20 April 2012
Spring slowly unrolling #3
A male Black Woodpecker at Onuma this afternoon. 4 species of woodpecker, 6 species of tits and the Nuthatches were all very active today. Other stuff in the forest included Brambling, Dusky Thrush, Japanese Thrush, Japanese Grosbeak and lots of Black Faced Bunting and Japanese Bush Warbler................the latter is a dull skulking bird but it is easy to see at this time of year.
The lake is largely ice free now so the waterbirds have dispersed. I saw lots of Mandarin Duck but that species is very shy here and impossible to approach closely. Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Coot, Goosander, Whooper Swan and Great Egret were around.............
Not much in Hakodate this last week, the Brent Geese were still around earlier in the week........
A Woodcock near my apartment was the most interesting bird in town and offshore at Cape Tachimachi a few days ago I saw several Black Throated Diver, a Rhinoceros Auklet and lots of Red Necked Grebe. A female Merlin flew across the highway in Ono on the way home today too.
Not a great last few weeks for my teaching business, we all have slumps but this was one has been a little severe as the wife is now between jobs. Why am I 43 years old and skint all the time?
To top it all there appears to be something wrong with my 100-400L lens...........the tension ring doesn't lock and there is quite a bit of dust in the lens too. I'd hoped to buy a new lens this spring but lack of money has put paid to that. I can still use the 100-400 of course but I'm debating whether to send it off to be fixed or not.
Actually I've been a bit frustrated with my photos recently. They seem to be lacking something, sharpness or 'pop' I dunno.
Today's Black Woodpecker was certainly frustrating. A tame male but unfortunately the light was terrible meaning highish ISO, the AF also had trouble locking on to an all black bird in the gloomy lighting.
So spring moves on, the birds are changing, hopefully some waders will start passing through soon. I saw a Common Sandpiper in the park yesterday. I checked the beach at Kamiiso this morning but nothing happening there, next week should be better I think.
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