3 Beach Buntings

Snow Bunting

It’s the season to look for small birds on cold bleak snowy windswept beaches. 3 species of Bunting occur in this habitat: Snow, Pine and Lapland Buntings.

Lapland Bunting

Sawara is a good place for them (all thse photos are from there) but they can and do occur anywhere along the coast; there are lots of possible places for them to feed and I’m sure they often get overlooked.

Pine Bunting

Hopefully there’ll be some around soon. Lots of snow this last week in Hakodate but almost no small birds………………..

Three trees gone

Ural Owl

Ural Owls were astaple winter bird on my old blog over the years. There were a total of 4 roosting holes that regularly held birds throughout the winter.

Ural Owl

These 3 pictures were all from different trees, all 3 of them easy to see from the road that winds around Lake Onuma.

Ural Owl

These were all dead trees and the problem with dead trees is that they are, well, dead. All 3 of them have since been blown down by summer typhoons. There was aanother one that is still standing but I haven’t seen an Owl there for years.

The Owls must still be there of course but deeper in the snowbound forest and away from the road and undiscovered by birders………..

Upstream Eagles

White-tailed Eagle

Upstream at Yakumo the eagles have started to disperse as the salmon carcasses begin to dwindle…………

White-tailed Eagle

And most of those upstream appear to be White-tailed Eagle, and soon few of either species will remain. The most sought-after bird in this location for local photographers is Crested Kingfisher and although I see them every time I visit during the eagle season I have yet to take a single decent photo of one. Ever.

White-tailed Eagle

Blue skies, mild Sunday

Steller’s Sea Eagle

A pleasant Sunday in Yakumo and Oshamanbe didn’t see much in the way of new birds for the year but a few eagles did fly by very close at least………….

Steller’s Sea Eagle

The eagles were not so active today despite the mild weather. Oshamanbe was very quiet indeed: both eagle species were here too as well as Black Scoter and Long-tailed Duck but nothing close enough to photograph.

All quiet in Hakodate

Japanese Waxwing

A Japanese Waxwing from Hakodate last year. In early 2018 there was a huge invasion of Waxwings (of both species) right in the middle of town. It lasted about 3 weeks. This year however it’s very quiet near my apartment: Great Egret, a few Dusky Thrush, Daurian Redstart, a handful of Goosander and a lone Long-tailed Rosefinch have been all I’ve been able to find this week………….maybe some Waxwings will show up soon.

A bit quiet……..

Steller’s Sea Eagle

A bit quiet at Yakumo today. Plenty of eagles of course but I missed several photo opps due to poor location choices, bad timing and general incompetence with camera settings. The above pic shows an immature Steller’s Sea Eagle this afternoon. There seem to be a lot of immatures this year and some of them appear very dark meaning they are last year’s chicks. I’d say this one was a 2CY or 3CY bird but I may be wrong as I often am on such matters. This photo below is from a few days ago. An immature with an adult. I wonder if they’re related?

Steller’s Sea Eagles
Steller’s Sea Eagle