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, 26 February 2013


2 24 . 朝はとても寒かったしかし今日はうれしい。
うぐいすがさえずっている,蝶が私と一緒に座って 来ました, アマツバメは、川の上を飛んでいます, カワガラスが巣を作っています

February 24th, a very cold morning. But I’m happy, I can hear the Japanese Bush Warbler singing
It doesn’t yet sound quite, but it means SPRING. In the afternoon I was dozing on a bench in the sun when a butterfly came to rest beside me. Swifts were holding a speed contest over the river.The  Brown dippers are building a nest.   And... my batteries are fully charged!

February Frost

My little Japanese Bush Warbler,  うぐいす

A very busy  Brown Dipper, カワガラス

speedy  Fork-tailed Swifts,  アマツバメ

今日の勉強   = su, nest
= haru, spring

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Rain in Fukuoka

Rain was forecasted, so Junko and I decided to go out for just a couple of hours and explore the nearby forests. Bluetails and redstarts seem to be everywhere now. We noticed a big flock of siskins, the usual thrushes and some bullfinches perched on high treetops. It didn't take long before the drizzle started, but it wasn't cold and we hung around to see what else showed up. Lots action of around the Japanese wax trees and near the streams. It was a good day after all.

Bullfinch,  ウソ

Red-flanked Bluetail, ルリビタキ    in Japanese wax tree, Haze.
I found an interesting article on wax candles by Alice Gordenker, an American journalist in Tokyo

click HERE

Yellow-throated Bunting,  ミヤマホオジ

The yellow pollen around the bill of this Bulbul below had Junko confused and chasing it around the bush thinking it was something special. That could have been me.

Brown-eared Bulbul,  ヒヨドリ

今日の勉強:  黄色  kiiro  = yellow

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Winter Wren, Japanese Waxwing and Yellow-bellied Tit

This birding day started on Shioo yama, where we arrived a bit late, due to heavy traffic and some bad navigation on my side. We were just talking about wrens, when one flew by and briefly stopped on a water tower for a sip.

Winter Wren, ミソサザイ

First time I took a photo of a Winter Wren in Japan where you can actually see the bird and recognize it!

Next, off to the park where our guest from China is doing well, reportedly taking baths near the fountain and getting changed in spring plumage. 

Yellow-bellied Tit,  キバラガ

Real pretty and cute.

My computer translates this bird’s name as 臆病シジュウカラ. 臆病 stands for cowardly, faint-hearted. Most inappropriate for a little bird that bravely performs in front of cameras and is deprived of her privacy in the bathroom.

In a different corner Japanese Waxwings,  ヒレンジャク were waiting for us. 

The lighting wasn't supreme for these colorful birds, hopefully another time.

I wonder, Is this the same flock as I saw in Dazaifu before? They seem to move around a lot. One day they are there, the next they're gone...

今日の勉強  臆病 okubyoo,  cowardly
 勇敢 yuukan na,  brave

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Imazu on a sunny winter day

Wintering in Imazu: Common Shelducksツクシガモ

I love the sight of these big ducks feeding at low tide on sunny days. This year there are many, over 50!


But where are their companions, the Black-faced Spoonbills? Have they found greener pastures? Following shots are from previous years, winters 2010 and 2011

Black-faced Spoonbill,  クロツラヘラサギ

Feeding on the incoming tide with cormorants, egrets and herons

Their resting place, a sandy island in the river is being washed away. It's getting smaller every year.  Volunteers wade out with sand bags to protect the little shore. Let's hope they succeed or Imazu might loose the colony...

A juvenile Black-face with a pink bill

 And a Eurasian Spoonbill in flight, ヘラサギ

Back to February 2013 and always present: Osprey,  ミサゴ

Several Ospreys were circling the waters, but weren't catching much.
Do they need more water, as in high tides?

2 Common  Greenshanks,  アオアシシギ

In a corner of an industrial complex this Redstart was giving me "dai service"

Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ

Such color in winter!

今日の勉強   ふゆ, winter

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday, 8 February 2013

First Sunday of February

First Sunday of the month is tanjokai in Imazu, where birders get together to watch, count and talk. While we screen the fields and mud-flats we exchange info and ideas and make plans for further outings. It's good for me, I learn something every time. And I made nice friends. This time many people came, I think over 40, despite the low temperatures. The sun was out and there was that spring feeling...

  A Japanese White-eye inspecting an early blooming plum tree  メジロ

A Black-necked Grebe pushing water  ハジロカイツブリ

nose diving and

emerging right in front of me - surprise!

Wow, such red eyes!

In the forest on the other side of the city:

Hawfinches again.  シメ

 a Red-flanked Bluetail boy    and girl      ルリビタキ

And (Grey-bellied) Bullfinches at last  ウソ

Doesn't the male on the right have a pinkish belly?