Some local Eagles

White-tailed Eagle

Some White-tailed Eagles from a few miles outside town this morning………………

White-tailed Eagle

There were 4 of them on a river west of town.

White-tailed Eagle

Also around were Japanese Wagtail, Great Egret, Sparrowhawk, Whooper Swan, Brambling and Long-tailed Rosefinch. On the sea there were hundreds of Great Crested Grebe and thousands of Common Gull………….

Quiet end to autumn

Great Egret

A quiet start to November. I did see my first Steller’s and White-tailed Eagles of the winter last week but too far off for any photos.

A lot of seasonal stuff appearing locally: Hawfinch, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Varied Tit, Winter Wren, Brown Dipper, lots of common ducks, Great Egret……………..

This White-fronted Geese in Kamiiso had a dislocated or broken leg by the looks of it.

White-fronted Goose

The Great Cormorants will shortly be heading south……………..

Great Cormorant

A surprise on the beach

Snow Goose

I checked one of the local beaches this afternoon to see if there were any interesting gulls, or perhaps a tern. Nothing doing there but I was very surprised to find this adult Snow Goose among the Slaty-backed and Black-tailed Gulls.

A scarce and local passage visitor to Hokkaido (usually in the east): I saw a small flock in Onuma last year and this was only the second time I’d seen this species in Japan.

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.

Getting hot


It was pretty hot yesterday. The Chinese Pond Heron was still around but flew off before I could try to get any pics. Otherwise not much about: lots of Ospreys, some Pacific Swift, several species of duck braving a Hokkaido summer, Sand Martin and Black-crowned Night Heron.

Camera issues

Siberian Meadow Bunting

So my 7DM2 has seen better days. The main dial on top has broken and other bits are loose or stiff or falling off: but nothing major I thought. I could just about manage to get by using the dial on the grip and the Q screen for a few months but as July is generally a birding lull I sent it off to Canon expecting them to do some minor repairs for between $100 and $200.

I still have my 7D Mark 1 so these photos and the last post were taken with that 11-year-old antique. For perched birds at 700mm, it’s still OK .

It was lousy for BIFs with the T/C attached but otherwise didn’t seem so bad. This Osprey on the way home was in better light and without the T/C.


When we got back Canon had been in touch. They want about $700 to fix the camera. The shutter count is so high apparently they want to replace the mirror and shutter as well as the other bits and pieces I had sent it in for. $700 to fix for a 6-year-old camera no longer in production? No way. Especially one as idiosyncratic as the 7DM2. We asked them how much it would be to just fix the top dial but they haven’t got back to me yet.

I’m not really in the position to buy a new camera for a while. The New Canon R bodies look very interesting but are way out of my price range at the moment. I guess the unrepaired 7DM2 will come back and I’ll use it until it dies but then what?