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, 31 March 2013

Kingfisher courtship

March 30th,  a good day to start a family    Kingfisher  カワセミ

Didn't know Kingfishers perform this kind of display.

Also that day:  Bull-headed Shrike  , off to feeding his wife

and Red-flanked Bluetail  ルリビタキ, not in a hurry to leave

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Around Nishi-ku

Close to home

ヒレンジャク,  Japanese Waxwing

Is there an easier way to pick those berries than turning your head 180 degrees?

ハシボソ ガラス,  Carrion Crow

In the harbor, very close to home: 

カワウ,  Great Cormorant in the rain

イソヒヨドリ,  Blue Rock Thrush fem searching the decks for bugs

ツバメ,  Barn Swallow  in a shadow game

セグロカモメ, Herring Gull  on his favorite pontoon

Friday, 29 March 2013


Seen on shiōyama:

ショウジョウバカマ,  Shōjōbakama,  Heloniopsis japonica

surfing Tsunoshima

Something entirely different.
No wing,s but nevertheless worth watching!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

角島, Tsunoshima 5

The last post of this day, the last birds of Tsunoshima and that little harbor across.

ミウ,  Temminck's Cormorant


From a distance they look so much like the Great Cormorant that we get in Fukuoka.
Today I could distinguish them by the shape of the base of the bill quite well.

below  オオハム, Black-throated Loon

and シロエリオオハム,  Pacific Loon

A familiar fishing harbor sight

Sunday, 24 March 2013

角島, Tsunoshima 4

Another bird that kept an eye on the school of fish that the mergansers were feeding on:

クロサギ, Pacific Reef Egret

We moved off the island to a small fishing harbor nearby on the coast of Honshu. There we were treated with some more Black-necked Grebes, many of them in summer plumage.

今日の勉強   =  Natsubane,  summer plumage

角島, Tsunoshima 3

That’s a whole lot of mergansers on the blog!
We don't get to see them in big numbers very often. In spring they get together before heading off to their breeding grounds in the north. There must have been a hundred of them in a protected bay of Tsunoshima and they all needed to eat well before departure.

ウミアイ  Red-breasted Merganser

Slim and elegant birds with bright orange-red bills

The males' black head gets a green shine when it gets a bit of sunshine.

Some females have black coloring around their eyes - a sign of breeding?

They swam back and forth near the boat-harbor, following a school of fish towards shallow water, which they would eagerly plunge into and get their fill. How much was hard to tell, they probably swallowed their catch mostly below the surface.

rush. rush

The hunt is on

Got one!

Heading back

Waiting for the next chance



There were many more female than male, about 30% male - 70% female

The Ladies Parada


One female venturing out of the water, inspecting a bit of  rock. Not a usual sight in winter, but they breed on the ground in the north of China and Russia

Another bird seen in smaller numbers:

ハジロカイツブ  Black-necked Grebe

More of them in the next post.