25 June 2017

On this day (June 25th).............


June 25th 2012.

A Red Fox going for a run around Lake Onuma 5 years ago today........................

The fish was for its cubs of course, hope they didn't mind nasty tasting bony fish.

20 June 2017

Bird of the month..............


In the fading light last Sunday after a long day out of town we stopped at the local port to watch the Rhinoceros Auklets again................


17 June 2017

More of the same


The Rhinoceros Auklets were still around a couple of days ago......................


16 June 2017

15 June 2017

On this day (June 15th).............


June 15th 2014.

A baby Ural Owl in Ouma 3 years ago today. There were 3 of them in this section of the forest. 3 owlets and about a billion mosquitoes.

14 June 2017

Fallback Camera


The other afternoon I left the 100-400 lens in the car and my wife drove away for the day......................


11 June 2017

On this day (June 11th)...............................


June 11th 2011.

3 Cattle Egrets in the padis outside of town 6 years ago today. This is a scarce overshoot visitor to south Hokkaido in late spring/early summer, it was nice to see 3 together and all in summer plumage too.

10 June 2017

9 June 2017

A Late Spring Trip #8


A while ago we noticed an injured Black Scoter in a port to the north of town.............


6 June 2017

3 June 2017

A Late Spring Trip #4


We found some Asian House Martins collecting nesting materials.......................


2 June 2017

28 May 2017

A rainy Sunday



A Peregrine in the driving rain west of town this afternoon.............a crap picture for a crap day.

I guess the farmers need the rain though..............

Not much around. A few straggling wildfowl here and there: 2 Bewicks Swan, a lone Brent Goose, a few Scaup, Wigeon, Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser. A single Grey-tailed Tattler. A lot of Ospreys (non close).

On this day (May 28th)...........


28th May 2015.

An Atlantic Puffin.

2 years ago I was back in England and on a day trip to the Farne Islands. A great (and very easy) place for bird photography, there aren't many places like it in Japan. Teuri Island in Hokkaido may be the nearest offshore island with seabird colonies in Hokkaido but I've never been there. Not yet anyway.

24 May 2017

It's over again............


Well the spring migration season for 2017 has just about run its course..............

Just the summer residents showing now on the river near my flat.


18 May 2017

A Falcated Duck


A drake Falcated Duck was a nice find yesterday near my apartment...........


15 May 2017

On this day (May 15th)...............


May 15th 2014.

An immature Hooded Crane near Oshamanbe 3 years ago today.

This was a nice find but was not such a big surprise: we'd seen one the previous autumn in Yakumo and presumably this was the same individual. It occurs in large flocks in the deep south of Japan but in Hokkaido it is a bit of a rarity...............

14 May 2017

Ashy Minivet


Not a very good photo but it is a bird I've never photographed before. A female Ashy Minivet at Onuma today.............

This is scarce in Hokkaido but a fairly common summer visitor further south in Japan, Only the 3rd time I've seen one and just the 2nd one I've seen in Hokkaido.

After several weeks of very clear weather we had a nasty dark cold windy rainy day, it was bound to happen.

13 May 2017

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


May 13th 2013.

A Grey Bunting in a local park 4 years ago today. This is a passage migrant locally but is generally skulking and confined to dark corners of quiet forests. It was great to see one out in the open and relatively tame too.

In mid May 2013 there was a truly great week or so when migrants were everywhere in town and this was the beginning. I don't know why but whatever the reason it hasn't happened again since.

11 May 2017

Lords of the flies


Red-cheeked Starlings were feasting on flies earlier this week.....................


10 May 2017

On this day (May 10th).................


May 10th 2013..................

A Black-winged Stilt in a local park 4 years ago today.

Not a rare bird as such in Hokkaido, I see them most springs these days but it was unusually tame and also very odd to see it in the park...........no water to speak of (or none shallow enough to wade in) and full of people looking at the cherry blossoms. It stayed about a week though................

9 May 2017

On this day (May 9th)..................


May 9th 2012.

A Narcissus Flycatcher in one of the local parks 5 years ago today.

This is one of the most attractive of the local summer visitors and on this day I got it doing something interesting and with a nice background to boot..........................

They haven't visited the local parks much the last 2 or 3 springs (or maybe I just missed them), I haven't seen any in town this year at all.

8 May 2017

Another lifer.................


It's a crap heavily cropped record shot but it shows a new bird for me: a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper this morning near Yakumo.

This species had evaded me for a long time, it's not especially rare in Japan but suitable habitat for this and several other freshwater waders is not so easy to find near Hakodate.

It was with a Black-winged Stilt, 2 Greenshank and a Wood Sandpiper. Before I could get closer they were scared off  by a Hobby.

Also around were Japanese Sparrowhawk, Great, Little and Intermediate Egrets, Grey-tailed Tattler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, White-fronted Goose, Narcissus Flycatcher, Japanese Thrush, Shoveler and the usual common stuff............

5 May 2017

A Tattler


A Grey Tailed Tattler this afternoon...................but not much else of note at Kamiiso.

Still a bit slow migration-wise. 1 Eastern Crowned Warbler and 1 Wryneck only on the river.

Probably lots of migrants will pass through en masse next week when my work schedule is busy again.

On this day (May 5th).............................


May 5th 2011.

A Red-rumped Swallow near my place 6 years ago today.

This is the rarest of the 4 hirundine species to be found in Hokkaido and that morning I was surprised to see several of them over the local river. I've seen them a couple of times since but they remain a bit of a local rarity....................

4 May 2017

Another failed early rise


I was up at 5am again this morning. Surely there would be some interesting migrants in the park?

Nope.

There was only a single Eastern Crowned Warbler on the river and a lone Japanese Bush Warbler in the park, an Osprey flew overhead briefly and there were still a few Dusky Thrush about. The wrynecks were still calling in the park but were high up in the trees, the one near my apartment was also calling but I couldn't see it.

Red-cheeked Starlings were everywhere though............and it was another beautiful warm spring day. Maybe we need some nasty weather to bring some new birds.............
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