28 May 2018

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


May 28th 2015.

An Arctic Tern on the Farnes 3 years ago today. This one looks like butter wouldn't melt in its beak but I'm sure it was one of those which crapped all over me and pecked me on the top of the head mercilessly.............

27 May 2018

That's that..............


A totally and utterly crap picture of an Oriental Honey Buzzard high in the sky near my apartment a couple of days ago. There were 2 of them, presumably just arrived from the south and slowly drifting over Hakodate..................the last of the spring migrants I guess.

The spring migration is just about over and it wasn't a vintage year. Maybe the weather wasn't helpful plus I was a  bit sick at thes start of the month or too busy to do much birding later on. Perhaps the autumn will compensate.......

At Kamiiso today there were a couple of Grey-tailed Tattlers, 1 Pintail, 2 Goosander and 2 Wigeon. Oriental Reed Warblers, Common Cuckoo, Siberian Stonechats and Chestnut-eared Buntings are singing on the outskirts of town but otherwise not much to report............

25 May 2018

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


May 25th 2015.

An Avocet at Leighton Moss 3 years ago today. It's amazing this species has spread to NW England whilst I've been living in Japan. It hasn't made my J-list yet though.................

23 May 2018

Some more Narcs


There is a park just outside town that is good for Narcissus Flycatchers...................


22 May 2018

20 May 2018

A Spoonbill..................


A Eurasian Spoonbill enjoying the warm spring weather in the padis outside Hakodate this afternoon.

A crap picture; into the light, cropped a lot and handheld out of the car window at 700mm with my misbehaving teleconverter. It flew off as soon as I got out.

This is only the 4th time I've seen this species in Japan: it's a bit scarce especially up here in Hokkaido.


18 May 2018

Waders in the rain............


I had a spare couple of hours on Friday afternoon and we checked the recently irrigated local padis to see if any waders had appeared.................


On this day (May 18th)......................


May 18th 2015.

Not a good photo but on this day 3 years ago I saw my only Little Terns in Japan to date. This was on a river in Tokyo, near Haneda Airport. This species doesn't nest in Hokkaido..............

I saw one on the Ribble almost exactly 20 years before this individual and I think I saw one in Australia (is it the same species?).

17 May 2018

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


May 17th 2013.

An Eye-browed Thrush in one of the local parks 5 years ago today. Another of the many passage migrants visiting the park that particular year..............

16 May 2018

Black-winged Stilt


I had a spare couple of hours yesterday and checked west of town..............


15 May 2018

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


May 15th 2013.

A male Blue and White Flycatcher in one of the local parks 5 years ago today. There was an astonishing fall of common migrants that lasted several days that week: low pressure, cool temperatures and very low cloud caused it I think.................in the subsequent years the same park has been very quiet since.

13 May 2018

A rainy Sunday


It was raining all day today.................


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


May 13th 2013.

A Black-winged Stilt near Hakodate 5 years ago today. This is a regular overshoot visitor these days but Spring 2013 saw a big influx into south Hokkaido with birds at multiple sites. Nice to see one in flight too..............

11 May 2018

A grey Friday in May


I couldn't do much birding this week................


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


May 11th 2012.

A male Narcissus Flycatcher in one of the local parks 6 years ago today. This was in the middle of a run of several springs when this species was a common passage visitor in the various parks in Hakodate but the last several years I've not seen so many in town............

10 May 2018

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


May 10th 2015.

A Long-toed Stint at Yakumo 3 years ago today.

Another wader we don't see so often in spring (although they are fairly common in autumn).

8 May 2018

7 May 2018

End of the holidays


Just as my cold disappears, the weather improves and my toothache is a distant memory..............the holidays end.


5 May 2018

Recovery time...............


Feeling slightly better on Saturday I could spend a couple of hours birding................


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


May 5th 2011.

A Black-tailed Godwit in Hakodate 7 years ago today. This is reasonably regular in autumn but seems much scarcer in spring so it was nice to see one coming into breeding plumage for a change...............

4 May 2018

Out of action


I've been out of action for the last 3 days. A bit annoying as this is the season when birding is the most interesting and I did have lots of free time. I spent the free time in bed with a nasty cold or at the dentist having the start of root canal work due to some sudden but violent toothache.

I felt slightly better today and we had a quick look to see if anything interesting had appeared. The Saunders Gull was still there but not much else of interest. The same place as the Saunders Gull had produced Caspian Tern and both species of Spoonbill during late April/early May in the last 2 years so this small gull has carried on the tradition of this spot for turning up local rarities.

I have 3 days off coming up but it looks like it will be raining for most of the time................

3 May 2018

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


May 3rd 2013.

A mushy record shot of a Red-rumped Swallow in Kikonai 5 years ago today. Terrible weather..........drizzle and poor light I recall but the camera was just about up to the task of a BIF shot at least. This is a scarce overshoot visitor to Hokkaido: I've only ever seen this species twice here and both times were in early May..................

29 April 2018

Still hanging on in there..........


The Saunders Gull was still around on Sunday...............


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


April 29th 2015.

Not a great picture but the only Collared Scops Owl I've ever seen, 3 years ago today in a park in Hakodate.

28 April 2018

A Golden Week Visitor


Golden Week, the spring holiday in late April/early May in Japan, often brings rarities or semi-rarities...........


25 April 2018

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


April 25th 2014.

A Pacific Golden Plover on one of the local beaches 4 years ago today. This is a regular visitor to south Hokkaido but they are usually unapproachable in the middle of the ricefields. Not this one though..............

24 April 2018

A spring cliche


Japanese White-eyes in the cherry blossoms at Matsumae yesterday...............


22 April 2018

A late one


It's well into spring but there was 1 White-tailed Eagle still at Yakumo this afternoon................

No snow anywhere, Skylarks singing and a colony of Grey Herons and Great Cormorants in the trees it was perching in a few weeks ago: it must be wondering what the hell is going on out there.

16 April 2018

Spring 2018 continues..........


We planned to head to the west coast today but the mountain road we usually use was blocked by a landslide..............


12 April 2018

11 April 2018

Some Crossbills..................


There was a small flock of Crossbills in one of the local parks yesterday morning..............


8 April 2018

A summer visitor............


Despite a bitterly cold westerly and a light dusting of snow last night it was definitely spring. The above Little-ringed Plover was newly arrived at Yakumo. Shame about the background............

2 April 2018

Some early April birds.........


I concentrated on the Nutcrackers yesterday but there were some other birds around...............


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