5 February 2012

Assorted Pondlife

A quiet end to the week, more snow and grey skies.........

This morning we were at Onuma. The ice-free pond held 3 Smew, 1 Great Egret and 2 Night Heron. The snow from the nearby car park has been dumped next to the pond meaning it is impossible to get close to the birds...........not such a problem for a bog one like the Great Egret.

But more of a problem for the Smew and Night Heron..........

As you can see it was snowing heavily at times, here's a video where the birds don't move much but the snow does............

Not much else around plus today was Onuma's winter festival so to avoid the crowds we headed up to Yakumo. Last February I had a couple of great days here taking dramatic photos of the many eagles and other raptors. Today was............................nowhere near as good. I was hoping last week's poor eagle showing at Yakumo had been a one off but unfortunately today was the same. Not many eagles at all, about 3 or 4 Stellers (all too far off for photos) and a dozen or so White Tailed Eagles of various ages.

I don't know where they've all gone, I guess they ate all the salmon and have dispersed around the coasts looking for food.

Not much else here, a distant Goshawk and several more Great Egret bring the most noteworthy.

Last Friday after the Rough Legged Buzzard we ended up at the botanical gardens in Yunokawa. This place has an outside hot spring full of monkeys (Japanese Macaque I think). They are all in an enclosure and are obviously not wild, in fact basically it's a small monkey only zoo. There are some genuinely wild ones who sit around in hot springs in the snow but they are down in Honshu somewhere.

So with all that in mind they are still very good photographic subjects.

The steam from the hot spring and the high ISO I was using in the gloomy kight produced a nice grainy effect............

Whilst it all looks very tranquil it is a fairly stinky place and up close the monkeys don't look very healthy at all, must be all that junk food the tourists lob at them.

Can England win the 3rd test and salvage a little pride? They had Pakistan at 21 for 5 on the first morning's play, how could they look like certainties to lose from that position? They'd better bat out of their skins tomorrow. England- the world's #1 team. Except in Asia. Or when they have to play against decent spinners.

Thanks for clicking this link......



  1. These monkey shots have stolen the show!!They are brilliant,worthy of framing and going up on
    your wall. They are truely delightful!!

  2. Great stuff, enjoyed the vid, but love the expressions on the monkey faces.

  3. Funny shots of the monkeys here! I don't know if I can walk around taking photos and videos in the snow like that or not. Just watching the videos gave me chill.

  4. Thanks for the comments. You wouldn't believe it but I accidentally deleted all the RAW monkey shots from my computer today..................good job the monkeys are not likely to go anywhere soon then.............

  5. Some beautiful shots of the macaques and aways great to see your eagles. I know how hard the weather is to live with here. We were planning to go to Nagano to see the bathing monkeys there last march but the earthquake happened and we cancelled. Always next year.....just read you deleted you files. Reminds me I keep thinking about getting a back-up drive. I always think of it Sunday nights.

  6. i Russell, actually I do HAVE a back up drive but I take so many photos I cull them before I back up the keepers..............I just hadn't culled the monkeys yet. There is file retrieval software to buy for about $100 but for the monkeys I can just go back another day and take more photos I guess. If my Rough Legged Buzzard photos had been deleted I would have bought the software for sure............

  7. Wonderful selection of shots. We have some 'pondlife' round here, but none of it beautiful like this. Those monkeys are amazing!


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