Spring moving

Gadwall

Not a vintage last few days for photos but a few interesting birds around at least: Black-winged Stilt, Green Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Kentish Plover, Shoveler, Gadwall, Great Egret, Pacific Swift, Wryneck, Red-flanked Bluetail, Red-cheeked Starling, Black-throated Diver, White-fronted Goose………..

Most interesting was this briefly seen Eurasian Spoonbill. Only the 5th one I’ve seen in Japan.

Eurasian Spoonbill

Lesser White-fronted Goose

Lesser White-fronted Goose

A lifer from this afternoon: 3 Lesser White-fronted Geese to the north of town.

There were lots of geese flying around. They all seemed to be Greater White-fronted Geese. I fired off some shots but got a bit bored (I was waiting in vain for a Lapwing, a scarce bird here, to come close). Then 3 flew right over me against a blue sky and I thought it might make a nice pic. Whilst waiting for the aforementioned Lapwing I checked the day’s photos so far and then I noticed the 3 yellow eye-rings and the 3 cute pink stubby bills.

First Lifer of 2020

Northern Grey Shrike

Not a great photo at all but the above Northern Grey Shrike near Yakumo was my first lifer of the decade……….

It’s a scarce winter visitor to Japan. I think I saw one about 12 or 13 years ago: a Shrike species flashed in front of the car just before sundown on an early January evening. I assumed Bullheaded Shrike but in subsequent years I have seen the grand total of one of those in winter.

A split from Great Grey Shrike (which I saw in Lancashire over 30 years ago) so a lifer it is too.

A dark end

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Today may well be the last time I get up to Yakumo for the 2019/20 Eagle season. I probably won’t be up that way for another 3 or more weeks and judging by the already low numbers of eagles and the low food stocks they’ll all be gone by then.

A few ones will hang on and others will disperse locally of course.

A bit of a dark afternoon to finish with…………

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Hardly any snow north of town, especially along the coast, although it was pretty cold. A bit of snow in this background at least.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

Outnumbered

White-tailed Eagle

Steller’s have outnumbered the White-taileds at Yakumo this year and I haven’t taken so many shots of the latter.

White-tailed Eagle
White-tailed Eagle

Outside of Yakumo it’s a different story: there were at least 4 White-tailed Eagles at Oshamanbe and there were 2 just outside Hakodate yesterday.