The quietest of quietest months


July is always a quiet month in south Hokkaido and for various reasons July 2021 has been even quieter than usual.

It’s been really really hot too. Last Sunday it was foggy in the morning which provided temporary relief. Not great for photos but juvenile Ospreys were practicing fishing and the first of the ‘autumn’ waders were passing through.

Sanderling, Red-necked Stint

Fizzled Out

Bull-headed Shrike

Yesterday was a grey misty Sunday. The spring migration season has just about fizzled out: a bit of a quiet one this year.

Some muted birds on a somewhat muted day.

Latham’s Snipe

Other stuff around included Cattle Egret, Green Sandpiper, lots of Grey-tailed Tattlers, a small flock of Falcated Duck, Eastern Marsh Harrier and newly arrived Black-browed Reed Warblers.


Red-throated Diver

Some shots with the 2X teleconverter from yesterday. I was trying to photograph distant Red-necked Grebes (in summer plumage), Stejneger’s Scoters and (another?) White-billed Diver.

Most of the shots were crap but the above diver wasn’t too bad and was actually handheld.

These shots were on the monopod…………..

Black Scoter

One thing I’ve noticed about the R5 is a lot of the monopod/teleconverter shots are soft. I usually use the monopod when I attach a T/C and handhold without. Is it the image stablization ‘fighting’ with the monopod? I know my lens (the 500 f4M2) can sense it’s on a tripod but can it sense it’s on a monopod?

Winter Waders


Not many shorebirds in Hokkaido in winter. Oshamambe does have a regular wintering flock of Dunlin however.


They originate from Kamchatka in northeast Siberia. A ringed bird appeared for 6 consecutive winters but I couldn’t find it last weekend.


Only a handful of eagles left now. Stejneger’s Scoter and Red-necked Grebe were the most noteworthy other species around but they were miles away offshore……………

Some more Sanderlings


I think Sanderling was the first shorebird I positively identified. I must have been about 11 or 12 (?) and I remember seeing this small white wader running around on Blackpool Beach on a cold wintry day. Afterward I went to my Great-aunt’s house nearby and she had a copy of ‘The Hamlyn Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe’ and I found the Sanderling in there looked just like the one I’d seen earlier.

And here we are 40 years later.