18 July 2016

East/North Hokkaido Summer 2016 #2


A Pacific Swift, an abundant breeder on the capes of east Hokkaido............................


We camped a couple of nights at Cape Kirritappu in east Hokkaido.

There are many spectacular capes in the area and it was a very relaxing couple of days.........some of the capes were practically deserted and there were lots of interesting birds around. White Tailed Eagles regularly flapped by, Middendorffs Warbler were singing everywhere. Offshore were Spectacled Guillemots which also breed on the cliffs.

I tried some Swift BIfs.............




They were forming large flocks...........





At night we could hear lots of strange bird noises. the cape is home to a Leachs Petrel colony. They only visit their nesting sites at night but we managed to see one or two fluttering in the beams of the nearby lighthouse........it was a new bird for my Japanese list.

I also twice got very excited when I saw Tufted Puffins on the sea and atop an offshore stack. This would also have been a lifer but on closer inspection they all turned out to be decoys, there is apparently only one pair of real Puffins breeding this year..................

Kirritappu means 'a lot of fog' in Japanese and we had to put off with it much of the time. Here's a Siberian Rubythroat singing in the murk............


A female often gathered food on the campsite.......................


10 comments:

  1. Some really interesting birds here and great aerial shots of the swifts. I hope your heartbeat is back to normal after the puffin incident!

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    1. Hi David, thank god I'd remembered reading about the decoys a few years ago. Could have been pretty embarassing.............!

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  2. Those are brill shots of the swifts Stu. I recently tried to get shots of Common Swifts but gave up. They are just so fast and my 400 lens too slow.

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    1. Thanks Phil, I think a 400 would have been better here, mu arms were aching after a few minutes............

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  3. Great swifts BiFs, Stu. I saw some a couple of months ago but they didn't hang around for long.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Russell, it was nice to see them on their breeding grounds.

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  4. Great serie! Love those swift in flight!

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  5. Great Pac Swift BIFs...they look as scaly as fish !

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