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, 24 March 2013

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.

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