Snow Geese

Snow Goose

Not good photos but there has been a small flock of about 20 Snow Geese near Onuma the last week or so. I got to see them this morning.

Dodgy light and I only had a short window of time but I managed to find them and fire off a few record shots in the gloomy early morning conditions.

This is a species that occurs on passage further north and east in Hokkaido but is pretty rare down here. It was a welcome addition to my Japanese list although I had seen one before in the UK: in Pilling about 32 years ago………..

Snow Goose

Golden Week 2019 begins


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………..

Black-headed Gulls

There were also 11 Brent Geese………….

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.

Another old haunt


I managed to revisit another old haunt when I was back in the Uk: Saeforth Dock Pools in Liverpool.

You need a permit to get in these days and the reserve has seen better days and is just about clinging on. It is surrounded by new buildings and a lot of the birds seem to have gone. It used to be famous for Little Gulls but apparently they no longer visit.

There were a few common ducks around like the above Gadwall and lots of Shelduck (I’ve only ever seen one in Japan).

Common Shelduck

There were also a few common waders around: Dunlin, Red Knot, Eurasian Curlew etc.

Quiet up north

Northern Pintail

Oshamanbe is the most northern location we regularly visist. It is particularly good at this time of year but on Sunday we had to endure sleet, hail, snow and rain. Not ideal for photography.

Birds around included Dunlin, Black and Stenjeger’s Scoters, White-tailed Eagle (only 1), Great Egret, Red-necked Grebe, lots of ducks including big flocks of Pintail (above), Whooper and Bewick’s Swans and White-fronted Geese,

The Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls are coming into summer plumage now. Here’s one of the latter.

Glaucous-winged Gull