A familiar sight

Black-necked Grebe

The ports are beginning to fill up with birds……….

East of town there were 2 or 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe and small flocks of Wigeon and Scaup.

Black-necked Grebes are very common here in winter and most ports seem to have a few in them until early April.

First Eagle snap of the season

White-tailed Eagle

Not an especially good photo but my first Eagle pic from Yakumo of Winter 2019/20. This is the 12th (or is it 13th?) winter I’ve been photographing them.

There were about 10 White-tailed Eagles, all high in the sky. More than last week (I only saw 6). I didn’t see any Steller’s: hopefully, they’ll be arriving soon.

Yakumo was pretty quiet otherwise. A few Whooper Swans and Great Egrets, a lone Eastern Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a few gulls and ducks of various common species. The mountain tops had a light dusting of snow…………….

Winter is almost here

Great Egret

Rather chilly the last few days and a change in the birds near my apartment: flocks of Hawfinch, a mixed flock of Varied, Coal, Eastern Great and Long-tailed Tits, Brown Dipper, the first Daurian Redstarts and Dusky Thrush of the winter and 3 species of heron including the above Great Egret perched atop someone’s house.

Winter not far away……….

Eurasian Nuthatch

Flocks of Whooper Swan were at Yakumo and Onuma and the first Eagles of the season (7 or 8 White-tailed Eagles) were at the former site.

Otherwise rather quiet: Mountain Hawk Eagle and 8 species of gull were at Yakumo and there was a large flock of Black-necked Grebe at Onuma as well as common woodland species such as the above Nuthatch.

Winter is just around the corner…………..

Autumn Crossbills

Common Crossbill

I usually don’t see Crossbills until well into the winter but this morning there were 5 or 6 of them in Goryokaku Park. They briefly flew down low for a drink before they disappeared back into the tall pines.

Common Crossbill

Also around in the park were a lost looking Japanese Green Pigeon on its way south, a few Coal Tit, a lone Hawfinch, 1 Coot, 2 Wigeon and a lone Pochard. On the river nearby a Red-flanked Bluetail was flitting around in the undergrowth, a flock of Grey Starling were feasting on some berries and I could hear a Brown Dipper warbling away in the shadows.

Last weekend was very quiet but among the usual stuff there were lots of Pintail and Wigeon at Kamiiso as well as Great Scaup, Great Crested Grebe, Great Egret, a flock of Black-headed Gull and a lone Glaucous-winged Gull.

More autumn staples

Black-legged Kittiwake

There were about 100 Black-legged Kittiwake at Yakumo on Monday as well as 7 other species of gull around. The Kittiwakes are regular autumn visitors to the Pacific coast, sadly I couldn’t find any Red-legged ones.

Other stuff around included lots glocks of various ducks, Peregrine, Osprey, Common Kingfisher, Great Egret and Great-crested Grebe.

Black-legged Kittiwake

Upstream there are already plenty of Salmon gathering: the eagles will be here in 3 or so weeks…………..