29 September 2013

Only the second one in 2013.............

A Red Fox at mosquito infested Onuma this afternoon.

Most of the day was spent at Yakumo where I got only my second lifer of the year.

A heavy crop (it was well offshore) of a Long Tailed Skua. A juvenile I think. Thanks to Sean and the others at birdforum for confirming the ID.

It was harrassing a group of Common Terns offshore. Again, these are all heavy crops.

On looking at some of the shots on my PC screen I could just about see the terns dropping their fish and the skua catching it in midair.

Those shots were too blurry to post though.

It was pursuing them in a most single minded way....................

The terns didn't come much closer even when they weren't being mugged.

Oh if only my 500 f4 had arrived (still 2 more weeks to wait).

There were 5 species of gull. The first Vega of the 'winter' as well as a lone adult Black Legged Kittiwake.

I'd seen a Black Necked Grebe there last week, today there were 3 of them.

Not much else around. 2 Great Egret, a Greenshank calling on the other side of the river, a couple of Ospreys fishing offshore and a few common migrants flitting around.

On the river near my house the last week there were Siberian Stonechat, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Night Heron and Grey Wagtail. Last weekend was very quiet, on the 20th I went up to Yakumo and Oshamanbe and got Greenshank, Red Necked Stint, Dunlin, Sanderling and Eastern Marsh Harrier.

So a quiet September this year, not helped by the weather and my own lethargy (although by my own low standards I have been pretty busy with work). The wader passage was very disappointing (but perhaps I just missed them). I was pretty excited by the skua today though, maybe we're in for a good autumn this year.

I watched the Premier League games last night and laughed out loud at the 2 Manc teams losing. I haven't watched that much footy so far this season. To be honest I'm a little tired of football, if England flop out of the World Cup at the qualification stage it may permanently knock out whatever enthusiasm currently remains.

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16 September 2013


A Black Winged Stilt from May.

I've had 2 days off and it has been raining for the past 48 hours, hence the old photos. This individual stayed for about a week in Goryokaku Park this spring and was very tame and approachable. Normally scarce this tfar north, There was an influx of the species into the region in klate April to mid May 2013, I saw several birds at several different sites.

I took lots of photos of it, these are from a day when I didn't upload any to the blog.

Not much birding recently. A flock of Red Necked Stint were ate Kamiiso earlier in the week  but not much else, a couple of Great Egret being the only noteworthy species. At Sawara last Monday there was a Wood Sandpiper, Long Toed Stint, Red Knot, 2 Mongolian Plover and the inevitable Red Necked Stints.

I'm 45 later this week. Forty Five!!! I guess it's time for my midlife crisis and yesterday I did what a lot of men do at this stage of their life and buy themselves an expensive toy. Not a Harley Davidson. Something better. A Canon 500 f4 MK2 plus various accessories. The only thing is it won't arrive for another 4 weeks or so................
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8 September 2013

Another Sunday in September

One of many Red Necked Stints around this last week. This one was at Oshamanbe this afternoon, there have also been quite a few in Kamiiso too.

Also around in the same place were a few Grey Tailed Tattler, a lone Greenshank, a couple of Mongolian Plover and a Sanderling in one of the stint flocks.

Yakumo was rather quiet. 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 9 Greenshank and 6 Eastern Curlew.............

Here is an adultof the latter species looking rather raggedy.

This is an immature with a much shorter bill.

Bit of a quiet 2013 for waders, still a couple of weeks to find something intersting though.

The Kingfisher spot was productive again.

These pics are cropped 50% or so. It is possible to get closer but I'd need camoflage. Perhaps next year................

A Black Browed Reed Warbler was singing nearby...............a bit odd considering the time of year.

Should I get up to follow the torture that will be the Ukraine v England game? It's just that if I don't watch it I think we'll nick a win.
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1 September 2013

A hard rain fell.

An Eastern Curlew at Yakumo this afternoon. It seems to have a rather short bill which got me thinking it might be one of the rarer types (Bristle Thighed) until I saw a flock of 6 of them in the same place later. And then I checked the fieldguide...............

It was a grey drizzly day. The weather has been just awful in the second half of August. Very heavy and frequent rain has filled the rivers and they have dumped all sorts onto the local beaches.............sediment and trees mainly.

The Curlew was a nice close one at least.........

Not so many waders around this year, so far at least. Today was the end of a 4 day break for me and theere have been almost no waders around at all near Hakodate. At Yakumo there were 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, 1 Terek Sandpiper and 2 Common Sandpiper. Last week saw another Curlew, some Grey Tailed Tattler, Red Necked Stint and this Black Tailed Godwit.

At Oshamanbe theer were more Red Necked Stint today and 1 Great Knot.

This was a grisly find on the beach at Oshamanbe.

Some kind of albatross I think. Laysan? Short Tailed? It was partially buried in the sand and I let it be (maybe I could have looked to see if it had been ringed or tagged).

This Kingfisher was at Yakumo.

So a pretty quiet last couple of weeks photo wise at least. There have been a few birds around. Returning Black Headed and Glaucous Winged Gulls from the north, Great Egret, lots of Japanese Green Pigeon at many locations on the coast, a Sand Martin colony at Oshamanbe (a bit late but I hope it is still there in 2014). various raptors including Peregrine, Goshawk, Eastern Marsh Harrier and the inevitable Ospreys. The Black Faced Spoonbill hung around for a week or so but I couldn't get close to it again.

So not a great end to my short holiday. To top it off I trod in some dogs**t and lost a lens cap.

After England retaining the Ashes and everything rosy in the world of cricket  let's hope my footy teams pull their fingers out. Let's start with Liverpool beating Man U today and England not f***ing it up against Ukraine next week.
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