A broken dial

White-tailed Eagle

Not many Eagles at Yakumo anymore but Oshamanbe had a few.

These could have been great photos but this was pretty much the only part of the day when the sun went behind a cloud and my settings were all wrong. Not even my fault: the rubber ring on the top dial of my camera is too loose meaning sometimes it is impossible to quickly change things like ISO and shutter speed. So they were way underexposed and lifting the shadows too much is never good on a photo (especially on cameras with older Canon sensors).

White-tailed Eagle

The 7D M2 has 2 dials and I use a grip (where the main dial is fine) but……….still, annoying.

Just before the light was great too………

Black Scoter


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.

Some 2020 Eagles

White-tailed Eagle

An immature White-tailed Eagle at Yakumo this morning………

Doesn’t look like it’s going to be a long eagle season this winter. There were only a few upstream, they’ve eaten all the salmon. I thought it had been a pretty good salmon run last autumn but apparently not.

At least there were quite a few gathered around the river mouth. This is often a good spot to watch them feed but as with the spots up the valley, food is very scarce. I could fire off plenty of BIF shots as they flew low over the main bridge in town.

Background is very important in BIF shots as you can see:

White-tailed Eagle
White-tailed Eagle
White-tailed Eagle

Not only Steller’s

White-tailed Eagle

A White-tailed Eagle at Yakumo today. I tend to concentrate on photographing the Steller’s Sea Eagles most winters but this year the White-taileds seem to be slightly outnumbered.

Other stuff at Yakumo included Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Whooper Swan, Japanese Wagtail, Crested Kingfisher and the usual common ducks and grebes. There were also 4 Great Egret near the river mouth.

Great Egret

Eagle fight

White-tailed Eagle and Mountain Hawk Eagle

There were 2 Mountain Hawk Eagles and 2 or 3 White-tailed Eagles east of town this afternoon…………

When one of the latter flew over, one of the former got a bit annoyed as you can see above.

The regular Steller’s Sea Eagle doesn’t seem to have arrived yet, hopefully it will come soon.

White-tailed Eagle

Other stuff around included Blue Rock Thrush, Harlequin Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Brent Goose, Great Egret, large numbers of Common Gull and Black-legged Kittiwake offshore and a briefly glimpsed flock of waxwing in town (no idea which species).

Sunday Blizzards

White-tailed Eagle

It was snowing heavily at Yakumo and was a bit of a disaster for pictures. Heavy snow is a real no-no.

Only a few Eagles were being active, most of them were just sitting in the trees contemplating life on a cold snowy Sunday afternoon.

Also around were Crested Kingfisher, Japanese Wagtail and Hawfinch but it was a very quiet afternoon with not a single person on foot in sight upstream.

White-tailed Eagle

November Eagles

Steller’s Sea Eagle

A grey but very mild day in Yakumo today.

There were a lot more Eagles than last time. At least 50 or 60 I’d say and most seemed be be Steller’s.

Annoyingly I dropped my iphone by the side of the road and we spent some time retracing our steps back to the first place we’d stopped where luckily it was there: a bit dirty but unharmed. We lost several really good photo opps whilst searching………

Today’s shots are not very good but it’s always nice to start off another Eagle season.

White-tailed Eagle

Not much else around. the Snow Geese were no longer at Onuma but we did see Bewick’s Swan and Crested Kingfisher at Yakumo and most of the common winter stuff has arrived.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

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…………….

East Hokkaido 2019 #10

White-tailed Eagle

We headed up to Shiretoko to try for Pine Grosbeaks at the top of the pass there. The weather was pretty nasty on the way…….here are 2 oft seen roadside birds on the way up there……….

Latham’s Snipe

And on the way north we came across some White-throated Needletails………..

White-throated Needletail