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…………….
I’ve been pretty lazy and not gone out much. Today there were Osprey just outside town and at Kikonai there were Common Kingfisher, all 3 hirundine species and Pacific Swift but not much else. At Kamiiso there were Japanese Green Pigeon, 2 Terek Sandpiper and several Goosander. Last week at Yakumo there were a few Wood Sandpiper but other wise it was pretty quiet.
The coast is suddenly full of juvenile Ospreys practising their diving techniques. The light was awful but I had a pleasant couple of hours watching them fail to land any fish……..
At least I got some nice angles…….
Other stuff around included a small flock of Red-necked Pharalope at Shikabe, a stray Pochard and Goldeneye at Kamiiso but not much else of any interest. From mid July birding does tend to grind to a halt.
It’s been a very very dry settled May which has meant lots of nice fine days but it’s been pretty poor for birding.
Migration season is just about over and a very slow one it was too. Today near town there were 2 Grey-tailed Tattler, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 5 Goosander. There were several Ospreys fishing ofshore along the coast and at Kikonai there was a lone Whooper Swan as well as my first Common Cuckoo of the year.
An Osprey at Kikonai yesterday. Not much around: Pacific Swift, Common Sandpiper, Black-throated Diver and Great Egret being the most interesting. Inland the first Eastern-crowned Warbler of the year and a few common species were present but that’s all.
Nearer Hakodate there were a few ducks still around including Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup and Wigeon as well as Great-crested Grebe offshore. 5 species of gull included summer plumaged Black-headed………..
There were also 11 Brent Geese………….
Beautiful spring weather as you can see but when the weather is so clear migrants just pass straight through.
In Yakumo/Oshamanbe yesterday there were 40 or so White-fronted Geese, Great and Little Egret, a dozen or so species of duck including at least 8 Garganey, Eastern Marsh Harrier, osprey, Buff-bellied Pipit, Little-ringed Plover, a lone Whimbrel, and 7 species of gull.
I saw my first Osprey of the year a few days ago. They typically arrive in the second half of March and are a common summer sight on the coasts, lakes and rivers of south Hokkaido. The above individual was diving in the port at Oshamanbe in late March 3 years ago, the closest I’ve ever been to an Osprey (the image is uncropped).