Thursday, 24 January 2013


Lovely Fairy-wren


Iron Range National Park, Queensland, Australia

My only pic of a Lovely Fairy-wren in far north-east Queensland. Notice her ring on the right foot?

They are very shy and difficult to get close to. This image was originally photographed in a very dark area at a very hight ISO then processed with a noise reducing filter.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

White-tails a Huntin'

White-tailed Sea-eagles
Too far away!

-I recommend clicking on the image for a bigger view!

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan.

January 12, 2013

Warning: This post consists of poor photography and dust spots. I was going to call it, "I am Useless", and post it on Sunday morning but another blog, Owls About That Then beat me to the "useless" theme. Actually, I was hopeless and useless. As you can see in the first shot the eagles were too far away. I took my attention away to focus on some buntings in the reeds behind me and and while I was bumbling about I became aware that billions of birds were flocking around me. I looked up to see an eagle right behind me and then couldn't get it in focus because of all the birds that came in between us. 

White-tailed Sea-eagles often hunt birds at Fukushimagata and always stir up the mud. They are so big but when all the birds are zooming around in all directions you just lose sight of them. 

I'm happy to find them for the first time this Winter. I had heard that they were first recorded at Sakata in Niigata back on November 21st. 

Mallard male

Spot-billed Duck 

Either Lesser or Greater White-fronted Geese and Bean Geese

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Bull-headed Shrike


Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

January 12, 2013

I'm hoping this is a Bull-headed Shrike and not a Brown Shrike. If you know better, please let me know. I'm not too familiar with either species but I'm pretty excited when I see one as Australia doesn't have any kind of shrike. If I'm with a Japanese birder they will usually ignore them and hurry off because of their threat to small birds. Supposedly it's hard to find other birds about if there is a shrike around. It is usually difficult to get close to them in Niigata so I'm happy to get these shots. I'm guessing she is a young one. Actually I have numerous distant shots of others. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Masked Lapwing

"Spur-winged Plover"

Vanellus miles novaehollandiae

Cape York, Queensland, Australia, 2012

I was terrified of these guys when I was a kid. I remember being attacked by squadrons of them. They sank battleships around me. Their frightening screams in my face just increasing the fear of their legend... I was told that they had spurs on their wings and they would rip all the skin from my puny bones... I just knew them then as "Plovers". 

Actually I was attacked often and they never came in contact with me. I think they are all show. 

...and what a show. Just keep away from them when they're nesting!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

American Wigeon

American Wigeon

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

December 29, 2012

Nikon D800, Nikkor AF-S 300mm f4

Not quite what Lenny Kravitz was singing about but a beautiful little duck nonetheless. 

Found a number of serious birders at Hyoko last Saturday looking for the threatened Ferruginous Duck, which is a very rare visitor to Japan. I couldn't find it but was pretty excited to find this. I thought it was an American Wigeon when I first saw it and still reckon I'm right. According to my bird books it is a rare visitor to Japan although it is common in North America. I seem to keep finding vagrants in Niigata which keeps me on my toes and interested. I've included the camera model as I'm over the moon at the detail of the original raw files. 

Thank you for checking out this blog and for your comments. I hope you have a wonderful 2013!