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.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

February 17th in Imazu

The Goldeneyes, オオジロガモ had an intruder. A Herring Gull (Vega Gull), セグロカモメ was constantly on top of them, bothering them when they came from a dive down looking for food, landing nearly on top of them.

Common Shelducks, ツクシガモ

At the creek I found Black-crowned Night Heron, ゴイサギ nr 12

With so many Reed Buntings, オオジュリン around this year it's easy to find one at a photogenic spot

A Buzzard, ノスリ flew in and sat on the tree right next to me briefly. I'm sure he or she had it's eyes on one of the Reed Buntings, but didn't get it.

What a raffled tail. Life must be hard on the sometimes

The lucky bird that got away

The Kingfisher, カワセミ at one of it's favorite spots

Muromi river

Fishermen setting up the traps for our "whitebait" which will be on the market in March. The local restaurants serve it life! I tried it once and found my mouth full of those jumping fish an unusual experience, but not that tasty and actualy a bit 'kawaiso' ... Once was enough.

Kids from a nearby Preschool wearing the same 'uniform' in winter as in summer? 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Black-crowned Night Herons, ゴイサギ in Imazu

These Night Herons never fail to uplift my spirits. I have not been able to take any good photos, but the fact that they chose this place to stay the winter, while numbers of other birds have gone down so much makes me feel good. As if we don't need to worry about them. And then it has become a sport to locate as many as possible. I started of with just 3 or 4, but this week there were 11 birds. I'd better record this. The juveniles worry less about hiding into the reeds. Their plumage is their camouflage.

Fun facts

Another name for Black-crowned Night Heron is Quark Bird because of the sound it makes as it flies.
They sometimes lure food to them using bait or vibrating their bill in the water.
When disturbed young birds can regurgitate partially eaten food onto the intruder.
They sometimes eat chicks of other waterfowl. Their digestive acids are so strong, the bones dissolve in their stomachs.

Other birds on the same day: Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ

Magpie, カササギ challenging young Peregrine Falcon, ハヤブサ

Lady Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ

Rooks, ミヤマガラス on the move.

Any others among them? Yes, 2 Carrion Crows, ハシボソガラス

Plum, 梅

All those dark cold days after the New Year's holidays we long for warmth and light. And then, suddenly, there is Plum. The blossom came early this year. The first images are already 2 weeks old.

Japanese White-eye, メジロ in a  Plum tree, 梅

Officially spring starts on the 1st day February. Visiting birds start leaving then. I look out for ducks' courtship displays. Magpies and Shrikes are flying by with presents. Some are already preparing a nest. But my days are still cold. I'm looking forward to hear the Uguisu sing.

After reading an article about Kofuji in Itoshima I went there to see the 3000 or so plumtrees. The  slope of Mt Kaya was filled with trees that produce the 'ume' for Japanese 'umeboshi' pickles and they were all in bloom. Their flowers are white and small. Pretty for the eye, not so much for the camera. The decorative plum trees that the locals keep in their gardens are much more photogenic. Below the result of a cloudy afternoon.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

February birds

I visit Imazu and the surrounding fields at least once a week. I often feel that there is nothing to see, but that is not really true. There is always something and common birds are something as well. They might not be there in big numbers, but they are present. It has become quite a collection.

The Falcated Ducks, ヨシガモ can usually be seen in the river mouth or at low tide near the mud flats. Below 2 males

When the Dunlins, ハマシギ fly past in a big flock I watch them all turn at the same time. I often wonder who is the leader? How do they communicate?

A Common Kingfisher, カワセミ. A common sight if you know where to look 

Of all the gulls that spend the winter with us, the Mew Gull, カモメ is not the least common, but there are not so many around.

I love watching the Pipits in the fields and often find Red-throated Pipits, ムネアカタヒバリ, foraging in small groups

In the bay this Black-necked Grebe, ハジロカイツブリ came close briefly. No golden ear-tuffs yet. Next month maybe.

The Goldeneyes, ホオジロガモ stay in the river near the mouth as well, but boy are they shy! Always far away, it's hardly worth a photo...

... but one early morning I took them by surprise
Of.course they turned their back on me the moment I stopped to look

There were 6 birds. Below 2 males and 2 females.

The Shelducks, ツクシガモ don't mind me much. But they do like to show their bum when they are feeding.

At the 2 ponds some Northern Shovelers, ハシビロガモ have come in, while other ducks, like Wigeons and Pochards are leaving.

A couple of Gadwalls, オカヨシガモ are there now as well.

 Among the regular buntings in the reeds: Chestnut-eared Bunting, ホオアカ

Meadow Bunting, ホオジロ

The daikon contest