30 November 2011

Gone. Forever.

These photos, spread over the last 3 or 4 years, they all have something in common.

Black Crowned Night Heron

Blue and White Flycatcher

They were all taken in the trees and bushes along the riverside near my apartment.

Long Tailed Tit

Common Kingfisher

Those trees are sadly now no longer there, Hakodate City has seen fit to chop almost all of them down. Why? I can't see any valid reason except perhaps to use up some of this year's budget. Ironically Hakodate is heavily in debt to the extent that even a Greek finance minister would hang his head in shame. What a waste of time. What a waste of money.

Red Cheeked Starling


The riverside looks terrible now, the workers who destroyed the trees and bushes were evidently told to ignore the festering mounds of garbage everywhere. Tyres, videos, rice cookers, TVs, guitars, bicycles, beer cans, rubber boots..........

The birds in these photos won't have many places to feed, shelter or rest in from now on. Not round here at least.

Coal Tit

Red Flanked Bluetail

It's all so utterly pointless. No wonder many Japanese cities are so ugly to look at and so heavily in debt. They pay folk to destroy what little pockets of nature cling on.

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

It won't impact much on the bird population of Hokkaido, the birds will hopefully find somewhere else but it looks like the core of my local patch from the last 10 years has been spoiled beyond hope.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

There are a few trees left, I pray they don't come back next year to finish them off too.

End of rant and I apologise for that.

The last week was dull and grey, not much birding. There was a flock of Rustic Bunting and Hawfinch in Goryokaku Park (I wonder if the trees there are safe?) as well as Sparrowhawk, Coot and Dusky Thrush. On the river were Brown Dipper, Kingfisher, Bullheaded Shrike, Grey Heron and a few smaller birds like Daurian Redstart looking confused and wondering where all the trees had gone. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was pecking around the stumps........

At Kamiiso last week there were hundreds of Black Headed Gulls feasting on salmon roe, several Black Necked Grebe in the harbour, various ducks including Goldeneye, Harlequin and Smew, a flyover Peregrine and 7 species of Gull on the beach. Too dark for photos though........

Liverpool should have won again.

Thanks for clicking this link


27 November 2011

On this day (November 27th)..........

November 27th 2009.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

A Red Breasted Flycatcher in the bushes alongside the river near my apartment. Or is it a Taiga Flycatcher? These recently split species look very similar, at least to me. One reader of this blog suggested it was the former and long time after the event I put an ID request on birdforum and the general consensus seemed to be that it was indeed a Red Breasted.

A pretty crappy heavily cropped and noisy photo it's true but I was glad to at least get a record shot of what is either a scarce or extremely scarce bird in Hokkaido.........whichever one it is!

Thanks for clicking this link.


23 November 2011

Footprints in the snow........

A Red Fox at Onuma, this morning, as you can see we had our first real snow of the winter.

The weather improved and we headed up to Yakumo. There were more eagles around than our last visit and there were some in the river eating salmon, in exactly the same place as 2 years ago today.

It was impossible to get a clear shot, the best I could manage were some not so great BIFs.

I got my first Stellers Sea Eagle shots of the winter.......

Here's a typical view of one high up in the trees next to the icy road......

Whilst I was waiting in vain for some more eagles to fly over my wife gave me a shout, she'd found some tracks in the field next to the road......these are 2 of her photos.

It was from a Brown Bear and the tracks looked pretty fresh too, it must have walked across the field ealier in the morning. I noticed lots of crows quarreling over various blood stains on the snow next to the river, could a bear have caught and skinned some salmon? The eagles tend to scavenge mangy old rotten salmon carcasses, not living ones..........

Also around upstream were Japanese Wagtail, Pochard, Goosander, Goldeneye, Brown Dipper, Varied Tit, White Backed and Grey Headed Woodpecker, Common Buzzard and lots of Jay.

At the river mouth were the usual common gulls and wildfowl, Dunlin, Whooper Swan etc. There were several Black Legged Kittiwake in amongst the commoner Gull species.....

We got back to Hakodate just as it was getting dark, there was a big flock of Rooks (with a few Daurian Jackdaw) in the snowy ricefields in Ono.......

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


21 November 2011

On this day (November 21st)

Yellow Throated Bunting Yellow Throated Bunting

Rustic Bunting

November 21st 2008.

A male Yellow Throated Bunting and a female (?) Rustic Bunting on a very autumnal day 3 years ago in Goryokaku Park.

The latter is a very shy species, this is probably the only half decent shot I've ever managed of one.........

Thanks for clicking this link.


20 November 2011

Varied Tits

Some Varied Tits at Onuma this morning before the weather closed in. This individual was very tame, the shot below was taken with my wife's 100mm macro lens......

As you can see it's still very autumnal, it snowed a little last week but it didn't settle.

All the common species were around.

Other species of note included Whooper Swan, Great Egret, Coot, Little Grebe, Goosander, Treecreeper, Long Tailed Tit, the commoner tits and woodpeckers and 2 immature White Tailed Eagles in the sky above Onuma village.

A very slow week has just come to an end, the common water birds remained on the moat in Goryokaku Park, a flock of 8-10 Hawfinch were also in the park, a Brown Dipper was on the river but the main thing that happened was more tree cutting, the City Hall has cut down at least 50% of the trees alongside the river, I have no idea why but I suspect it's just to use up this year's budget funds by creating artificial 'employment'.

It looks terrible (of course they didn't remove any of the garbage that blights Hakodate waterways) and I hope they at least leave some trees standing so the migrants next spring have some places to feed in.

At Kamiiso this afternoon there were more egrets and several Wigeon in the rain.........

Thanks for clicking this link.


13 November 2011

Winter just round the corner

One of the tame Nuthatches at Onuma, when they come close looking for food you know winter is coming soon...........

We started off the day in Yakumo. The eagles have arrived since we last visited 2 weeks ago. There were about 25 or so, about 60-70% of them seemed to be White Tailed Eagles with the rest being Stellers Sea Eagles, hopefully lots more will arrive presently.

I rarely get good shots of them until the winter really kicks in. These were the best I could manage today..........

Also upstream were Goldeneye, Great Egret, Brown Dipper, Japanese Wagtail, Goosander, Buzzard and lots ands lots of Jay, these were everywhere today.......

At the river mouth were 7 species of Gull, Goshawk, lots of wildfowl including 30 or so Whooper Swan and a flock of Dunlin. I tried to get some duck BIF shots, here's a pair of Wigeon.....

We stopped at Onuma to feed the Nuthatches. 4 species of Woodpecker were around including Grey Headed and Black. In the forest there were flocks of Brambling and Dusky Thrush on the move. Other stuff here included Whooper Swan and huge flocks of Mallard...............the first snow is forecast in a couple of days, winter will come soon I think..........

I got a new 32 inch TV and an ipod touch a couple of days ago. The TV was only slightly more expensive (about ¥7000 difference). WTF?!?!

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


12 November 2011

Another quiet November week......

A male Blue Rock Thrush at Irifune yesterday. Another very quiet week in Hakodate..........the 2 Brent Geese were still there (but in the middle of the marina) and there was only 1 Harlequin Duck (which was too far away for a photo).

Shame the light was right behind the thrush.........

The egrets were still around most of the week although yesterday there only seemed to be one Great Egret left..........and that flew off straight away too.

In Goryokaku Park a couple of days ago there were a few birds on the moat, 2 Scaup (there was also one of these on the river too), 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Wigeon, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Coot and this male Pochard.

Not much else around town (although I haven't been looking terribly hard).

I'll go to Yakumo tomorrow, hopefully I'll have some eagle pictures to post soon...........

My ancient now broken analogue TV will be replaced next week, hopefully my ancient (non HD) satellite tuner will work with the new one. Good job there's no footy on this weekend. Unless you count England getting spanked by Spain tonight. Luckily that's on too late for me to watch and endure..........

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


6 November 2011

Another grey autumnal weekend

After several fine clear days the grey skies and rain returned: another typical late autumn weekend. We headed out east to Esan, I tried to get some Harlequin Duck shots.

It was too dark and the birds were too skittish, the only time I got to this spot and found co-operative birds and nice weather was almost exactly four years ago. This shot from that day was taken with my old $120 Sigma zoom at just 214mm.

I need to go there and be patient, unfortunately it's not really accessible by public transport so I have to rely on the wife giving me a lift and hanging around so time is never on my side. Next year, next year.....

This Pelagic Cormorant was one of many at Esan........

Another common coastal bird around these here parts is Blue Rock Thrush, another blue skittish bird. This is a female.

A few recent annoyances have left me a little grumpy, even grumpier than usual. My computer seems to be having wi-fi problems with the new router and last night my ancient analogue TV finally packed in (just before the footy kicked off).  The analogue signal was switched off this summer, the only thing I watched was footy through the old Sky digital tuner (which still worked). So now I have to buy new TV and new tuner and maybe a new satellite dish too. Before my computer picked up various internet problems I could easily watch illegal feeds of the Premier League but none of the high quality ones seem to work anymore................

Thanks for clicking this link......


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...