27 March 2011

Winter fades away............


Not a vintage week for photos.

A drake Black Scoter at Sawara this afternoon (above). 

We spent Sunday visiting fishing ports (4 in all) looking for Black Necked Grebes and other harbour birds but there were none to be seen anywhere. The last 3 years have seen large numbers of the 3 marine Grebe species plus divers and murrelets in the ports but today all we could find were a few of the commoner duck species such as these Harlequin Ducks, a bird I have few good shots of, today's were nothing to write home about.


I have yet to get a decent shot of a Black Scoter, they seem to be very shy and it is difficult to nail the exposure on such a blackish bird. They have a big yellow bill that is visible with the naked eye even when they are bobbing about in the waves well offshore. These were fairly close but not that close.........



At Onuma the Mandarin Ducks have arrived, one of the earliest summer visitors. This is another attractive and very shy bird, another on the 'list' of birds I want to get a decent shot of.


This was just before sunset..............




A Stellers Sea Eagle flew over as were leaving in the car, I'm surprised to see one so late. Quite a few ducks at Onuma now as the lake slowly thaws, sharing the ice free patch with the Mandarins were Pintails, Goosander, Smew, Goldeneye and the common stuff like Mallard and Tufted Duck.

In the forest I looked in vain for Black Woodpecker (I haven't seen a single one yet this year), the tame Nuthatches were around as per usual.......


A very quiet week just gone by in Hakodate. The Siskins and Bramblings are both still around. The only photos I took were of a Vega and Slaty Backed Gull squabbling over a dead fish with a Large Billed Crow, as you can see the Vega Gull got the fish in the end........




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I watched England v Sri Lanka last night, well I watched the England innings. I thought I'd watch the end of the game (which I thought would be very tight and tense) after the England/Wales footy game. I'm glad I didn't.........losing by 10 wickets is just embarrassing.

At least they didn't f**k up in the football, mind you Wales look as weak a side as England have played in recent years. I expected a feistier show from the Welsh, they just seemed to give up after the 2nd goal. And England seemed to let them off the hook meaning a very dull last 75 minutes..........

I had to endure Chris Coleman as an 'expert' summariser. Nice enough chap I'm sure but my god, if he's an expert then I'm a world class bird photographer.







8 comments:

  1. You should have heard Kenny Sansom as the studio counterbalance to Chris Coleman. They were evenly matched.
    Are the Harlequins easy to get near yoy? Saw some in Rausu but getting close was very difficult.
    Pete

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  2. Sorry about the cricket!
    That was some thrashing, eh? Sorry, I didn't mean to rub it in.

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  3. Hi Peter, yes I was spared that at least........

    Galllcissa, I've already forgotten about it, I've never really cared for limited overs cricket, England have been poor at it for as long as I can remember, I was surprised they made it this far to be honest. They were never going to defend that total anyway, they should have bowled first. I mean, c'mon they had an 'attack' with Bopara and Wright as frontline bowlers!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hope your catching improves though. And I'd never seen Malinga bowl before. I mean he's a good player but that must be the ugliest bowling action in world cricket.....

    So what do you reckon to a Pakistan v New Zealand final then? Hardly one to set the pulses racing......

    Already looking forward to this summer's test matches. Should be interesting, let's see how good (or not) England really are after the Ashes victory.

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  4. Peter, sorry I forgot to say that yes they are very tricky to approach.........

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  5. Mandarin Ducks are sure difficult to photograph. Nice photos of the Black Scoters here! When I was in Hokkaido I saw many of them, but none were close enough for decent shot.

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  6. Hello, Stuart,
    xcuse me my poor english. Could you help me please? I live in Yakutia, it's in the Far East of Russia. My name is Victor Anahin. I have a few questions about birds. I'm interested in waterfowles such as geese, ducks, swans. You make very nice fotos of them. Ducks that are breeding in our lakes & ponds. (including one near my house) are wintering in Japan. It's pintails, mallards, teals.
    When usually wintering ducks leave Japan? In this year, did they left Japan before tsunami?
    And what about fukushima power plant? How radiation affected on birds especially ducks?
    What do you think about that?

    I'm very sorry about this tragedy in Japan.
    I hope you will answer my letter.
    sincerely, Victor.

    my e-mail anakhinvv@mail.ru

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Victor. As far as I know the tsunami/nuclear leak hasn't affected birds, I guess a few may have died when the tsunami hit (but I'm sure most could fly away). The nuclear leak is only affecting a very small part of Japan and the effects on bird populations would be very very small.

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  8. Hi Stu, The last three photos are outstanding,very expressive!

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