The default one

I had a spare afternoon and checked out one of the local beaches. No car today so I had to take the train and lighter shorter lens.

Not much around: just a handful of Red-necked Stint, by far the commonest autumn shorebird in these parts.

Last week near my apartment there were a couple of Black-crowned Night Herons in the riverside vegetation and a few Asian Brown Flycatcher flitting around in the trees……………

A Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper

Very hot weather returned this weekend, somewhat surprisingly. It was even hotter than the hot spell last month.

It was hard work looking for waders on the beaches in such hot weather but I did find this Marsh Sandpiper just outside Hakodate yesterday.

Marsh Sandpiper

I saw loads of these in Hong Kong last spring but in Hokkaido they aren’t very numerous: I’ve seen them here maybe half a dozen times in all.

Marsh Sandpiper

Not much else around………….just a couple of Grey-tailed Tattler and a small flock of Red-necked Stint.

At Yakumo today it was even hotter and there were more waders around: several Common Greenshank, a small flock of Whimbrel with a couple of Eastern Curlew. 3 or 4 Ruddy Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, several Common Sandpiper, flocks of Mongolian Plover and Red-necked Stint, a lone Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Terek Sandpiper and best of all a lone Temincks Stint, a lifer for me. Sadly only the lowest quality record shots survived the cull.

Other stuff around included lots of Great Egret, the first autumn flocks of Common Teal, Osprey, Peregrine, Pacific Swift and all 3 hirundine species and a singing Black-browed Reed Warbler (!).

Bears

Brown Bear

Although my recent trip to east Hokkaido was pretty quiet birdwise I did get excellent views of Brown Bear. A mother and her 2 cubs were feeding riht next to the road.

These photos were taken from the car. The bears caused a small traffic jam and a couple of park officials armed with bear spray were nervously looking on and telling people to stay in their cars.

After a few minutes the bears walked down the road a bit and disappeared back into the forest.

Brown Bear

Brown Bears also occur in the Hakodate area (I’ve seen them a couple of times and often see tracks/scat) but sadly are often shot if they come near towns or villages.

A late summer trip out east

Pacific Swift

We had a quick trip to east Hokkaido. Not the best time of year for birding there it must be said but we still saw a few interesting species.

Pacific Swift were abundant everywhere, the above photo was taken at Kiritappu. At Rausu the weather was awful but we did manage White-tailed Eagle and offshore Rhinoceros Auklet and Sooty Shearwater. Across the mountains in Utoro the weather was much better and here we could see Hazel Grouse, more White-tailed Eagles, Peregrine, Goshawk and the usual common resident species of this part of the world.

Notsuke was quiet: lone Terek Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper and Grey-tailed Tattler and more White-tailed Eagles. The latter were also at Lake Furen as well as White-throated Needletail and Japanese Crane.

Nosappu had Rhinoceros Auklet offshore as well as Harlequin Duck, Sooty Shearwater, Black Scoter and a Great Knot heading south. Kiritappu had more of the same…………..

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.

Winter returnees

Black-necked Grebe

The first ‘winter’ visitors of the year appeared the last week. The above Black-necked Grebe was near Hakodate and the Glaucous-winged Gull below was at Yakumo.

Glaucous-winged Gull

Other stuff around in the last week included lots of Osprey, a single White-tailed Eagle at Yakumo, Great Egret…………

Waders included Red-necked Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank and Eastern Curlew. No photos though.

More Pharalopes

Red-necked Pharalope

Another typhoon is approaching and it brought more Red-necked Pharalopes. This time in Hakodate………..

Red-necked Pharalope

There were 3 of them as well as 1 Terek Sandpiper, a dozen or so Red-necked Stint, a couple of Common Sandpiper and a lone Eurasian Oystercatcher. They were all very skittish. Except the Pharalopes.

Red-necked Pharalope

Pharalopes

Red-necked Pharalope

There were some Red-necked Pharalopes around yesterday: 7 at Yakumo and 3 at Oshamanbe.

Red-necked Pharalope

They were a variety of ages and plumages…………..

Red-necked Pharalope

Must have been rough out at sea for them…………

Other waders around included small flocks of Red-necked Stints, 5 Sanderling, 2 Terek Sandpiper, 1 Kentsish Plover, 2 or 3 Mongolian Plover and 1 Great Knot.