26 December 2018

A Christmas Egret


A Great Egret on the river today, lost in contemplation in the snow.........

Not much else around though. the Black-crowned Night Heron was cowering under a bush. No small birds anywhere except for a few sTree Sparrows.............

On this day (December 26th)....................


December 26th 2010.

A Ruff at Martinmere 8 years ago today. I was back in the UK for a christmas visit and arrived to find the whole country frozen.

I've only seen this species 3 times in Japan.............

20 December 2018

A Slav


A Slavonian Grebe just west of town this afternoon. Not much else about: a few Whooper Swans, the usual wildfowl including Black Scoter, Black-necked Grebe, Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls and Great Egret............

13 December 2018

2018 winding down...........


Freezing temperatures and a big dump of snow in town this week. Not many birds though. The above Great Egret was still on the river but not much else.

10 December 2018

An icy Monday


A Marsh Tit at Onuma this afternoon. Another cold snowy day added to a hospital visit in the morning meant not much birding. Other stuff at Onuma included Smew and the usual wildfowl, White-tailed Eagle, Great Egret and a male Black Woodpecker..........

After a very mild few weeks winter arrived with a flourish this weekend.

9 December 2018

Winter 2018 finally arrives...........


Freezing temperatures, icy roads and blizzards hit Hakodate as winter belatedly showed its face..................

The above Whooper Swan was at Onuma. Not many birds around at all today: the most interesting were a couple of Yellow-throated Buntings. No rare ducks at Onuma: just lots of Mallard with a few Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Coot and Little Grebe. A couple of Great Egret were still around but the forest was very quiet.

6 December 2018

Before the snow............


One of the Great Egrets near my apartment yesterday. Not many birds about at all. A female Goosander and the usual sparrows and crows................

It has turned cold finally and snow flurries were in the air today. Snow  and freezing temperatures are forecast this weekend. Hopefully the birds will start moving............

5 December 2018

Some Eagle BIFs


The eagles are slowly getting more approachable. Though of course they still generally fly off..........


4 December 2018

A roadside Eagle


It was very mild on Monday, warm in fact and we were up in Yakumo..........


29 November 2018

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


November 29th 2015.

A Ural Owl 3 years ago today in Onuma.

This was taken with a full frame camera and I think it looks rather nice.............

28 November 2018

An afternoon Egret


A Great Egret on the river near my apartment yesterday afternoon. There are several at this time of year..............

I can remember being excited by seeing egrets of any kind. The first one I  ever saw was this species: in California in 1981. My first in the UK was a Little Egret in 1987. I've seen loads around the world since then of course (and this species seems well established in the UK now) but they still seem exotic to me even now.

Not much else around. A lone female Goosander and 7 Black Kite. the latter is a very common bird in Japan but over the last few years they seem to have become much scarcer in the skies above town. These birds looked like they were heading south in what must surely be the last real mild weather of the season............

27 November 2018

Autumnal Eagles


The Eagles at Yakumo are still skittish and mostly distant but at least they looked nice in the autumnal light............


26 November 2018

Peregrine on a mild late late autumn day


After freezing temperatures and snow a couple of days ago the weather became mild again............


23 November 2018

On this day (November 23rd).................


November 23rd 2015.

A Lesser-spotted Woodpecker at Shiriuchi 3 years ago today, the only one I've ever seen outside the UK. In Japan this species occurs only in NE Hokkaido so I have no idea what this one was doing down here.............

18 November 2018

17 November 2018

More winter returnees.............


It hasn't turned cold yet but the winter visitors are all arriving in force..............


16 November 2018

On this day (November 16th)................


November 16th 2015.

A Spotted Redshank at Oshamanbe 3 years ago today. This is a regular passage visitor but is never common and this late individual was a rare chance to grab a photograph of this species for me..............

4 November 2018

3 November 2018

On this day (November 3rd)...............


November 3rd 2011.

A Little Egret on the local river 7 years ago today. This is not especially common in south Hokkaido and generally comes in spring. This one stuck around for a few weeks that autumn.

2 November 2018

A quiet week in late autumn


It's been a quiet week in town. In the local park there were 3 Wigeon (above), 4 Pochard, 1 Pintail and 1 Mallard with the resident Spot-billed Ducks as well as a couple of Little Grebe. On the river were 1 Great Egret, 1 Grey Heron, a small flock of Rustic Bunting and lone Daurian Redstart (male) and Red-flanked Bluetail.

Not much on the edge of town either. Last Monday at Kamiiso there was a big flock of Wigeon and 5 species of gull including Glaucous-winged. The ricefields were quiet too although there were a few Rooks in the crow flocks feeding in the stubble...............

28 October 2018

26 October 2018

On this day (October 26th)....................


October 26th 2015.

A Varied Tit at Onuma 3 years ago today. The background is autumn leaves, not a fire..................

19 October 2018

On this day (October 19th)......................


October 19th 2015.

A Ural Owl 3 years ago today in Onuma. There were several easily accessible trees that held roosting Ural Owls but they've all blown down..............

17 October 2018

A Gloomy Robin


We went camping near Tomakomai for a couple of nights................


On this day (October 17th).................


October 17th 2015.

An immature Amur Falcon just outside town 3 years ago today. At first I thought it was a Hobby but I was wrong and it is still the only one I've ever seen............

14 October 2018

Winter not far away..........


Not a very good or interesting photo but it does show a Vega Gull at Kamiiso today, a winter visitor.

A couple of days ago there were loads of yukimushi around. These are small white midges that appear 2 or 3 weeks before the first snow............

Also around at Kamiiso were 3 Great Egret, a lone Osprey flying south and several species of common duck. The first Daurian Redstart, a male, appeared on the river near my apartment a few days ago: another winter visitor. Also around were Brown Dipper, Bull-headed Shrike, a briefly glimpsed Siberian Rubythroat and several Black-crowned Night Heron. A juvenile Moorhen in Goryokaku Park 3 days ago was only the 3rd I've seen in Hakodate..............
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