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, 22 December 2013

コハクチョウ, Tundra Swan

Finally, after a week of stormy days the weather cleared and the sun showed up, revealing white snow caps on the mountains. Jaap went that way for a run and I headed for Imazu at low tide.

3 Tundra Swan were cruising the river and the streams between the mud, looking huge among the abundant ducks and cormorants. I wonder where they will go when the tide rises…

コハクチョウTundra Swan

Other birds in the area included this ringed Reed Bunting. Is it true that they have problems with their wing feathers and that this could be caused by the nuclear accident in Fukushima?

オオジュリンReed Bunting


ズグロカモメSaunders’s Gull

ノスリ,  Eastern Buzzard

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

ニホンイタチ, Japanese Weasel and ミソサザイ, Winter Wren

The way to Imazu runs through Imajuku. At the intersection where I should turn right for the mudflats I sometimes go left to see what’s in the woods. This day, December 8th, some Ryukyu Minivets, リュウキュウサンショウクイ flew by in a large flock of tits, white-eyes and coldcrests. I’d left the camera in the car and by the time I got it the flock had moved on. I was waiting around a little while when a Winter Wren came to sit in front of me. It flew briefly uphill following a little stream where it stopped and excitingly hopped back and forth. I hiked up to see what was there and found a little face poking out of a hole: a Japanese Weasel. I happily took its portrait and hoped for a 2-shot. The Wren was willing to play along, but too many branches blocked my view…

ミソサザイ、Winter Wren

ニホンイタチ, Japanese Weasel

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Imazu once more

Ducks are always fun. Look at these 2.

Tufted Ducks, キンクロハジロ

 White-cheeked Starling with a different head, ムクドリ 

On the way back a little D-tour to see these old friends: Mandarin Ducks, オシドリ

Daurian Redstart fem. ジョウビタキの雌

Imazu again

In the same week Imazu had a bit of a surprise:  A Ruff amongst the Lapwings. Identity problem? A Kestrel flew in, landed on the road and took a sand bath. Then proceeded to eat from a clutter of soil…

Ruff,  エリマキシギ

With a mud-caked bill. Who do you think you are?

Northern Lapwing, タゲリ

 Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ


Friday, 13 December 2013

A late afternoon visit to Imazu. お久しぶり

After so many busy weeks I felt desperate to go out and see what was on the mudflats of Imazu and in the surrounding fields. It was already late in the afternoon. In December the sun sets at 17:00. So I just got a quick look at the spoonbills and a pretty color reflection on an Osprey. Enough for one day.

Black-faced Spoonbill, クロツラヘラサギ

How many birds above? (6)

Eurasian Spoonbill, ヘラサギ on the right below

Osprey, ミサゴ


 All wet

Getting warmed up in the setting sun.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Amami Ohshima, 奄美大島

We flew to the islands to attend a wedding and took the time to drive to a forest near Naze, Amami city where I hoped to see the Lidth’s Jay. We caught a glimpse of a pair passing by and later, on the edge of the wood found another pair feeding on nuts near a stream.

Lidth’s Jay,  ルリカケス 

There were a large number of raptors in and around the mountains, mostly Grey-faced Buzzards

Grey-faced Buzzard,  サシバ

In the nature reserve we found flowers of the plant called yakkosou, or Mitrastemon Yamamotoi, which are related to the Rafflesia that mysterious flower that is the largest in the world and grows in Borneo.

 Mitrastemon Yamamotoi,  コソウ

I think I will visit Amami Ohshima again some time next year.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Japanese Robbin, コマドリ

Twice a year, in autumn and spring we get the chance to see Japanese Robins in and around the Botanical Gardens of Fukuoka. In November they leave from here on their journey south and stay only one or two days.  During the summer they stay in the mountains here in Kyushu, but I have never seen any there and I haven’t heard of many such sightings. It’s hard enough to spot them in the relatively small and open park. They hide in the darkest bushes, come out briefly to pick up some insect and disappear again. However, at the right time in the darkest corner this is what we get:

Japanese Robbin,  コマドリ 

  adult male

hiding in the bush another female

3 were spotted by J and me and we heard about one more, so 4 Robins in all: That was a pretty good day.

Other birds seen that same day:  Pale Thrush,  シロハラ

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker,  コゲラ (as usual)


Brambling,  アトリー feeding on Maple seeds,  モミジ

The previous day on the way to school this young flycatcher jumped right in front of me as if he expected me to feed him...

Another bird that acted like a fledgeling today:  Varied Tit,  ヤマガラ