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.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Greater Painted Snipes

Sometimes I go to this place in the east where farmers prefer natural products and practice some kind of organic farming. The birds there are different. There is for example the Greater Painted Snipe. Great indeed. Spectacularly painted. Not rare, but not a bird that crosses your path regularly. They breed here. So I go there and though I know where they are I don’t always see them. But sometimes you get lucky. Like this early morning in June.

Greater Painted Snipe,  タマシギ

Just woken up, a pair is leaving the thick bush for a meal in the rice paddy.


The timing is right: the rice plants are just the right size. Too small would make the birds feel too exposed to venture out. A week later the tall plants will be covering everything up.

A crake intends to do the same thing, hence a little confrontation. The crake leaves the field.

The female in front found a nice big snail. Looks like she eats the whole thing.

The birds stay close together; do I see a little display here?

He takes his chance

She bows her appreciation.

And on we go, happy as a box of.... yes, birds.

Below another pair in an adjacent paddy field. But no time to watch these two. We have to move on. 

Other birds in that area but on another day:

Little Ringed Plover,  コチドリ

Grey-headed Lapwing,  ケリ

and again the Ruddy-breasted Crake,  ヒクイナ 

PS: Not much time for Japanese kanji these days. Too busy.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

other stuff like snakes and insects

Just to state that there are other wings and things out there.
A lot of my Japanese friends don’t like snakes. But coming from a country where they are hardly ever seen, I find them exotic.

Japanese Rat Snakeアオダイショウ

To my 6th graders: Yes, snakes can swim!

Joy, when the first dragonflies appear

A black Ground beetle, member of the Carabidae family. They can RUN!

Another striking insect, looking great on these yellow flowers. In spring all these things look spectacular. Later in summer they become just bugs. But what does this one have at the end of its body? A weapon? Does it STING?

Purple Poppies, could be a title of something, like a new blog.

Now THIS induces a craving for bread. Real bread, like Vogel’s Bread


Friday, 21 June 2013

Dunlins and Sanderlings

These birds can often be seen in the harbor from September through the winter till May. At low tide they fly in and land on the ramp in front of the boat yard, where they find food in the green seaweed and algae. They often move uniformly, as a group of soldiers, especially in flight. On the ramp they eat and bathe, which worries me because the place is terribly polluted with boat building chemicals like resin and paint. 

Dunlin, ハマシギ   and    Sanderling, ミユビシギ

The Sanderlings can be hard to distinguish from the Dunlins, but in spring the dunlins get a black coloring on their breast, while the Sanderlings stay white. On the 3 images below the bird in front is a Sanderling.

Last birds of spring 3

Need more hours in a day! These photos are way overdue. I really would like to turn this blog into a diary, with frequent updates, not 1 month old. Maybe one day…  遅くなってごめんなさい

Wood Sandpiper,  タカブシギ

Grey-tailed Tattler,  キアシシギ

Great Egret,  ダイサギ

Eurasian Skylark,  ヒバリ

The skylark is singing its heart out on top of a memorial stone. Note that little beetle in front of him.