16 October 2015

Amur Falcon


What I thought was a Hobby just outside town this afternoon..................


Hobbies are fairly scarce in south Hokkaido although I see them most years. I've only ever seen one in The UK (29 years ago at Marshside) and also once in Germany.

*UPDATE*

Thanks to Osamu Kimura up in Sapporo who informs me it is in fact an Amur Falcon.

Not great shots alas. It was very active and kept flying around.



And even hovering...............which should have maybe given me a hint it wasn't a Hobby?


It was on a narrow busy road and a police car stopped to check what I was doing and of course he checked my ID. This is the fourth time I've been stopped whilst photographing birds (Dusky Thrush, Bohemian waxwing and Great Egret were the others, I should start a list).

This Common Buzzard was nearby.


And this (rather late) Grey Tailed Tattler was at Kamiiso.


16 comments:

  1. I tried several times to come upon a Hobby when I was recently in the UK but no luck. Great shots of a bird I would dearly love to see.

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    1. But you did get the Red Footed Falcon...................!

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    2. And.............er......so did I, kind of. Eventually. An Eastern Red Footed Falcon anyway. Shame it was only a juvenile.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment Wilma..............

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  3. The look like pretty good shots to me Stu. I've just seen about 3 in Niigata but no photos. Love Australian Hobbies. They'd be one of my fav birds. Thanks for putting me straight about the swans I uploaded on my blog. I'm getting worse at birding the older I get.

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    1. Thanks Russell, I think most of the swans down your way are probably Bewicks................

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  4. Hi Stu, It's Osamu Kimura.
    I think It is not Hobby but juvnile AMUR FALCON!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Osamu.

      Amur Falcon?Eh? Really? I checked the fieldguide and decided it was a juvenile Hobby. I will check again..............more carefully this time..............

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    2. Well well well, looks like I was wrong. I must admit I was surprised to see it hover, not something I associate with Hobbys. Wow, a lifer. Thanks!

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    3. Yes Hobby does not hover, and have more long and slim wing. Juvenile Hobby have blue or light yellow cere, too.
      Besides, some characteristics suggest that it is Amur.
      Oriental Bird Images places many photos including some individuals similar to your photo.

      I saw this species at Ishikari in this spring, but I have not found at Hakodate area... wonderful!

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    4. Thanks again Osamu................

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  5. A Hobby was my first impression before I saw the caption. Stopped by the law and asked to identify yourself whilst photographing birds...wtf is that about???

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    1. I'm a foreigner so they think I'm likely to be a criminal.

      It was a busy road though and at least the policeman was friendly and had the decency to look a bit embarassed about the whole thing. I think he just wanted to say be careful on the busy road. Checking the ID is a bit overzealous, like I say that's the fourth time.

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  6. Nice AF shots...we've been getting a few here in HK this month - yours must be even more of a vagrant

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    Replies
    1. I think they're pretty rare but not unkown...................

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