Saturday, 22 February 2014

Random Shots

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

February 22, 2014 

Decided to go out for a big walk at Fukushimagata today. We're having a mild winter compared to normal years. The rest of Japan is copping it, but as you can see there is little snow here. It's usually the other way around. I still had to cover myself up. Most days have had a maximum of 3c but apart from some light snow squalls are pretty fine.

It was good to get out on my feet after being held up indoors at work. I actually felt that I wasn't seeing or photographing much but am pretty happy with my bag now that I've looked inside. 

My feet are killing me now.

Bean Geese

Numbers seem to be decreasing every year.

The regular peregrine I refer to as "the Peales"

Every now and then the birds of the water would stir up an flock and I'd just take random shots. Here I just caught an adult goshawk at the lower left. I didn't see when it was live. Just too many things going around.


Eastern Marsh Harrier

Black-eared Kite

I found a possible Eurasian Spoonbill in the collection once I downloaded my files. They are quite rare here.

Something stirred up these Lapwings behind me then I went around the corner and found the 'Peales' on the wing, as below.


It doesn't seem to mind the several photographers with big lenses on tripods pointing right at it every time I visit.
Even returning to where they are standing.

I thought this might be a Vega Gull but I have no idea really. Sadly I take a lot of pictures of gulls in Niigata but I remain gull-blind as to what they are.
Any advice is most welcome. Thank you!!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Duck Tones

Northern Pintails

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

February 11, 2014

Some more pics from my visit to Hyoko last Tuesday.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Sleeping Ducks

Northern Pintail female

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

February 11, 2014

Enjoyed a national holiday today and spent my time sneaking up on sleeping ducks at Hyoko. I took over 500 photographs. It was fun. Here are 7.

Northern Pintail male

Northern Pintail male

Eurasian Wigeon male

Friday, 7 February 2014


Lesser Frigatebird male

Portland Roads, Cape York

October 2012

I'm not so good with seabirds being an inland boy. These are some frigatebird pictures taken back in 2012 at Cape York. They seemed just high enough to be out of reach of my lens but I just managed to get good enough id pics, I think. They looked so graceful and unique coming home from the sea.

left: tern; right: Great Frigatebird, female

Great Frigatebird, female

Hmmn, I think, "Lesser" young female, hmm, maybe male?

Great Frigatebird, male

Great Frigatebird, female

Great Frigatebirds, female

Lesser Frigatebirds, male, left, juvenile, right

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Mr Honma's Bird Tour

Steller's Sea-eagle

Niigata, Niigata, Japan

February 1, 2014

Mr Honma's now in his late seventies. He doesn't go birding/birdwatching everyday but he keeps mindful of what's about the place. 

He picked me up at 8am and our first bird of the day was the Steller's Sea-eagle. I'm not excited about photographing it up on the metal electricity tower but I'm still happy to see it. What bird-minded person in the world would be disappointed starting the day with a Steller's Sea-eagle?

After that, we visited the big, dark, Peregrine Falcon (Which I regard as a "Peale's Falcon"). I am a little concerned about it because it kept closing its right eye. We enjoyed nice views of it.

Then we headed to Hyoko and saw the winter collection of ducks. I took heaps of pics as usual and will post some later. They had posted a wanted ad the day before (in the newspaper), looking for American Wigeon and Smew. I took a pic of the Wigeon and was given a laminated certificate and two tickets for entry into the local museum. 

To finish our outing off we visited an area known for a Crested Ibis. ("Toki") Lots of cars and photographers and sightseers. 

We headed back home at 1pm and saw another Steller's Sea-eagle circling over the busy motor-bypass running right near the centre of the city.

I thought we'd seen a number of important birds for the morning; just running briefly between one then the next. I told Mr Honma any birder in the world would surely be impressed with such a tour. I told him he should get a bus and do the tour everyday. He looked at me very seriously but didn't say anything.

Thank you, Mr Honma. I really enjoyed the birds and your company! 

Steller's Sea-eagle with Eurasian Kestrel below

Peregrine Falcon

Whooper Swan

American Wigeon

Notice looking for location and time of sighting of the two pictured birds.

Birders watching "Toki" (Crested Ibis, Japanese Crested Ibis)