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.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

October visits to Saga 2

My favorite place to stop on the way back from Hachimandake is Kashihara shitsugen at Nanayama. There is a swamp about 600m above sea level and it's home to a large number of plants and flowers that are seldom seen anywhere else. I'm not good with their names, but I'll give it a go

Akebonosou, アケボノソウ, Swertia bimaculata

Umebachisou, ウメバチソウ, Parnassia palustris

Kikkouhaguma, キッコウハグマ, Ainsliaea apiculata

Japanese Gentian - Rindou, リンドウ, Gentiana scabra var. buergeri

Nodake, ノダケ, Angelica decursiva
The host plant for the caterpillar of a Black Swallowtail, カラスアケハ

Found at a different location, at Tenzan: Jinjisou, ジンジソウ Saxifraga cortusaefolia

Monday, 19 November 2018

October visits to Saga 1

In the beginning of the month it still felt like summer. The trees were still green, there were insects and flowers and the temperatures were like a pleasant summer day in The Netherlands. The fields were yellow or bare, some rice had yet to be harvested, but most of it was gone. And there was no sign of koyo - autumn colors yet. Hachimandake looked quite different from a few weeks before.

We arrived early, the sun was rising and the morning mist hadn't burned off yet

Seven-spot Ladybird, ナナホシテントウ too wet with morning dew to fly

We dropped by a little village with an eerie kind of mysterious looking temple: Hanaminedera

We walked up a winding path covered in moss and lined with stone lanterns

That led to a clearing with the main temple

Later in the morning we did 'our round' of the fields, stopping for views, frogs, flowers and other little treasures.

Like this young Southern Green Stinkbug, ミナミアオカメムシ. Awful name for a pretty bug!

 Japanese Tree Frog, ニホンアマガエル

Misosoba ミソソバ Persicaria Thunbergii (Water pepper)

Creating quite a bit of excitement: Yamakagashi, ヤマカガシ, poisonous but not aggressive

2 Times Patanga japonica, ツチイナゴ The green one a juvenile

One more Japanese Tree Frog, ニホンアマガエル

And the king of the local frogs, a Japanese Tree frog in grey.
He sat there quite content on his throne at an elevated location, looking at the world with a smile.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Japanese Prickly-ash, カラスサンショウ and Mugimaki flycatchers, ムギマキ

November 7th I finally set out to find Karasusansho, カラスサンショウ (Japanese Prickly-ash). It took the biggest part of the day to find a tree that had the edible berries that the birds love so much and that was visible from a higher position, so I could see the top of the tree and the birds from the side. I didn't want to see just their bottoms :-) It was a bit late in the season and I didn't expect to see any flycatchers, but then I did get lucky. At first I sat quite concealed near a small tree and 2 female Narcissus Flycatchers came flying in. A very agitated Redstart sent them flying off before I could take any photos. The same happened when White-eyes and Leiothrixes appeared. I left after an hour in search of another place. Then there was this big tree, but a bit far. Too far maybe, cause I clearly saw the action of 2 or 3 mugimaki flycatchers, but I didn't do well with the camera. Lucky a handsome male Narcissus Flycatcher made up for it.

Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ male

Japanese White-eye, メジロ

female Mugimaki Flycatcher, ムギマキ in the back

 And a male (?) in flight

This is the best I could do :-(   female Mugimaki Flycatcher, ムギマキ

male Narcissus Flycatcher, キビタキ

Unexpected oncoming traffic on the way back

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

今津探鳥会, Starlings, Kestrel, Falcon

On Sunday, November 4th the weather was great. Sunny but not hot with just a little wind. I walked around the Imazu area with the members of WBSJ in our monthly meeting. All birds were counted and recorded. There were 2 Common Starlings, ホシムクドリ

A male Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ flew by

One Dunlin, ハマシギ all by himself skirting the waterfront. The water was so calm, I could see the reflection as well as the shadow

A Red Stingray, アカエイ feeding in shallow water

After the meeting some of us went to look for the Drongo (See previous post) In the same area were Northern Lapwings, タゲリ posing for me between some flowers. The sunlight lit up the metallic shine in their feathers, bringing out the colors green, blue and purple . Maybe the last colorful picture of the year.

The day finished majestically with this Peregrine Falcon,  ハヤブサ
Magnificent bird!