First Eagle snap of the season

White-tailed Eagle

Not an especially good photo but my first Eagle pic from Yakumo of Winter 2019/20. This is the 12th (or is it 13th?) winter I’ve been photographing them.

There were about 10 White-tailed Eagles, all high in the sky. More than last week (I only saw 6). I didn’t see any Steller’s: hopefully, they’ll be arriving soon.

Yakumo was pretty quiet otherwise. A few Whooper Swans and Great Egrets, a lone Eastern Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a few gulls and ducks of various common species. The mountain tops had a light dusting of snow…………….

More autumn staples

Black-legged Kittiwake

There were about 100 Black-legged Kittiwake at Yakumo on Monday as well as 7 other species of gull around. The Kittiwakes are regular autumn visitors to the Pacific coast, sadly I couldn’t find any Red-legged ones.

Other stuff around included lots glocks of various ducks, Peregrine, Osprey, Common Kingfisher, Great Egret and Great-crested Grebe.

Black-legged Kittiwake

Upstream there are already plenty of Salmon gathering: the eagles will be here in 3 or so weeks…………..

Back after a break

Common Kingfisher

Haven’t done much birding or photography recently. The above Kingfisher was at Yakumo this morning.

The last couple of weeks were pretty quiet. Rustic Buntings and Black-crowned Night Heron on the river near my apartment, Glaucous-winged, Vega and Black-headed Gulls at Kamiiso as well as a variety of returning duck species.

Last week we went up to Shikotsuko but nasty weather meant no decent photos. The first Glaucous Gull and White-fronted Goose of the season at Yakumo on the way back were the only noteworthy species of the trip………

Winter returnees

Black-necked Grebe

The first ‘winter’ visitors of the year appeared the last week. The above Black-necked Grebe was near Hakodate and the Glaucous-winged Gull below was at Yakumo.

Glaucous-winged Gull

Other stuff around in the last week included lots of Osprey, a single White-tailed Eagle at Yakumo, Great Egret…………

Waders included Red-necked Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank and Eastern Curlew. No photos though.

Pharalopes

Red-necked Pharalope

There were some Red-necked Pharalopes around yesterday: 7 at Yakumo and 3 at Oshamanbe.

Red-necked Pharalope

They were a variety of ages and plumages…………..

Red-necked Pharalope

Must have been rough out at sea for them…………

Other waders around included small flocks of Red-necked Stints, 5 Sanderling, 2 Terek Sandpiper, 1 Kentsish Plover, 2 or 3 Mongolian Plover and 1 Great Knot.

The commonest?

Siberian Stonechat

Siberian Stonechats (sometimes split as Stenjeger’s Stonechat) are one of the commonest summer visitors and on the grasslands they are abundant at this time of year.

Siberian Stonechat

The young have just left the nest and the adults tanely sit atop bushes and reeds watching over them. Very easy to photograph………..

Siberian Stonechat