This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Monday, 18 January 2021


With all the freezing conditions of this winter there were many opportunities to shoot ice scenery. Frozen waterfalls are most popular. This is a little different. Water was spraying out of the hole of a fractured water pipe near a hot spring. Despite the temperature of the water ice had formed on the trees and bushes around it. With the sun out it provided a ton of magical mystical scenes!

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Naumann's Thrush, ハチジョウツグミ

 Thrushes, Starlings, Wrynecks and Bulbuls all like this place. It has some Multiflora Rose ノイバラbushes with berries. It also gives them protection from the Harriers. Today our yearly guest, Naumann's Thrush, ハチジョウツグミ

Friday, 15 January 2021

Around Imazu

January 11th. The snow has disappeared in the low lands and temperatures are above zero now. Was this our only cold spell for the season? 15 Smews, ミコアイサ were reported in the 2 lakes at Tajiri. I found them on the other side of the river

A flock of 40 something White-cheeked Starlings, ムクドリ included 6 Commons, ホシムクドリ

Black-faced Bunting, アオジ and Chestnut-eared Bunting, ホウアカ

Male Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ

Kanatake in the snow

 Friday January 8th

Snowy, cloudy and a few sunny periods. We donned our winter gear (including crampons) and went for a walk. I often wondered what the place would look like when covered in snow. After so many summer and spring walks, here is the winter version

A White Wagtail, ハクセキレイ came close, just when the sun peeped through the clouds

He seems to like the snow, acting kind of playfully

Feathers extending from the body to keep warm

Other birds that came down: Black-faced Bunting, アオジ

And Dusky Thrush, ツグミ

Oops, better move on

When we drove up route 49 to go to Imazu the road quickly became icy and we skidded across the lane. An oncoming truck did the same thing and thus we got stuck. 6 Hours later we could make our way home !!!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Snow birds

How did you all get along with all the snow we had?! I prayed for snow all year long, hoping to see a thick pack of it, but what we got was mostly icy conditions and a lot of powder snow of the type that doesn't stick to anything. We drove around Kyushu, planned our route according to the weather forecast and the first snow we saw was around Mt Kuju. We camped in Billie our RV for 3 days in freezing weather, didn't leave the car much on the first day, but became a bit braver on the second. Our drinking water froze and the pump stopped working, we feasted on frozen cucumber that tasted truly horrible and suffered from-heated-toilet-seat-withdrawal symptoms. But generally we were happy. Thanks to lots of blankets, thermal wear and kailo's. Jaap climbed Mt Hosshozan and some of his amazing photos are in here. I looked for birds at my usual checkpoints. Camera work was hard. My cold fingers could not compete with the speed of wings. And I was constantly struggling with exposure. Snow is so very white!

Varied Tit, ヤマガラ

Japanese Tit, シジュウカラ

female Red-flanked Bluetail, ルリビタキ
There were 3 or 4 birds, but the males kept on eluding me

Eurasian Wren, ミソサザエ

Willow Tit, コガラ

Eurasian Jay, カケス

Eurasian Nuthatch, ゴジュウカラ

More of  Mt Hosshozan

Finally, a young male Red-flanked Bluetail, ルリビタキ