Autumn sunshine

Harlequin Duck

Beautiful clear autumn weather the last few days and a clear change in some of the bird species. Harlequin Duck and Glaucous-winged Gulls gave reappeared on the coasts.

Glaucous-winged Gull

A flock of Whooper Swan were flying south yesterday as were lots of Eurasian Jay. Lots of common ducks on the rivers and Great Egrets are becoming more numerous. Northern Goshawk and Daurian Redstart were other noteworthy species near Esan.

Hakodate is pretty quiet: a flock of Rustic Bunting were in one of the local parks today and There are still some Night Herons on the river.

Black-crowned Night Heron

And the Esan area always seems to have a Peregrine…………..


Some late afternoon Night Herons

Black-crowned Night Heron

There was a flock of 30 or so Black-crowned Night Herons at one of the local river mouths. They were all sitting around in a tree and I inadvertently disturbed them.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

The more photogenic adults didn’t come as close…………….

Black-crowned Night Heron

Near my place there were a few migrants passing through last week: a Northern Hawk Cuckoo, several Asian Brown Flycatcher and a couple of Siberian Stonechat.

Another quiet week

Black-crowned Night Heron

Another quiet week just gone by.

At Yakumo today there were a couple of interesting waders: a Teminck’s Stint and a Green Sandpiper. I don’t have any decent shots of either and they were both so jumpy I couldn’t get any today either.

On the beach there were a few Sanderlings and the ubiquitous Red-necked Stints.

Red-necked Stint

August begins

Black-crowned Night Heron

The hot time is here. The start of August always sees Hakodate throwing a huge festival, but not this year for obvious reasons.

Not much around. The Chinese Pond Heron is still there but I only glimpsed it very briefly. Other stuff today included a large group of Black-crowned Night Herons, Sand Martin, Osprey, Pacific Swift, Common Kingfisher, Osprey and Blue Rock Thrush.

Autumn ending

Black-crowned Night Heron

A mild last few days in town, surely the winter chill will come soon.

On the river near my apartment there were 3 species of Heron: the above Night Heron, and several each of Grey Heron and Great Egret. There were also 6 species of duck with the most interesting being a small group of Goosander and a lone drake Goldeneye.

Other stuff around included Hawfinch, Dusky Thrush, Winter Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Brown Dipper and Varied Tit.

A rainy Sunday

Black-crowned Night Heron

Sunday was a bit of a write-off because of the weather.

The Night Herons were still outside town as well as a few Pintail and a lone Osprey. In town last week near my apartment there were more Night Herons as well as Asian Brown Flycatcher, Brown Dipper, Varied Tit and Bull-headed Shrike.

Still warm, quite looking forward to the first chilly morning of the season…………

A quiet end to summer

Black-crowned Night Heron

Summer is over, officially I guess. Heavy rain from the typhoon outside now but yesterday we were up in Yakumo/Oshamanbe. Lots of Great Egret around, Eastern Buzzards everywhere, small flocks of Common Teal and Pintail, the last flocks of hirundines at rivermouths: all signs of autumn.

Other stuff around included Peregrine, Osprey, Common Kingfisher and a handful of waders: 2 Red-necked Stint, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.

The above Night Heron was near Hakodate, not a vintage day for photos.

Night Herons

Black-crowned Night Heron

In late summer Black-crowned Night Herons gather in the trees near one of the local rivermouths……….

Black-crowned Night Heron

In a few weeks they will be heading south…………..

Black-crowned Night Heron

These are all juvenile birds: the adults generally scoot off before I can get a shot.