29 April 2017

Spring 2017..........it begins.


The start of a holiday week in Japan saw more summer visitors arrive......................


On this day (April 29th).....................


29th April 2013.

3 Common Redshank near Yakumo 3 years ago today. Not a great photo and, to someone from the UK, not an especially exciting bird but it is not common at all in Japan and this is the only time I've ever seen them in south Hokkaido...................

27 April 2017

26 April 2017

Wrynecks


There were 2 or 3 Wrynecks in one of the local parks this morning................

24 April 2017

23 April 2017

Spring arrives in full


A crap heavily cropped pic of an Eastern Marsh Harrier, I saw them in several places today.

After some pretty prolific posting in 2017 (100 posts by mid-April, it's true I have no life) the bird photos and hence the posts dried up this week. I saw some pretty good birds today but nothing posed for the camera despite me walking for 12km with my big lens (I know how far because my iphone tells me).

At Yakumo there were Bar-tailed Godwit, Terek Sandpiper, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Osprey, Goshawk, a flock of White-fronted Goose, Little Egret, Great Egret, Black Scoter, huge numbers of Pintail and Teal, a few Shoveler and Wryneck.

Siberian Stonechat, Red-cheeked Starling, Black-faced Bunting and Asian House Martin are everywhere...........spring is in full swing at least.

17 April 2017

A quiet Sunday again


 The Ospreys in various sites were nowhere near as co-operative as last week but yesterday there were at least things to see offshore like the above Slavonian Grebe which was looking nice in almost full summer plumage.

Other stuff included Great-crested and Red-necked Grebes (also in SP), Rhinoceros Auklet, Black-throated Diver, the usual common ducks, Brent Goose and a lone White-fronted Goose, The first Stonechats of the year have arrived and the spring migration season should get moving really soon.................

16 April 2017

A double dose of LRP/LPR


Well I didn't find any Hoopoes today, in fact the birding was pretty quiet but I did manage to photograph this Little Ringed Plover up close. Many birders call it 'LRP' because they can't be bothered to write or type it.

LPR  stands for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux,a condition which I think I've been suffering from for a while. Sore throat and hoarse voice....I'm a bit tired of it. In fact I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.

I know how to say LRP in Japanese, looks like I'll have to learn the LPR word too.

14 April 2017

Hoopoe Weather


Strong winds from the west the last few days...........in early spring this sometimes wafts Hoopoes over from mainland Asia. A much sought after bird with local bird photographers...............over the last 12 or so years I've seen them 4 times in south Hokkaido at this time of year after similar weather. Other birders have posted recent pics of them on various local blogs and facebook.

But no Hoopoes for me this week................in fact hardly any birds around anywhere I've looked. A flock of Brambling in the local park a few days ago and a few swans honking in the distance at Onuma today............that's about it.

At least the above Red Fox at Onuma posed for the camera..............

13 April 2017

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


April 13th 2014.

Not a great photo but this was the last day I ever saw the Gyrfalcon in Sawara that year...............and disappointingly it never came back in subsequent winters.

If it survived into adulthood I hope it's pure white and tearing it up on the tundra somewhere far to the north of Japan...................

11 April 2017

Early Spring Ospreys #1


We were on the west coast looking for Hoopoes but found only Ospreys..................which isn't such a bad thing.


7 April 2017

Some more repeats............


Last Monday we were in Oshamanbe and Yakumo.............


On this day (April 7th)......................



April 7th 2014.

Bohemian (top) and Japanese (bottom) Waxwings in town 3 years ago today.

There was a mixed flock of them in the trees next to the river near my place. Early 2014 saw several big invasions of both species into Hakodate.

Strange to see them not eating red berries on a cols winter day.

6 April 2017

Some more ones still around


Just like the nearby White-billed Diver, the 2 Black-throated Divers were still around on Sunday after we'd seen them a couple of days before............


5 April 2017

Still around...............


On Sunday we were back at the same place we'd seen the White-billed Diver 2 days previously. It was still around................


4 April 2017

On this day (April 4th)..........................


April 4th 2013.

Some Bewicks Swan on one of the local rivers 4 years ago today.

This is a regular passage visitor but it took me a long time to see one (or more accurately to ID them) as they are usually flying high in the sky on their way north or south. There don't appear to be any wintering flocks in Hokkaido so it was nice to see some on the ground for a change.............

1 April 2017

29 March 2017

Teleconverter déjà vu


One of my (many) faults is that I appear destined to constantly repeat the same mistakes over and over again...........


28 March 2017

Quiet period


Late March is sometimes a prime birding time around Hakodate. Crossbills are in the parks or maybe Grebes and Divers are in the ports. Sometimes however it can be rather quiet and 2017 is one of those quiet slow late Marches. The above Black-tailed Gull was one of many individuals pairing off at the moment.

Grey Wagtail, Great Egret and Siskin the only notable local birds the last 2 or 3 days..............hopefully that'll all change in a couple of weeks or so.


26 March 2017

The Replacements


No more eagles anymore but they have been replaced in my sights by other raptors...............


25 March 2017

March winding down...........


March is winding down. Not much about locally, just a few Dusky Thrush, Common Teal and a small flock of Hawfinch (one above) of any interest.................

Note the grey sky. After a week or more of sunshine looks like some dull weather is coming............just as I have a few days off coming up.

24 March 2017

The interim





It's the interim period, not winter anymore but not really spring yet either...................

20 March 2017

A visitor from Russia


There were still a few White-tailed Eagles scattered around north of town.................


15 March 2017

Some more SMIFs



I spent another afternoon with the Smew on Monday.......................


A bit slow.............


Despite a lot of driving around in great weather last weekend the birds were a bit thin on the ground...............


14 March 2017

Another one that hadn't left


I was looking for the Ring-necked Duck again on Sunday and although I couldn't relocate it I did find a Baikal Teal.......................


13 March 2017

The Smifs


Very sunny weather the last couple of days...................


11 March 2017

And a female........


The Bullfinches were more spread out on Friday and not as photogenic as previously..............

Also around were Brambling, Hawfinch and a couple of Redpoll. Still no Crossbills, looks like 2017 may be a crossbill-less year..........

9 March 2017

A couple of common harbour birds


East of Hakodate, Brent Geese and Harlequin Ducks are common winter visitors.............


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