3 January 2012

End of the holidays.......

So today was the end of the New Year break and I was up in Yakumo one last time. The usual suspects were present.........

The bridge was a freezing place today, a bitingly cold wind blowing in from Siberia. Not as many eagles about today, they seem to have dispersed as the salmon run out (this apparently being a bad year for the salmon run).

As you can see, the Stellers are a common sight to people living in Yakumo.

White Tailed Eagles appear to be slightly more numerous.........

This is a Common Buzzard, the ones over here in East Asia tend to look very pale.

Still some Great Egrets around.........

Though cold the weather wasn't too bad at Yakumo. We decided to head north to Oshamanbe to look for Long Tailed Duck and Pine Bunting but by the time we got there (only 20 minutes away) there was a raging blizzard and we couldn't even get out of the car (or see the road). We gave up and headed back to Yakumo and the sunshine. On the way we checked a place for Short Eared Owl, nothing doing there but there were several eagles including this Stellers perching just by the place we parked our car.

Other stuff around included the usual common ducks and gulls, Japanese Wagtail, Brown Dipper, Black Necked Grebe etc. We stopped at the Snow Bunting beach but after some serious floundering in snowdrifts I gave up. Let them have the beach..........it's theirs.

Back at Onuma the Ural Owl was still in its hole and a Black Woodpecker showed briefly. I was at Onuma yesterday too, here is a pic of the aforementioned Owl which I've seen the last 4 times I've been to Onuma I think........

At Kamiiso yesterday there were only 10 or so Black Necked Grebes left in the port.

Other stuff here included Merlin, White Tailed Eagle, 7 species of Gull and the usual common wildfowl.

So back to the grindstone tomorrow (not that I'm particularly busy until next week anyway), I think I'll get up and watch the Liverpool v Man City game, 3 points here would put us back into contention for a Champions League spot. Mind you we do have to beat the current leaders away from home, perhaps a draw would be good enough.

Here's a wintry view to finish with. The 100-400L does landscape........

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



  1. Those head-on Steller's are stunning. Wish we had more eagles of either species here. I think the 100-400L looks like a nice BiF lens. You always get such beauties. The Nikon equivalent doesn't have a focussing motor and relies on camera only. Like the first buzzard too and he looks very pale -almost like a rough-leg. I can go on about the grebe's red eye and the owl forever. I have to get up early tomorrow. The first time in 6 days. Oh-hum.

  2. Those Buzzards are pale - put me in mind of juv. Rough-legged. I've got Mark Brazil's book and it often throws me how different the Eastern subspecies of some birds can look.
    BTW well done on keeping the thing going so long and at such a high standard!

  3. Goes without saying some great shots of some wonderful birds.
    listening to the match, currently half time and don't fancy your chances but hey you are playing city.

  4. I like the look of those pale buzzards. Beautiful.

  5. Yeh that's the end of the holidays over here too, like in many places I guess. Happy new year too and mate, you got splendid pictures during your break!! Love you steller-eagle.... and the black necked grebe!

  6. Thanks for the comments......

    Russell/Stuart/Christian-I'm still looking for my first Rough Legged, all these pale Common Buzzards make me double take every time........

    Derek-I set my alarm for 6am (start of the 2nd half) and before I got up I checked the latest score on my ipod touch, saw it was 2-0 to City and decided to give it a miss.........

    Chris-happy new year to you too......

  7. I'm an anorak. Was idly flicking through Birds of East Asia and was surprised to find Eastern Buzzard (Buteo japonicus) given as the widespread Japanese Buzzard!
    The old Birds of Japan by Wild Bird Society of Japan (vintage 1985 - a brilliant book) has Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo).
    The former, Mark Brazil authored book, is extremely up to date taxonomy wise.
    ...and I wonder why people shun my conversation.

  8. Hi Stuart, that book has a lot of 'new' species, some of which I haven't really got round to thinking of them as such. Eastern Great Tit is another and there are probably a dozen more...........

  9. Looks like a great photographic round-up of the holiday period. Very jealous of the Ural Owls..

    Brazil's "Birds of East Asia" is a really useful book, some of the raptors, like Eastern Buzzard, we get here in Hong Kong too.

  10. Great shots of the eagles as usual! The buzzard also looks stunning. I've never seen one that close before. Many birders in Thailand separate Common Buzzard into many different species as well. And trust me, it's much more complicated over there. I think we now have Japanese, Himalayan, Steppe and Common Buzzard. For now, I don't even want to bother identifying which is which.

  11. What a stunning set, Stu!
    With difficulty, I will pick Ural Owl as the pick.


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