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.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Little men in the snow, 道祖神

Firmly wrapped up and wearing warm knit caps they look so sweet.
Somebody is looking after them...

道祖神 or dousojin are deities at street corners, mountain passes, near bridges. They protect pedestrians, travelers, pilgrims and those in "transitional" stages

Hokkaido part 3

We missed out on the Black Woodpeckers, but got a special treat from the Spotted one. It was not the first time to see it in Japan, but this time I got some decent images. So I indulged and took way too many.

Great Spotted Woodpecker,  アカゲラ

Nothing edible in there?

Found some!

moving some "heavy" material to get to the real good stuff.

This made my day :)

At the same time a flock of Siskins with a few Bramlings dropped by. 

Eurasian Siskin,  マヒワ

Below a Brown-eared Bulbul, ヒヨドリ. Is there a place in Japan where we don't see (and hear) these?

Watching the activities from up high

And last the Nuthatches. There were plenty around, but time was running out. I have to go back for a better shot some time.

Hokkaido part 2

On our extra day in Sapporo it rained in the morning and the afternoon was pretty bleak. Winter scenery can be pretty, but not that day. The snow was slushy and grey. So no spectacular images, but considering the conditions we should be happy with what we got.

male Bullfinch,  ウソ

Pastel colors in soft light

Quietly gorging on flower buds.

below the Willow tit, コガラ

Cute little tits, very active and fast.

Below the Varied Tit, ヤマガラ as we see them in Kyushu, but without the snow - however dirty,,,

Monday, 16 March 2015

Hokkaido 2015 part 1

We added a birding day to our annual ski trip in Hokkaido. The previous year I noticed a number of small birds around the ski resort and I had high expectations. That's hardly ever good...
The resort had nothing but 1 Woodpecker, a Grey-headed one, high up in the trees.

Grey-headed Woodpecker,  ヤマゲラ

The bird sat here for quite a while. I tried to work my way up to higher grounds, but the snow was over a meter deep. I didn't get far. There were a few Tits around, mostly Great Tits and Coal tits.

Japanese Great Tit,  シジュウカラ

Coal tit, ヒガラ

Not much, but the skiing was good.


(last photo by Jaap)