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 May 2015

One rainy day in Saga, part 2

Action in the Lotus field!

At first all was quiet.

Birds feeding peacefully in the water loaded Lotus field

Some males and females seemed to get together, as if they were choosing a partner.

Then the males, whose wings are pitch black, began to chase each other.

Yelling "kek-kek-keh keh, so noisy!

Get out of my way!


Back to normal, all are quiet again.

The female in the back has set her eyes on him!

He is handsome, isn't he?

Monday, 25 May 2015

One rainy day in Saga, part 1

When the news came about a rare sighting of a certain sandpiper, the M's came to pick me up and we drove to the Ariaki Sea early in the morning. We waited for the tide to come in, so no mud would be exposed, but very few birds came to the shore to rest on the stones. Was it the rain? The lack of light added to the gloomness of the morning and we didn't find our bird.

There were a number of migrators, of course, but I picked the overstayers for a change:
Black-faced Spoonbills, クロツラヘラサギ

Some lonesome plovers:

Little Ringed Plover, コチドリ

Kentish Plover, シロチドリ

We drove to nearby reclaimed land with lotus farms and found some waders wandering in the rain.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, ウズラシギ

The soft shades of wet green leaves made me feel energized.
Birding in the rain is a good way to charge your batteries.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Springtime in the fields

After all those colorful and exciting birds in the trees it's time to have a look at the fields and the mudflats.
Early summer visitor: Cattle Egret, アマサギ

Little Grebes don't migrate, but they move to more secluded waters to nest. In April there was some serious dating with an impressive display of the birds in summer plumage to be seen.

Little Grebe, カイツブリ Caught a big shrimp, but ate it self...

Not all Spoonbills migrate. This one might be still too young Eurasian Spoonbill, ヘラサギ

When we hear the Great Reed warblers we know summer is on its way.
Reed Warbler, オオヨシキリ

 On the mud flats Whimbrels and Curlews scurry for crabs at low tide
Eurasian Curlew, ダイシャクシギ

The first week of May these ducks were still around. I hope to be able to capture them up close one day...  Falcated Ducks, ヨシガモ

There are a number of nests around, I don't publish those usually.
One skylark nest specially drew my attention, or rather the snake eyeing it did.
I picked it up (the snake) and threw it across the ditch, but that didn't help...
Nature can be so cruel!

Eurasian Skylark, ヒバリ Just a parent

The hungry reptile

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Grey Nightjar, ヨタカ

The Nightjar drops by every year. And every year the question is: Will we be able to see it? It's not a small bird, about 30cm but its colors and the pattern of its plumage fit so well in the surroundings, when it sits motionless in the tree it is nearly impossible to detect.
However, this year we got lucky! It landed on a branch of a cherry blossom tree right next to a small road and anybody walking that road could see it very clearly. All birders had a very good look, all photographers took wonderful photos and all that without disturbing the environment, nor the bird itself, who hardly noticed us while having a good rest on its yearly one-day visit in the park.

Here are "just a few" images of the Grey Nightjar, ヨタカ


Such intricate patterns of the feathers

The bill makes it look so small, but WOW what a mouth!  A mouse could fit in there easily.


Just a little stretch before going back to...


Monday, 18 May 2015

Birds in the dark 3

The last lot of birds hanging around in the dark corners of the parks: 
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, サンコウチョウ


 A few days after the excitement that the male caused a female payed a visit. The eyes less colored and the tail just a few inches long, but still a handsome bird, equally shy and secretive.

The male was seen for 4 days, I think it was just one and the same bird. 

A small bunting that drops by every year: Tristram’s Bunting, シロハラホオジロ

 Poor shots, but we keep a respectable distance so as not to disturb the birds who have come to have a feed and a rest during their great journey.

The majority of colorful flycatchers have moved on.
But the Asian Brown Flycatcher, コサメビタキ stays for a while.