Ones that got away


Whilst I was watching the terns there were several Osprey fishing very close by.

The ight was awful so the photos are not great.


They were being overambitious: 2 or 3 times they couldn’t lift the fish out of the water like this individual……….


Woule have been a nice picture if it had been facing the other way………….

Local Ospreys


I sometimes complain about how dull summer birding can be around here but then I think well at least we have Ospreys fishing in the local ports………..


Also around town today were Goosander, late Scaup and Goldeneye as well as Chestnut-eared Bunting, Oriental Reed Warbler and Siberian Stonechat.

A grey day out east

Steller’s Sea Eagle

We were east of town today under heavy grey skies. Not great for bird photos but there were lots of interesting birds around. 4 species of goose (a record for me in Japan!): in among the many skeins of White-fronted and Bean Goose heading north I found 3 Cackling Goose. There were also Brent Geese flocks feeding along the coast.

Lots of Common Crossbill around as well as White-tailed, Steller’s Sea and Mountain Hawk-Eagles (only singles of the latter 2), Harlequin Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Glaucous-winged Gull, Red-breasted Merganser and Asian Rosy Finch.

Shame about the dark gloomy skies.

Mountain Hawk-Eagle


Asian Rosy Finch

There was a flock of 7 Asian Rosy Finch east of town today but they flew off before I could get a decent picture.

The local Steller’s Sea Eagle has returned there…………….

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Annoyingly it stayed high up on the hillside and didn’t do anything all afternoon.

Several White-tailed Eagles and 2 Mountain Hawk-Eagles were around as well.

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

A broken dial

White-tailed Eagle

Not many Eagles at Yakumo anymore but Oshamanbe had a few.

These could have been great photos but this was pretty much the only part of the day when the sun went behind a cloud and my settings were all wrong. Not even my fault: the rubber ring on the top dial of my camera is too loose meaning sometimes it is impossible to quickly change things like ISO and shutter speed. So they were way underexposed and lifting the shadows too much is never good on a photo (especially on cameras with older Canon sensors).

White-tailed Eagle

The 7D M2 has 2 dials and I use a grip (where the main dial is fine) but……….still, annoying.

Just before the light was great too………

Black Scoter

A break from Waxwings

Harlequin Duck

I headed up to Yakumo yesterday and was amazed to find virtually no Eagles. Only about 6 or so, they’ve eaten all the Salmon they could find and have gone. I was very surprised: in the 19 or so winters I’ve been going up there, this is by far the earliest they’ve dispersed.

Not much else around there either. On the way back one of the ports at least had a few common birds like the above Harlequin and this Great Crested Grebe.

Great Crested Grebe

Today we went east of town to the Hawk-Eagle spot and there were 2 of them. This is an immature.

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

Other stuff around included White-tailed Eagle, Black-legged Kittiwake, Black-necked grebe and Peregrine.

The Waxwings were still in town this morning and I saw some in Yakumo and Esan this weekend too.

A dark end

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Today may well be the last time I get up to Yakumo for the 2019/20 Eagle season. I probably won’t be up that way for another 3 or more weeks and judging by the already low numbers of eagles and the low food stocks they’ll all be gone by then.

A few ones will hang on and others will disperse locally of course.

A bit of a dark afternoon to finish with…………

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Hardly any snow north of town, especially along the coast, although it was pretty cold. A bit of snow in this background at least.

Steller’s Sea Eagle