31 December 2015

2015 ended


There were 2 Ural Owls at Onuma yesterday. This was in a hole that I thought had been abandoned.............

27 December 2015

Fox and Owl



On the way back from Yakumo we stopped at Onuma just before sunset. It was dark and snowing. A pair of Black Woodpecker were around as were 2 staples, Red Fox and Ural Owl.


26 December 2015

Christmas in Yakumo



We spent the 25/26 in and around Yakumo.............


On this day (December 26th).....................


December 26th 2011.

A Solitary Snipe at Yakumo 4 years ago today. This is a scarce winter visitor that inhabits frigid winter streams in the hills. I've seen the species several times at Yakumo but this was the only time I ever managed a photo................and even then it was a hastily taken massively underexposed heavy crop too.

25 December 2015

Phoned in Xmas eagle


Processed in camera and on phone, these never look good when done on my iphone for some reason.


24 December 2015

That time of year again


A Ural Owl at Onuma last weekend. Not feeling very christmassy despite it being Christmas Eve, no snow outside for starters. Maybe I'll feel differently after a few beers and some movie watching..............

8 December 2015

On this Day (December 8th)..............


December 8th 2013.

A Ural Owl 2 years in Onuma. This was in a  huge dead 'chimney' tree with a huge hole for it to rest in. My photos from the last few weeks are of a different individual in a different hole.

Unfortunately the next spring the tree snapped in half during a storm................so the Owl had to move somewhere safer but also away from prying cameras....................

5 December 2015

A full frame Owl..................


Last Sunday at Onuma it got very dark so I switched cameras and borrowed my wife's 6D. This is Canon's entry level full frame camera and althought it lacks in the AF department it is supposed to be a champion at high ISOs. Anyway the Owl wasn't exactly jumping around so AF was not an issue.

The top pic is uncropped and wide open at f4 and I quite like the effect.

The pic below is trimmed a little. It is ISO 1600, something I would only rarely do with an cropped sensor Canon, even the relatively new 7D MK2.


So now I'm thinking should I get the 1DX MK2 or just settle on the 5D MK4. My wife would kill me if she found out I was thinking of such things but luckily she never reads my blog................

My hospital experience is over, on doctor's advice I'm off booze, exercise and spicy food for a week or two and my insides still feel way off.

It's a blizzard outside. Winter has come...................hope the Owl is snug in its treehole.

30 November 2015

22 November 2015

More eagles have arrived.............



More eagles arriving at Yakumo but none of them doing anything interesting.

The river full of salmon, some first snow flurries, a pair of Goshawk at the rivermouth plus a few common winter birds at Yakumo but sweet FA at Sawara and in Hakodate................

I won't be in Yakumo for at least 2 weeks, next time it will be probably be all white and hopefully full of eagles on the ground or at least in a tree.

16 November 2015

Mild November continues..............



It was about 18 degrees today, short sleeve weather, literally well rolled up sleeves maybe.................dragonflies are still buzzing around and I even got an insect bite. Weird weather we're having..................


13 November 2015

On this day (November 13th).....................


November 13th 2013.

A Taiga Flycatcher 2 years ago today in Hakodate. A female or immature I guess...............

This is a scarce but probably regular passage visitor and was my second individual after one a couple of years earlier.

I've also seen the very closely related Red Breasted Flycatcher in Hakodate but females/immatures are very similar and it was a 'web tick' as it was pointed out to me later. Still they all count.

10 November 2015

Birds on a wire


In late autumn the resident Carrion and Large Billed Crows are joined by 2 other species............Daurian Jackdaw and (Eastern) Rook. These are winter vistors from the Asian mainland and are much shyer than the resident species.

There seem to be lot of the Jackdaws this year. About a dozen or so mixed in with the Rooks. The above crappy photo shows a grey phase adult with a Rook underneath.

They perch on high wires against grey skies and fly off as soon as you look at them, not ideal photo subjects. I guess I could be more patient but after growing up in the UK it's a little hard to get excited by rooks and jackdaws.............................

4 November 2015

An afternoon off..............


A rarity these days.............yesterday afternoon I had no classes so I could take a walk down the river for a coupls of hours.


2 November 2015

1 November 2015

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