2019 Over

Black-legged Kittiwake

Another year almost over.

East of town one of the ports was full of Kittiwakes.

Black-legged Kittiwake

000’s of them but no Red-leggeds sadly.

Black-legged Kittiwake

The same influx happened 2 years ago at the same place.

Not much else around: White-tailed Eagle, Harlequin Duck, Glaucous-winged Gull, Black-necked Grebe……….

The day before

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

Yesterday I was east of town again and the Mountain Hawk-Eagles were showing very well again. The male (above) tried to catch flyby gulls several times but was unsuccessful.

Also around the area were Peregrine, White-tailed Eagle, Harlequin Duck, Blue Rock Thrush, lots of Red-breasted Merganser offshore and tens of thousands of gulls: lots of Kittiwakes and Common Gulls mainly.

Earlier in the day at Onuma we saw Smew, a pair of White-tailed Eagles eating a freshly killed Mallard, various resident species including Black Woodpecker and son on…………

Meet the Mountain-Hawk family

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

I went east today to check on the Kittiwakes again but they were mostly offshore. Luckily the Mountain Hawk-Eagles put on a good show. The above one is the male.

This is the female, as she nonchalantly nabbed a young Slaty-backed Gull out of the sky………

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

Could have been a great pic if I’d reacted a bit quicker, by the time I’d processed what was going on and got the camera up the chance had passed.

This is a juvenile bird, I guess a son/daughter of the above pair?

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

I was using the 1.4 teleconverter. Again , some of the better shots were a little mushy and most of the others were out of focus. It seems to work Ok at Yakumo where the eagles fly more at eye level often in very nice light but the shots of these birds in the sky leave me a bit underwhelmed. Maybe I should take the teleconverter off next time……

000’s of Kittiwakes

Black-legged Kittiwake

There were absolutely loads of Kittiwakes east of town today as well as seemingly equally large numbers of Common Gulls.

All the Kittiwakes that came close enough to ID were Black-legged. They were a scruffy bunch.

Black-legged Kittiwake

Hopefully they’ll stick around and I can find a Red-legged one.

Nasty weather but quite a few birds were present on the east coast around to Onuma: Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Peregrine, White-tailed and Steller’s Sea Eagles, Eastern Buzzard, Harlequin Duck, Red-necked Grebe etc. At Onuma it was very quiet in the late afternoon gloom but Smew and Goshawk were both around.

Black-legged Kittiwake

Eagle fight

White-tailed Eagle and Mountain Hawk Eagle

There were 2 Mountain Hawk Eagles and 2 or 3 White-tailed Eagles east of town this afternoon…………

When one of the latter flew over, one of the former got a bit annoyed as you can see above.

The regular Steller’s Sea Eagle doesn’t seem to have arrived yet, hopefully it will come soon.

White-tailed Eagle

Other stuff around included Blue Rock Thrush, Harlequin Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Brent Goose, Great Egret, large numbers of Common Gull and Black-legged Kittiwake offshore and a briefly glimpsed flock of waxwing in town (no idea which species).

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.

Still there……….

Steller’s Sea Eagle

The adult Steller’s Sea Eagle was still at Esan on Monday but it didn’t co-operate for any photos. The above subadult flew over, a different individual maybe passing through on its way north. The White-tailed Eagle below was one of at least 6 in the area…………

White-tailed Eagle

This surely must be my last eagle post of the winter……………