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.

Friday, 30 March 2012


Ainoshima is a small island in the Genkai Sea, just north of Hakata Bay.
A small ferry from Shingu takes pedestrians only, just 5 or 6 times a day. The people in the small fishing village are very friendly and welcoming to visitors, mostly sports fishermen and some birders.
Its a good place to see migrators.

Friends asked me to go with them on a late March Tuesday afternoon after receiving a message about a European Hoopoe. These birds make short stop-overs to eat and rest on their journey north. They sport a set of tall headfeathers that they raise in an impressive comb when getting angry or excited. I had never seen that and was eager to come along.
However, the bird didn't reveil itself. There were lots of  Kites, Redstarts and Yellow-throated Buntings frequenting the vege gardens and blossom trees around, but not much else. Too bad.

The next day Jaap had a job nearby and gave me a ride, so I returned to the island early in the morning. I waited and criss-crossed the west part of the island in the heat of the sun (in March!) for many hours. Finally the Hoopoe got hungry and went out for a feed and I got lucky.

八つガシラ、Eurasian Hoopoe

intruders!   ホオジロはくセキレイ,Amur White Wagtail


no problem, nothing to get excited about and no reason to raise any headfeathers...

keeping an eye out, but generally feeding peacefully. 優しい


ミヤマホジロ,Yellow-throated Bunting

ジョオビタキ,Daurian Redstart (fem) in a peach tree

今日の勉強  優しい = yasashii
                          You can plan to go fishing, but you cannot plan to catch a fish

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Love story

A pair of Kingfishers in spring

Mr. Kingfisher hurrying home with his catch of the day.

Where the Mrs. is waiting


Off to get some more (after eating the fish himself)





For these last 2 images of the male Kingfisher I was allowed to use a 500mm lens, courtesy of Mrs    Kubota. Thank you, Kubota-san!

Other birds on the same day

コサギ, Little Egret

ジョウビタキ, Daurian Redstart male

今日の勉強  欲しい 自分の500mm lensがほしい!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Action in the harbor


Fishermen keep life fish in nets in the harbor basin alongside their boats. This attracts fish from the bay, which in its turn attracts birds. There are always gulls and herons around and in winter the cormorants often come in for a feed. The cormorants catch their meal under the prying eyes of these herons and gulls., who are always keen on an easy meal. Coming up for air and a bite can be quite a challenge.

カワウ VS カモメ    Cormorant versus Gull

だれの勝ち?  Who won?

カワウ VS アオサギ   Cormorant versus Heron

Heron landing on top of Cormorant.

2nd Heron flies in.

Most of the action appears to be under the surface.

Heron 2 dives down while heron 1 holds on to something, most likely the cormorant

3 birds emerging and the winner is... Heron nr 2.

カワウ, Great Cormorant
セグロカモメ,  Herring Gull
アオサギ, Grey Heron

今日の勉強  なし! 春休みですから

dancing feathers

風が強い日 アオサギの羽が踊っています


アオサギ, Grey Heron


カワウ, Great Cormorant

今日の勉強  強い  =  tsuyoi
                     踊る  =  odoru

Friday, 16 March 2012

Yanagawa sagemon

Wednesday I took the train to Yanagawa to see the decorations for the Hinamatsuri (doll's festival)
I rented a bicycle at the station and crossed town, stopping at various locations to look at the hina dolls and sagemon decorations. The weather had cleared after a period of heavy overcast and tourists rode the canal boats. I stayed much longer than intended and used all the memory of the scandisc.
 水曜日柳川に列車を持って行った. 駅で自転車を借して あちこち町の中に ぼんぼり、おひな様やさげもんめぐり沢山を見ました. 色わすごかったなのに、写真を撮るわとっても楽しかったです. 福岡に戻ったらお友達と話して、それわ面白くないと言いました...

Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形 hina-ningyō) representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.

The full household is much bigger then this, making it too much for one image

The lady is wearing 12 kimono's, all layered on top of each other.

The 100 year old pair at Kitajima's house

Sagemon bonbori and hanging decorations


scenes around town


梅わ咲いていました ジョビタキが 留まって来た


ユリカモメ, Blackheaded Gull    ジョビタキ, Daurian Redstart                  


コサギ, Little Egret

 今日の勉強  借りる = kariru
                                  自転車 =   jitensha