Very quiet out east

Japanese Crane

We went to east Hokkaido last week but the birding was very very quiet. In Urahoro the first geese had arrived: small groups of (Taiga?) Bean and Cackling Geese mainly…………..with a few Pacific Golden Plover, a lone Ruff and several Japanese Crane keeping them company.

Taiga Bean Goose

We were a tad early I guess. Lake Furen/Nemuro/Kiritappu were as pleasant as always but there really weren’t many birds around. Summer stuff gone, winter stuff barely arrived yet. Most interesting thing was a family of Sea Otters but they were too far away in the gloom for any decent photos.

Some scruffy Ducks

Harlequin Duck

A very quiet last couple of weeks but I did get out briefly yesterday. There were several duck species around: the resident Spotbills and Goosander of course but also a lone Scaup, several Red-breasted Mergansers and this pair of very scruffy Harlequin Ducks. Not a bird I often see in summer: the latter 3 duck species are presumably non-breeding lingerers.

Harlequin Duck

Golden Week 2021 #8

Black Scoter

Most of the seaducks have left the ports and are either offshore or gone back north. There were a few Black Scoters close inshore and a few Stejneger’s always just out of camera range.

Stejneger’s Scoter
American Wigeon

Most interesting duck was the above American Wigeon (in terrible light) and a flock of Falcated Duck (also out of camera range).


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?