Sunday, 29 May 2016

A rose by the name of "Bara"


-Japanese for "Rose"

Echigo Hillside Park, Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan

May 29, 2016

No, it's not Australian English. "Bara" is the Japanese word for "rose".

We went to the Nagaoka Rose Show today. It was just supposed to start this weekend but due to warm humid weather the roses have mostly bloomed early and are already in the last stages. 

To encourage everyone to come, admission was free for the day except for 310 yen for parking. It was quite crowded. I took buckets of pics and chose 12 for this post. I think the one with the bee isn't a rose.

After a long dull winter, it's nice to have some colour. Enjoying summer before it gets too hot.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

A walk around Fukushimagata


Niigata, Japan

May 15, 2016

 It was early summer out there today. I went for bit of a walk around Fukushimagata. Didn't really find anything new. The bird of the day was "Grey Heron". They were everywhere. Also spot-billed Duck and Mallard. A small sprinkling of egrets and other small herons but I didn't take any pics. 

I also saw Oriental Goldfinch, Oriental Reed Warblers, sparrows, Chestnut-cheeked Starlings, and Black-eared Kites. I realised today that I haven't seen Ospreys here for a least 3 years now. They were always here before that during summer. I think the trees are less now.

This Large-billed Crow didn't like me walking near its nest.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Wedge-tailed Eagle

Lockyer Valley, Queensland, Australia

December 28, 2015

Here are some wedgetail pics from the Lockyer Valley at the end of last year. I often seem to get good wedgtail encounters when birding with Rod Hobson.

The photos were with my D800 and are only lightly cropped then massively reduced for web. I like the large results for my full-frame master. I'm very interested in the new D500 though. I can get 10 frames per second compared to just 4 with this camera and be even closer with the same lens. I wonder how the results will compare?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Search for the Blue Blue-and-white Flycatcher

Cyanoptila cyanomelana cyanomelana

Junsai-ike, Niigata, Japan

April 23, 2016

**UPDATE** as of Friday, May 6, 2016. I asked Mr Honma about this and he seems to think it is a common variety of young adult Blue-and-white Flycatcher as seen in Niigata. Also known here in English as Japanese Flycatcher, or in Japanese as "Oruri".
I'm glad I got a number of pics of it and it was of interest. To be honest, I was curious but felt in my heart it is a typical specimen found here.

 May 3, 2016

I went to Junsai-ike today looking for this bird and I failed so here are left-over pics from last week.

I received an interesting observation from Matt Poll of Snowy Owl Lost that the above and below mentioned bird could possibly be a Zappey's Flycatcher. To be honest I had never heard of a Zappey's and just thought this to be a pre-adult Blue-and-white Flycatcher. The interesting features are the bluish throat and breast, unlike an adult male Blue-and-white Flycatcher which is predominantly black from the face to the chest. 

All of these photos have just been resized with no other editing other than converting them to web colour. The top pic has been intentionally saved in Adobe 1998 to keep the colours true. 

Today, I got to Junsai-ike just after 8am and stayed till noon. Just walking back-and-forth, where I'd seen this beauty last week. The photos here were taken on two separate visits last week, although I believe they are of the same bird.

I hope all of these edits shed some more light on what it truly is. Today I didn't see any male Blue-and-whites although I saw a female drop into the covers. There were buckets of warblers, Oriental Goldfinches and Pygmy Woodpeckers. The latter chased any similar sized birds and ruined my only chance at a male Narcissus Flycatcher.

Today was the first of a three-day-Golden-week-holiday. Tomorrow will rain but hopefully Mr Honma and I will put on our armour for Thursday. Will keep you posted.

Thank you for keeping me on my toes, Matt. I will be aware of possible Zappey's from now on!