30 August 2015
White Winged Black Tern
Another dark cloudy day saw us up in Yakumo and Oshamanbe looking for waders. We did see quite a few shorebirds but the bird(s) of the day was White Winged Black Tern. 2 juveniles near Yakumo. A lifer no less..................
29 August 2015
Finally some waders.............
A dark dreary afternoon in Hakodate..............but finally I could see a few waders. Very very bad light as you can see................................
There were 2 flocks of Red Necked Stints. I don't know why waders have been so thin on the ground this month, until today I'd hardly seen any anywhere despite looking all over the region at likely spots the last couple of weeks.
I did see another birder last week who told me about 2 rarities from earlier in the year. One was a female Canvasback (a bird I've never seen) which was apparently on the river in Kamiiso in summer. I did see what I thought was just a female Pochard there in June..............of course no photos survived (maybe it was just a Pochard that I saw, I did at least check it but perhaps not as thoroughly as i should have).
The other bird he mentioned was a SNOWY OWL!!!!! The bird in question was supposedly briefly seen on the frozen ricefields just outside town in Febraury. S**t.
21 August 2015
I had a spare afternoon so we checked some of the local beaches for waders. In anticipation of skittish waders I attached the 1.4X teleconverter on my 500mm (to be used with the monopod if we found any shorebirds).
Naturally there was a not a single wader to be found anywhere. I didn't bother taking the 1.4X teleconverter off.
This Osprey was feeding on the beach in Moheji though. Right next to the main road, it stayed for about 10 seconds as I fired off some handheld shots from the window.
700mm handheld..............out of a window on a busy road with a panicking wife in the driver's seat worrying about that big truck right behind us. And no time to change settings.
They turned out better than I expected but would have been much better at 500 (where handholding is perfectly doable). Very slightly cropped for composition.
Not much else...............an Oriental Honey Buzzard flew over near the Osprey site but that's about it.
16 August 2015
A long hot drive
A long hot drive around SW Hokkaido looking for passage waders on the west coast revealed.................1 Pacific Golden Plover. And 1 Little Ringed Plover/2 Common Sandpiper (which are summer breeders).
This hot tired looking Peregrine was near Kaminokuni and was the only decent photo of the day. Lots of distant Ospreys, a few flocks of Japanese Green Pigeon here and there, some Pacific Swifts hawking over the capes but not much else around............
11 August 2015
On this day (August 11th)...........................
August 11th 2013.
A Black Faced Spoonbill at Kamiiso 2 years ago today.
This is a rare east Asian endemic with less than 3000 individuals in the wild. They can be seen in south Japan, Hong Kong and various other locales but are pretty rare this far north. I've also seen one at Yakumo.
This one was present about a week and on one of the days it was feeding on the beach and i could get reasonably close to it.
10 August 2015
The first waders arrive............
3 August 2015
Osprey feeding time
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