6 January 2014

A waste of 8400 yen






Some pictures from the last couple of days. Stellers Sea Eagle, Gyrfalcon, Ural Owl and.................Dunlin.




We headed up to Yakumo yesterday, I was hoping for some interesting eagle shots. Feeding in the river hopefully. Nothing doing on the first day, the usual BIFs and perched birds.................



It was a beautiful sunny day so we took a break from the eagles and drove up to Oshamanbe to check the port. I was hoping for Long Tailed Ducks but they were absent (though I did see one on the sea, way offshore). There weren't that many birds at all in the harbour. 1 Black Necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, a couple of Goldeneye, a few Scaup. Actually all the local ports have been very quiet so far this winter. It has got a lot colder so hopefully the birds will start moving soon.

There was a small flock of Dunlin on one corner of the port, these are here most winters.






Dunlins are probably slightly scarcer than Stellers Sea Eagles in winter in south Hokkaido.

The weather was so nice we decided to stay a night in Yakumo in a cheap business hotel. (4200 yen per person seemed a small price to pay. I figured the eagles would come down early in the morning at first light to feed in the river, something that I've only ever photographed once in the likeliest looking spot. That was this time last year but it was during a blizzard.

So up we got at 6am and..................saw absolutely f***ing nothing. My theory that the eagles swoop down to the river, gorge on salmon at first light and then flap back up the trees to digest it was proved to be a load of horses**t.

We gave up after 2 or 3 hours waiting for the eagles to do something (they were strangely inactive). Just the usual pics just before we left............and this was in a different place anyway.



To the south the Gyrfalcon was still around. Some people photographed it eating a Slaty Backed Gull a few days ago. I haven't even got a BIF shot of it yet. It was sitting in the grass.............



At Onuma the Ural Owl was still in its hole.


I've started using my tripod a bit more recently. The above owl pic (but not the top one), the Gyrfalcon and most of the eagle pics were with the tripod. Without I need shutter speeds of 1/500 or the shots are a little blurry and some of the eagle and all the falcon shots were with a 1.4 teleconverter.

Black Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Redpoll and various common stuff was at Onuma including this Great Spotted Woodpecker and this Great Egret.




I stopped even following the Ashes after they slumped from a winning position in the 4th Test and discovered almost by accident they'd lost 5-0, my god what an utterly lame effort that was.

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14 comments:

  1. Há há!:)) You are becoming a grumpy old man Stuart! Your photos are magnificent, and so many different sighting too. A really nice series Stuart.

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    1. I became a grumpy old man aged around 28 I think................

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  2. I don't think the money was wasted...and you've presented a great series of pics here. A pity the eagles wouldn't perform, but that's the challenge of bird photography, I suppose.

    England in Australia.... shockingly BAD.

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    1. Hi John, yes I stopped even reading about it (never mind trying to watch it) after they lost the Ashes in the 3rd game. I checked the scores occasionally after that but every time I checked cricinfo it got worse and worse and I eventually gave up even bothering with that. Hope we don't have to wait another 15 years or whatever to get the Ashes back.............

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  3. A real feast of spectacular birds and equally great photography, Stu. Man, just love that adult Steller's with rich, vivid blue sky. Isn't it just stunning?

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    1. Thanks Russell, that was the only blue sky in the last 8 days!

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  4. Hi Stuart. In birding, you have to take the rough with the smooth, otherwise it would get boring and predicable. Your shots are fantastic. I looked up your island and it appears to be very cold there in the winter but the snow brings Great photo opportunities. Thanks foe commenting on my blog. Funny hoe Ee have the same ducks but I am very envious that you have the dancing cranes. That must be wonderful to watch.

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    1. Hi Magaret, it is colder than the UK. The Cranes are in east Hokkaido alas, a long way from where I am.........

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  5. I agree with John that it's a great series. My favourite is the Woodpecker - probably because we don't have them. Perhaps the 20:20 series will see a better English performance.

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    1. If they can manage to last 20 overs.............

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  6. I don't think the yen were wasted either - whatever 8400 yen is in real money. As usual you got great pics and underestimate the effect your eagles picturees have on us birs-starved Brits back here in gloomy UK.I agree with HW, the pecker is fantastic.

    I think Petersen is for the chop plus one or two others as scapegoats. Maybe Boycott should get in shape.

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    1. Hi Phil, I was more than happy with the pics I took but I could have saved the 8400 yen (about 60 quid) and still taken all of the same pics.............we stayed overnight simply to avoid a very early start on icy roads...........but we needn't have bothered as it turned out because early in the morning there was nothing happening.

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  7. So jealous of the Gyrfalcon! Great stuff as usual.

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    1. Thanks Ayuwat. Yup it's a great looking bird even for an immature.

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