Osprey

Osprey

I saw my first Osprey of the year a few days ago. They typically arrive in the second half of March and are a common summer sight on the coasts, lakes and rivers of south Hokkaido. The above individual was diving in the port at Oshamanbe in late March 3 years ago, the closest I’ve ever been to an Osprey (the image is uncropped).

Spring Eagle

White-tailed Eagle

There were 2 White-tailed Eagles at Onuma and they caused much panic and consternation among the wildfowl…………….

In addition to the geese. ducks and swans there were Little Grebe, Black, Grey-headed and Great-spotted Woodpeckers, Siskin, Dusky Thrush, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron and Great Egret.

Hakodate was very quiet. Black-necked Grebe at Kamiiso, my first Osprey of the year at Moheji and a White-tailed Eagle at Shiriuchi were the only noteworthy species.

White-tailed Eagle

At least spring is well on its way……………

Quiet up north

Northern Pintail

Oshamanbe is the most northern location we regularly visist. It is particularly good at this time of year but on Sunday we had to endure sleet, hail, snow and rain. Not ideal for photography.

Birds around included Dunlin, Black and Stenjeger’s Scoters, White-tailed Eagle (only 1), Great Egret, Red-necked Grebe, lots of ducks including big flocks of Pintail (above), Whooper and Bewick’s Swans and White-fronted Geese,

The Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls are coming into summer plumage now. Here’s one of the latter.

Glaucous-winged Gull

Stenjeger’s Scoter

Stenjeger’s Scoter

Offshore at Oshamanbe, and several other places, there are rafts of this species in winter and spring. Stenjeger’s Scoter, a split from the White-winged Scoter in America and Velvet Scoter in Europe.

Stenjeger’s Scoter

Usually they are well offshore and never approach the ports but there were some of them right by the sea wall in the port at Oshamanbe on Sunday.

Stenjeger’s Scoter

Whilst these photos are nothing special, they are easily the best I’ve managed of this species.

Other stuff around included Black-throated Diver, Falcated Duck, Red-necked and Great-crested Grebes (the latter coming into summer plumage), Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls and the usual common stuff. Except small birds of course.

There were also some dolphins (or porpoises) at the edge of the port: must have been a lot of fish around.