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, 30 December 2012

Red-flanked Bluetail,

I'm really happy with the lens and the camera. A few adjustments had to be made, like another tripod head (Manfrotto Video head 501) but this is it. Great! Now I was ready for the next step, I got up early, ventured out all by myself, lugging my gear on my back and see what I got:

Red-flanked Bluetail   ルリビタキ

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Waiting for Japanese Waxwings in the snow

Shortly after that I headed out to Dazaifu after a friend had phoned to tell me about a flock of Japanese Waxwings that would occasionally land on a persimmon tree in his neighborhood.  It was a very cold December day with periods of sun interspersed with snow and strong winds.
I had to wait a while and killed time practicing on the thrushes that were helping themselves to the fruit, the ducks in a nearby pond and a raptor in the snow.

Dusky Thrushes  ツグミ

Osprey   ミサゴ

The snow came and went and I often wondered what kind of hobby this is. It was X-mas eve, I should be at home, on board of our cozy yacht Alishan, baking something for the holidays. But then the snow subsided and the flock landed and for a few minutes the tree was full of happy wings. 

 Japanese Waxwing ヒレンジャク

Another 2 or 3 attacks like this and the persimmon is finished.

At last the ducks: Common Pochards  ホシハジロ


Friday, 28 December 2012

New gear

A new year, a new lens I thought. But I couldn't wait that long. When plans were made for a trip to the mountains around Hiroshima in the beginning of December I rushed to the shop and got what I wanted: a Nikon D7000 body and 300mm 2.8f lens. Not a full-frame camera. This set-up already emptied my obi-money account and I needed to change the tripod as well. Plus, one always needs something to dream of. Now I could get my fill in Hiroshima, I thought. But on that very day I had to stay home with a .... migraine.

I took my new gear to the nearest park to get some practice. I was concerned about the weight, but it didn't seem to be a problem. Just blindly finding the right buttons and that just takes time. And practice. Here some shots of our most common winter birds.

Pale Thrush  シロハラ

Daurian Redstart  ジョウビタキ 

Great Tit  シジュウカラ

Oriental Greenfinch  カワラヒワ 

Varied Tit  ヤマガラ

Bull-headed Shrike   モズ 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Best Wishes

The following 4 posts are about the Netherlands and Belgium with photo's taken last summer.
There are birds of course, all common in that part of Europe, but also some scenery and a special collage of doors in Brussel. I hope to publish a post about the horses sometime in the next year.
In the meantime Happy Holidays!

The Netherlands 1

Swans in the Waterweg

In the same area:

Oystercatcher,  Scholekster. On the look-out for scholletjes (flounder) or oysters?

Tern, Visdiefje. Although diefje means small robber and the name suggests the bird steals fish, I think the name is derived from the English word dive. A bird that dives for fish.

Coot, Meerkoet. Showing off it's huge feet.

The Netherlands 2

Crested Grebes in the harbor of Maassluis.

nesting on the stern of a pleasure boat???

The owner won't like it...

Also around: Tern, Visdiefje

And many Starlings. Spreeuwen 

Woodpeckers around Wageningen:  Grote Bonte Specht


Roodborstje below



Geese in flight


Kestrel on the hunt, Torenvalk