31 October 2013

Great Egrets

There were 12 Great Egrets at Kamiiso this morning. They are always common at this time of year, there was one on the river near my house too.

29 October 2013

Hooded Crane

A juvenile Hooded Crane at yakumo this afternoon.

A very friendly local birder (who we often see in Yakumo) had crossed our path earlier in the day and then very kindly chased after us to tell us of this Hokkaido rarity and then showed us exactly where it was. Thank you again.....................

27 October 2013


I got to use my lens for the first time today and the main test subjects were 2 Mugimaki Flycatchers at Onuma. I think all these picsbar one are are of a first year male but I may be wrong.

22 October 2013

Red Legged Kittiwake

It's a crap picture  but the bird in the dead centre is a first year Red Legged Kittiwake, only my third lifer of the year.

This may or may not be the same bird.

Yakumo has really produced the goods this year, all my 3 lifers so far in 2013 have been there in the exact same spot (give or take a few metres).

There were hundreds of Black Legged Kittiwake..............

The only non BIFs were this tired individual in a port just north of Yakumo.

There were 8 species of gull altogether including my first Glaucous of the winter. There were also atleast 2 Pomarine Skua, one was bathing in the river in amongst all the gulls.

Skeins of White Fronted Goose and Brent Goose were heading south, there were flocks of Wigeon, Pintail and Scaup as well as the first Goldeneye of the seaon. Other stuff included Great Crested and Black Necked Grebes, Great Egret, Dunlin and Greenshank.

My lens still isn't here ('about a month' has taken five and a half weeks so far) but apparently should be ready for me to pick up on Thursday, I won't break its cherry until Sunday at the earliest.

Not much in Hakodate, the weather has been lousy this autumn especially on my days off. An Arctic Warbler (or whatever they are called after the recent splits, Kamchatka Leaf warbler is it?) was in the bushes along the river with other unidentified stuff flitting around. Onuma was too dark for photos today but I did see Black Woodpecker and Japanese Grosbeak.

England surprised me in the World Cup qualifiers. In a nice way too.

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11 October 2013

Still in limbo

A Grey Headed Woodpecker, a few days ago in a park in the east of Hakodate.

It was a grey grey morning, these shots were at ISO 1600, usually a no no on the 7D.

Lots of tame common birds in the parks at this time of year.

No autumn colours yet, it has been too mild and wet recently.

Out at Menagawa I spotted this bird offshore.

A Pacific Diver?

I ordered my lens on 15 September and they said it would take 'about a month to arrive'. It could/should arrive this weekend......................the wait is torture.

I hope England don't f**k up against the might of Montenegro tonight. Should I get up and put myself through yet more torture?

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7 October 2013

In Limbo

A Kingfisher at Yakumo this morning.

I'm in limbo, waiting for my new lens to come. I was thinking how much better these shots would have been.

Slightly pathetic I know.

But 700mm at f5.6 would mean a lot less cropping, or 500mm at f4 would mean a lower ISO. I have to use my 100-400L at f8 to get acceptable images most of the time.

Let's hope they stick around then.

There were loads of skuas offshore, no doubt blown in on the strong easterly wind. Most of them were Pomarine Skua (I think, any comments appreciated re the ID). Here are a few to give you an idea, still too far for a decent shot with my current lerns (c'mon Kojima and Canon, hurry up, hurry up!).

I think there may have been some Arctic and Long tailed Skuas among them but I am terrible at skua ID. Is this one an Arctic?

I put some (even worse) photos on birdforum for help with ID.

Lots of other stuff on the move. In Onuma this morning there were thrushes, buntings and Japanese Grosbeaks aplenty. A Greenshank was a surprise (I don't see many waders there).

 At Yakumo there were the first swnas of the winter, 5 Bewicks Swan. Here are 4 of them...............

There were also Scaup, Wigeon and Black Necked Grebe. And growing numbers of Black Legged Kittiwake both at Yakumo and Sawara.

Other stuff around included Japanese Green Pigeon, Peregrine, Osprey and Great Egret.

Rather quiet in Hakodate. This young Goshawk was in Ono yesterday.

Not much passing through except large numbers of Skylark.

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