Tuesday, 30 January 2018

A Hybrid

Hybrid Ferruginous Duck + Common Pochard

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

January, 2018


It's been very cold the last few weeks and I haven't birded much. I get so tired of falling down. I've heard people have had frozen toilets and showers and taps for days and days. Really different to following the Australian Open Tennis.

These pics were taken earlier in the year in nicer light and conditions. I posted the pics of this hybrid on the Kantori page in Japan and the kind people there confirmed it was a hybrid Ferruginous + Pochard. My birding pal Luke thought of that but I ignored him as he's just starting out. He looks at the details like real birders. I am too abstract.

I just visited my blog for the first time in a while and discovered a number of kind comments. Thank you for that. I will try to brave the conditions and get newer and better shots.




This Whooper Swan gave this poor Common Pochard a hard time. We watched the pochard go under one last time and it didn't seem to come up again. Challenges the idea that swans are so graceful and beautiful.

Common Pochard with leg ring.

Eurasian Wigeon and what seems a borderline hybrid with an American Wigeon. I think it is just a wigeon with shine in its feathers. There have been a couple of American Wigeon the last few years at Hyoko but I'm yet to see them this year.

Little Grebe

Northern Pintail are so common here in the winter but don't you think they're worth a close look?

Little Grebe

Mallard in nice light

Eurasian Wigeon

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Tombi

Black-eared Kite

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

January 7, 2018


"Tombi" is a casual Japanese name for Black-eared Kite. "Tobi" is more usual.

I guess I have to look at these photos with 'the glass is half full' attitude.

The first 4 pics below are not cropped. Except for the wings.











Saturday, 6 January 2018

BiFs for the New Year

Northern Pintail

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

January 5, 2018



After two years thinking about it, I finally got a Nikon D500. The pictures are noisier than the D800 but the AF is pretty amazing, and I can take millions of pictures in half a second. It seems. Thankfully I'm not paying $36 for a roll of Ektachrome.

I was interested in BiFs decades ago and it was such a big thing to get any decent shot. Like one every three months or so. I don't know if I have stated it before but I remember going to the Birds Australia library in the early 1990s and a kind man named David Eades photocopied several articles on how to do it. I think one was by the American photographer Brian Wheeler. I then got one of his books but can't find it anywhere. 

I learned about 3oo 2.8 lenses a but they were beyond me. I found a Pentax 400 f5.6 for $4500 aus but those who knew me suggested I shouldn't spend that on a hobby. Not to matter. I got one for half the price when I arrived in Tokyo. I can't understand why Australians have to pay so much more than everyone in other countries.

It's all point and shoot now. Easy to forget to concentrate. Can't blame the equipment any more.

I guess Nikon will announce the D500s next week with much less noise. 



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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Endless Rain

Tundra Swans

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

January 3, 2018


I went to Hyoko again this morning but light, wet, snow became a blizzard so I only stayed for an hour. By the time I got home again the sun broke out. 

I wonder what Charles Darwin would have thought after many years in Japan. I went from steak and veges to rice and miso. I think the shape of my beak has changed. I know my body has.

I have been getting into a lot of Japanese music recently. I watched X Japan sing "Endless Rain" on the tele the other night and I broke and bought it. Listened to it heaps, along with Masaharu Fukuyama's latest song.