like it is a little stricter now..........Russell-a bit of competition, good for the Owls but bad for the photographers........
Hi Stu,We stayed in Rausu and had to pay. If you stay at the Washi no yado it is free.He has been told by some authority not to allow flash hence the halogen lamps. They tended to give my shots a variety of colour casts unevenly across the shots.Have a gallery from hokkaido on my website. Finished in Yudanaka with the snow monkeys and then back here to Tokyo.I loved hokkaido especially the whoopers ar lake Kusharro.
Hi Peter, I already checked your Hokkaido gallery, some wonderful pics there..............So no flash then. I hope next time I go I can at least drink hot strong alcohol!
I went to Rausu in 2006. Saw all the flashguns on tripods, and later regretted not hanging around to try for the owls.It seems a pity for the people with the original site to have others butt in and try to lure the same owls away. That's showbiz.Stu, enjoy your hot strong alcohol !
Hi Stu, I waa about to ask "Tell us about Blakistons Fish Owl in Rausu" but i think the comments gave me a good idea of the set up
Just knew that there are many hotels where you can stay and have a chance for the owls! Such an impressive bird and still the one I missed, but that's not a bad thing, so I can always find an excuse to visit Hokkaido again lol