Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Brambling and Hawfinch

Brambling
(Fukushimagata, February 27, 2011)

Sounds like a law firm. No such birds as "Brambling" or "Hawfinch" in Australia. We came across these birds at Fukushimagata on Sunday. A Japanese friend said what they were in Japanese but he was only a little interested in looking at them. For me however, I was happy to get some photos. It was only when I got home and looked them up that I learned their English names. I think I have got the IDs right anyhow. I have heard of them before and am happy that I can now put faces to the names.


Brambling

Brambling

Hawfinch
(Fukushimagata, February 27, 2011)

Hawfinch

White-tailed Sea-eagles sitting in the centre of the Fukushimagata wetlands.

Also saw the pair of White-tailed Sea-eagles at Fukushimagata. There was often a pair sitting on the same dead tree out in the middle of the wetlands for the first few years that I was in Niigata but then they disappeared for a couple of years. I wonder if this is the same pair, or at least contains one of the original eagles. I think they mainly feed on birds when they're here and I have witnessed them hunting on several occasions before. When they leave this post, a mass of waterfowl scrambles in all directions and it's hard to keep your eyes on the subjects, then they usually dive down and catch something out of sight in the reeds. Last Sunday however, we all watched as one of the eagles plunged onto something in the water... a little far away but it made for some drama...


A White-tailed Sea-eagle grabs something on the surface of the water.

The eagle seems to struggle and remains in the water for several moments.

The eagle finally lifts out of the water  carrying something.

Circling around trying to find somewhere to land. (A harrier to the left)

(Heavily cropped for a closer look) Has it caught a waterbird?

It finally touches down to feed but is harassed by various birds such as crows and some other raptors and flies off to the background trees.

Great Tit
(Junsai-ike, afternoon, February 27, 2011)
 Thought this tit looked attractive hopping around on the snow at Junsai-ike.