End of the Holidays #3

Great Egret

Eagles weren’t the only birds on show. Also around were Great Egret, Little Grebe, Smew, Goosander, Goldeneye, Pochard, Whooper Swan, a lone Goshawk, Japanese Wagtail and a flock of Common Crossbill flying overhead.

The swans are difficult to photograph at 700mm……

Whooper Swan

Goosanders regularly flew back and forth too……..


A cold walk in a bleak spot

Harlequin Duck

Today we were in the Onuma area. At Sawara we took a walk on the grasslands: a cold bleak place with no birds except a few crows, kites and gulls. The location is famous for Gyyfalcons and other raptors as well as winter buntings. But not today.

A nearby port had a few ducks including half a dozen Harlequins. Also around were Red-necked, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes, Pelagic Cormorant but not much else.

At Onuma all 5 species of woodpecker were present as well as Smew, Whooper Swan, Eurasian Siskin, Dusky Thrush and Eurasian Treecreeper.

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.