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.

Friday, 26 June 2015

May in Imazu

It has started to warm up quite a bit. This feels like summer! Which birds venture out in the sun?

Cattle Egret, アマサギ

Amur White Wagtail (M. a. leucopsys), ホオジロハクセキレイ

Great Reed Warbler, オオヨシキリ

Little Ringed Plover, コチドリ

Common Moorhen, バン

Osprey, ミサゴ

And at the end of the afternoon: Whiskered Tern, クロハラアジサシ

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Okinawa 5

This last post is not so much about birds, Its main feature is a snake: the Okinawa Pit viper, ヒメハブ
Not as poisonous as many people think, but still a serpent to treat with care.
I stumbled upon it early in the morning on a path close to the hotel. One of my friends warned a ranger who came over quickly. I was a bit concerned that he would kill the beautiful snake, but he assured me he would only take it a bit further away and release it. Which he did. (I trusted him on that, but followed him, to get one more shot)


Look at those fangs...

very sharp!

You might think I'm crazy, but I think he is kind of cute

Filling in time on our last day at the coast near the airport.

Pacific Reef Egret, クロサギ

This last Reef Egret was seen earlier near Kin-cho. It has caught a fish called "bari", バリ or Aigo, アイゴ in Japanese. A tasty fish with poisonous fins that cause swellings that hurt like hell when you get stung. I was wondering how the bird would deal with it, but it disappeared out of sight behind some rocks. Next moment he appeared without the fish. I actually think he din't eat it.

Going home 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Okinawa 4 part 2

Still in the fields on our last day and we finally got close to the Munias in Kin. They were eating, drinking and bathing in some kind of grass field. The grass blocked our view, but I still managed some shots:
Scaly-breasted Munia, シマキンパラ

The pretty markings on the chest give the bird its name.

Hanging on and reaching down to grab tiny green tit bits.

The wind made the grass swing and the birds came in and out of view. Capturing was just a matter of pressing the shutter in continuous mode and hope for the best.

These 2 obviously enjoyed their bath together.

below some very young birds, without any markings yet.

Earlier that day we looked out over a waders, mostly Black-winged Stilts, セイタカシギ and some 
Common Greenshanks, アオアシシギ

when we heard the sound of the Okinawa shamisen. An ox-cart approached us with a driver practicing his skills on the instrument. The young animal was in training and had to learn basic comments like "walk" and "stop" which he (?) hadn't gotten under control yet. Good luck for for future!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Okinawa 4, part 1

This post is about birds we saw in the fields, mostly around Kin, in the centre of Okinawa Island, but also some further north, near the coast. We were lucky with the weather. There were heavy downpours in the forest that we'd just left, but we stayed dry.
At first we looked out for the White-breasted Waterhen, シロハラクイナ


The calls of Zitting Cisticola, セッカ could be heard all over the island.

Many birds look slightly different from the ones in Kyushu.
For example the Oriental Turtle Dove, リュウキュウキジバト, Streptopelia orientalis stimptoni

And the Swallows are called Pacific Swallow, リュウキュウツバメ

One of several: Little Tern, コアジサシ skimming the coast