25 November 2012

Bears up a tree

I've been going to the mountains and forests in southwest Hokkaido for the last 12 or so years and was wondering when I'd get to see my first local wild Brown Bear. Today was that day.

We got up early to have another go at the eagles. The light was terrible early on but again there were lots of eagles close up.

Only BIFs again, I really wanted to photograph them standing in the river squabbling over salmon but they fly off before you even notice them.

As you can see both species were present but there only appeared to be adult Stellers Sea Eagles............

They all flew off and I didn't get any more shots despite spending the whole day in Yakumo. The light then improved, it was mild and sunny. I noticed 2 brown things moving high up in a tree where the eagles had been................

A heavily cropped shot of 2 Brown Bear cubs. I didn't try to get any closer as I had no desire to have a race across a snowy field with an angry mother bear...................

We never saw the mother and eventually the 2 cubs came down and disappeared up the hill and into the forest....................

On the coast the flock of Asian Rosy Finch was still present but very difficult to photograph..............

And there were lots of Glaucous Gull on the coast...................

Here is a view north across the bay from Yakumo to Mt Yotei just before the sun went down................

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


  1. Cool to see the bears in the tree but it would put me on edge. Excellent flight shots of the eagles. Impossible to see so many and so close here. The White-tails should be around here by now but yet to see any.

  2. Somehow those bears don't look like they're in a happy mood. Nice BIF shots of the eagles!

  3. Congratulations on your Bear " Mammal Tick" !

    Rosy Finch, Sea Eagles, sunset on the snow-capped volcano.... looks like winter was worth the wait !

  4. thanks for the comments......

    Russell: they were too far away to put us on edge but we definitely thought it prudent to stay a safe distance away.

    Ayuwat: I think they were scared, it looked like they may have been stuck up there for a while.....

    John: I have seen bears before but they were in north east Hokkaido.

  5. That's fantastic. How far up river were they?

  6. Hi Dan, they were well upstream. About as far upstream as we used to go before turning round.

  7. Hi Stuart
    Impressive in fight shots of the eagles, and how great to get those
    bear cubs on camera.I would have been jumping for joy:)


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