3 March 2014

East Hokkaido 2014 #3


I did the boat trip out to the sea ice at Rausu last week and it was fantastic.




I had been on the same boat trip five years ago nut the sea ice was way offshore and the weather was too rough to stop the boats alongside the ice. There were no such worries this time. The light was great and the eagles were very close. All the pics in this post were taken with my 500mml lens.












There was a lot going on and it was difficult to know where to point the camera. As you can see it was sometimes a bit of a melee.....................









It wasn't even especially cold.................and because it was the later boat trip it wasn't so crowded so it was easy to walk around the boat picking birds to photograph............






The 500mm wasn't always ideal as often the birds were too close............so I did a lot of portrait shots.









After the diappointment of 5 years ago the boat trip more than lived up to expectations. The eagles are completely wild but gather on the sea ice...................to be fed by boats full of photographers. Still everyone is happy: the birders get photos, the eagles get food and the locals get cash.









After a while my arms got tired and I swapped lensesand moved to the 100-400..............which means yet more eagle photos later...........................

Linked to Wild Bird Wednesday.

30 comments:

  1. Holy crap! That is one hell of a set of shots!

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    1. Thanks! I did take rather a lot on the boat...................and this is just a fraction of them...........

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Wilma, yes it was an awesome experience..............

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully I can go there again before global warming melts all the ice................!

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  4. Stunning portraits, Stu. Looks like you were communicating with them. It is a good deal for everyone involved if the weather is kind. Truly a place to treasure.

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    1. Thanks Russell, yes it is right up there, quite probably the best birding/photography experience I've ever had.

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  5. As a first timer on your blog, I am not sure what kind of eagle we are looking at. Not that it matters because I couldn't enjoy any set of pictures any more than I did these. Having the 500mm lens was a boon in this case even when you were taking portraits. I know that Eagles are social birds and they gather in large groups, but I have never seen a group like this. You were blessed on this day ... I am happy for you. I can only imagine the joy ...

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. Hi Andrea and thanks for youe comment, I think Bald Eagles gather like this in North America too..............they are closely related to the above 2 species...........

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  6. Fantastic bunch of shots! I love eagles.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, yes eagles are as good as it gets for bird photography.................

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  7. Jaw dropping shots of the most fascinating birds I have ever seen! Bravo!

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  8. what a super trip and fantastic images Stuart

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    1. Thanks Carole, yes it is a trip I'd recommend to anyone who likes birds........

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  9. HI Stuart Well you will never forget this wonderful trip you had. Your photographs are superb. Fantastic post.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Margaret.............

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  10. Amazing trip and awesome eagle photos.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Elleen.............

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  11. What an amazing set of photos, I saw the first one, and nearly shut the computer down , it frightened the liife out me. ;-) I was still a bit nervous of the rest, just brilliant.
    All the bet Gordon..

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    1. Hi Gordon, yes I wouldn't want to be a fish near one of them..............

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  12. Whoosh, take my breath away, these images are BRILLIANT, absolutely stunning set. There is so much story line in this series, love it, LOVE IT~

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    1. Thanks for your comment Mary.......................

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  13. Very interesting Eagle. I love your photos and just learned about another new bird....yet again. Thank you for sharing your trip.

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    1. Well Chris they are like a Bald eagles's bigger badder east Asian cousin.

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  14. Great series. What a trip it was for you to get that many shots.

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    1. Thanks Neil, I filled a lot of memory cards.................

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