A short window in the blizzards

Steller’s Sea Eagle

The snow stopped for a few minutes and I could photograph several Steller’s Sea Eagles flying from the river to the hillside where they perch and rest.

There seem to be a lot of sub-adults this year and Steller’s also seem to outnumber White-taileds this year too, like the one above.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Just about worth the drive up on the icy roads with terrible visibility…………this was during the few seconds a patch of blue sky appeared.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Sunday Blizzards

White-tailed Eagle

It was snowing heavily at Yakumo and was a bit of a disaster for pictures. Heavy snow is a real no-no.

Only a few Eagles were being active, most of them were just sitting in the trees contemplating life on a cold snowy Sunday afternoon.

Also around were Crested Kingfisher, Japanese Wagtail and Hawfinch but it was a very quiet afternoon with not a single person on foot in sight upstream.

White-tailed Eagle


Steller’s Sea Eagle

Lots of eagles at Yakumo today and they were all feeding in the river. Would have made great photos if they hadn’t all flown off as soon as our car pulled up…………

Other stuff around included 2 Crested Kingfisher and the usual winter stuff. The weather was dull and grey all day: not ideal for BIF shots.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

More Winter Eagles

Mountain Hawk Eagle

East of town today there were a couple of White-tailed Eagles and also 2 Mountain Hawk Eagles…………….

Other birds around included Harlequin Duck, Glaucous-winged Gull and Pelagic Cormorant. A pretty quiet day.

Highlight of the day was 2 offshore Humpback Whales, my first ever whale sighting.

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.

November Eagles

Steller’s Sea Eagle

A grey but very mild day in Yakumo today.

There were a lot more Eagles than last time. At least 50 or 60 I’d say and most seemed be be Steller’s.

Annoyingly I dropped my iphone by the side of the road and we spent some time retracing our steps back to the first place we’d stopped where luckily it was there: a bit dirty but unharmed. We lost several really good photo opps whilst searching………

Today’s shots are not very good but it’s always nice to start off another Eagle season.

White-tailed Eagle

Not much else around. the Snow Geese were no longer at Onuma but we did see Bewick’s Swan and Crested Kingfisher at Yakumo and most of the common winter stuff has arrived.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Snow Geese

Snow Goose

Not good photos but there has been a small flock of about 20 Snow Geese near Onuma the last week or so. I got to see them this morning.

Dodgy light and I only had a short window of time but I managed to find them and fire off a few record shots in the gloomy early morning conditions.

This is a species that occurs on passage further north and east in Hokkaido but is pretty rare down here. It was a welcome addition to my Japanese list although I had seen one before in the UK: in Pilling about 32 years ago………..

Snow Goose

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.