A rainy end to a week-off

Great Spotted Woodpecker

I’ve just had 8 days off in what is usually the best birding time of the year. The last day, today, was very dark and rainy. All shots are with high ISOs and low shutter speeds.

2020 wasn’t a vintage year birds in for Golden Week: let’s hope things improve as May progresses.

This afternoon we were on one of the capes east of town. As well as the resident woodpeckers there were a few migrants around including this bedraggled looking Siberian Rubythroat. Not a great photo but one of my 2 favourite passerine species.

Siberian Rubythroat

I photograph this species every summer on its breeding grounds in north Hokkaido. Will I be able to get up there this summer with all this Covid19 chaos? This might be the only shot I get in 2020.

My other favourite passerine species is Common Crossbill and there were 3 of them at the cape too. Not often I see both species on the same day in the same place. In fact maybe today was a first in that regard.

Common Crossbill

Again, a lousy photo after the glut of Crossbills I had earlier this year. But this species occurs very erratically so I don’t know when the next shot will be.

A new Crossbill location

Common Crossbill

The Crossbills seemed to have thinned out in Hakodate and Oshamanbe but we found a flock yesterday next to another port.

There were some Siskins in amongst them too.

Eurasian Siskin

Other stuff around included Redpoll, Osprey, my first Eastern Marsh Harriers and Oriental Turtle Doves of the year plus the usual common ducks and gulls. No Eagles anywhere…………

A week later

Common Crossbill

You may have noticed I’ve posted loads of Crossbill shots lately. Most of them were from Oshamanbe 2 weeks ago but 1 week ago we went and the same group was in the same place……….

Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill

They are everywhere this year, I have tons of shots from Hakodate to sort through too.