24 September 2018

A morning surprise

I had my best wildlife experience for a long long time today. Not the Common Kingfisher above............

We got up early to try and find some Brown Bears. Several had been seen on a mountain road to the north of town and we headed up there just after sunrise. It was a wet dark day and at first it seemed like we had wasted our time. No birds even: just a couple of distant Crested Kingfisher.

We were on a narrow side road in the middle of nowhere and were getting ready to go back to the main road when I noticed a huge adult Brown Bear standing about 5 meters away! My wife missed it as she was looking straight ahead and it took her a few seconds to work out what was going on (I was swearing and making even less sense than normal). By the time we had reversed it had sadly disappeared. No chance for a photo of course (it was very dark) even if it had stuck around: no way would I have gotten out of the car either.

A bit quiet birdwise. In addition to the Kingfishers we got single Red-necked Stint and Common Greenshank, 2 Eastern Curlew, 2 White-winged Scoter, Great-crested Grebe, various common ducks including Pintail, Teal. Shoveler and Pochard, Osprey, Goshawk, 3 species of wagtail and Great Egret.


  1. Just like being in Woburn Safari Park then...lucky the bear did not jump on the car and rip the wipers off! Will warn Megumi as she is further north in Hakodate town then you both are.

    1. It was about 45 minutes drive away so she should be safe enough!

  2. The presence of bears certainly lends a frisson of excitement to the birding....glad no-one got hurt.


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