28 February 2017
27 February 2017
26 February 2017
25 February 2017
24 February 2017
February 24th 2014.
A Stellers Sea Eagle on the drift ice off Rausu 3 years ago today.
We had a wonderful day on the boat and I took a lot of photos, you can see them here. Like the cranes at Akan it is a tad contrived (the boat crew toss fish out onto the ice for the eagles to come close) but still a great experience.
I heard the last 2 winters (which have been very mild) didn't see so much drift ice and these boat trips haven't been able to go out much (or even at all)...............we were lucky in 2014.
Labels: Stellers Sea Eagle
23 February 2017
22 February 2017
February 22nd 2014.
A White-tailed Eagle amongst the Cranes at Akan Crane Centre 3 years ago today.
This location, a place where a large flock of Japanese Crane overwinter and are fed by a farmer, is a very well known place for bird photographers visiting Hokkaido in winter: when we were there there were probably more big white lenses than big white birds and I heard it was even more crowded in subsequent years. The staff at the Crane Centre throw out food for the cranes and the eagles swoop down to pilfer some. A bit contrived but still great fun, if you can brave the crowds.
Due to worries about bird influenza I heard this place is closed to visitors this winter. Actually there are plans to close it (or at least scale it back) long term as a) the Cranes are no longer in need of such protection and b) such a concentration of individuals could be catastrophic if there was a major disease outbreak. So you may not be able to witness such scenes anymore.
21 February 2017
19 February 2017
February 10th 2014.
The Sawara Gyrfalcon 3 years ago today. It was posing nicely on some driftwood.
Although it looks like a nice day it was absolutely freezing and there was a bitterly cold north wind blowing in off the sea. The windchill was brutal. I was only out of the car about 20 or 30 minutes but I'd stupidly forgotten my gloves. My hands were exposed all the time as I was holding the camera up.
When I got back to the car and my hands warmed up again I was surprised to be in intense pain for the next 2 or 3 minutes as the blood returned to my fingertips..............the initial stages of frostbite I guess.
17 February 2017
A male Bullfinch on Thursday. Still small groups of them are snacking on the cherry blossom buds around town though none as photogenically as last week.
Also in the big park near my flat were a flock of 20 or so Hawfinch, a lone Redpoll, some Coal Tit, Dusky Thrush and a single Nuthatch.
We're away for 2 or 3 nights over the weekend, hopefully some new birds to post about next week.
16 February 2017
15 February 2017
13 February 2017
A White-tailed Eagle near Yakumo today. The eagles have started dispersing, there were only a few around on the river today. There were some scattered around on the coast, they are starting to move north. The beginning of the end of the 2016/17 eagle season down here in SW Hokkaido.............
Labels: White Tailed Eagle
12 February 2017
11 February 2017
10 February 2017
February 10th 2014.
A male Common Crossbill in Hakodate 3 years ago today. There was a big invasion of this species in late winter/early spring that year: they were everywhere in town.
I see them pretty much every year but I've only witnessed 2 big invasions in the time I've been doing this blog: in 2009 and in 2014. I wonder what 2017 will bring?
Labels: Common Crossbill
9 February 2017
8 February 2017
6 February 2017
5 February 2017
4 February 2017
3 February 2017
2 February 2017
1 February 2017
We were in one of the local parks this morning. It was rather dark, the park is full of trees and is difficult to photograph birds sometimes.
This female Sparrowhawk was a nice find, looks like it was eating a Brown-eared Bulbul............................shane about the poor light.