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.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Waxwings in the city

Every year they come to the park to eat the fruit of the Mistletoe, ヤドリギ, the Japanese Waxwing, ヒレンジャク It looks similar to the Bohemian waxwing, but the yellow tip of the tail is red and so is the vent. There are often a few Bohemians in a flock, but I didn't see any this time.


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Gulls in a fight

Some weekends, when the fishing has been good the harbor bursts with activities. Sports fishers bring home their catch and often do the cleaning on board. The gulls smell an easy meal and lie in wait.
Then, when the offal gets chucked over the side:

The big Herring Gulls, セグロカモメ have to fight for a piece. One other gull, the Black-headed Gull, ユリカモメ has a keen eye on the action

See that brave little bird on the right!

The fighting is fierce

But this is only for the strongest

Herring Gull, セグロカモメ and Black-headed Gull, ユリカモメ

However, daring closer to the boats he (or she) managed to get some too. 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

The weather was sooo nice!

The weather was sooo nice this weekend. Sunny sunny sunny. But the wind was very cold and in the shade it seemed freezing! Cruising the fields there was this bird in the distance:
female Red-throated Pipit, ムネアカタヒバリ in winter plumage

The Magpies, カササギ are seriously building. Look at the size of the nest after 1 week...

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Dusky Warbler, ムジセッカ? No way!

When I got the news about a House Sparrow in Kumamoto I laughed. House Sparrows are the most common birds in the Netherlands, where I come from. So, driving all the way to Kumamoto for just that, a House Sparrow??? Part of me wanted to go, just for the excitement and just to see it here in Japan. But I didn't. Went to Imazu instead.

The Dusky Warbler, first sighted in December, is still there. It is very secretive and moves like a shadow. But you can hear the call, a dry click as H-san calls it. I saw it, tried to capture it, but no way, it moves too fast. I waited until all became quiet. I was just about to turn away when a bird landed right there. I quickly took some photo's before it disappeared again. BUT... It was the wrong bird...Ha ha ha! :-(
Japanese Bush Warbler, ウグイス

Sunday, 11 February 2018

February birds 1

It continues to be very cold and it feels like the winter is far from over. But birds are on the move!

The last Naumann's Thrush, ハチジョウツグミ In calm conditions...

... and in the wind

A Water Rail decided to cross the road just in front of me. Where is he going?

Magpies always seem to have to make a lot of fuss...

Are they really planning to start a family already?

Back downtown to the river, where the Greater Scaups, スズガモ gather every year.

Not so many, I counted about 100 birds.
The Lesser Scaup has been seen this year again, I think I will go and see him next time.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Nokonoshima 能古島

Finally a nice day. I left early to walk around before work. I didn’t really expect much and was happy when I found 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, ウミアイサ along the shore and a Black-necked Grebe, ハジロカイツブリin the distance. To my surprise a thrush that crossed my path was a Brown-headed Thrush, アカハラ. A few meters further 2 Scaly Thrushes, トラツグミ were chasing each other. On the way back home I heard a Bullfinch, ウソ and saw just 1, but there appeared to be more. Then there were the usual Daurian Redstarts, ジョウビタキ about 7 or 8, male and female. 3 Bull-headed Shrikes and many buntings like Meadow Bunting, ホオジロ, Yellow-throated Bunting, ミヤマホオジロ and Black-faced Bunting, アオジ. 
The Black Kites, トビ were giving a show. They can fly like acrobats to impress their mate. Some were carrying nesting materials A Japanese Bush Warbler, ウグイス produced some kind of noise. Was it trying to sing?

 Red-breasted Mergansers, ウミアイサ

Black-necked Grebe, ハジロカイツブリ

Brown-headed Thrush, アカハラ

Scaly Thrush, トラツグミ

Black Kites, トビ

 Black-faced Bunting, アオジ

 Bullfinch, ウソ

Saturday, 3 February 2018


A couple of weeks ago during a work related weekend visit to Saga we stopped at the shore of Ariaki Sea near Kashima for a few hours

Peregrine Falcon, ハヤブサ  scanning the fields behind the sea wall


View from the seawall at low tide

Saunders's Gulls, ズグロカモメ Vulnerable
There were about 25 birds circling the mudflats, with about 10 juveniles staying mostly close to shore

At this tide most ducks were far out, more or less beyond my view
However, a few Shelducks, ツクシガモ  stopped by for a feed

At the far: corner 1 lonesome Far Eastern Curlew, ホウロクシギ

Back to the fields: Eurasian Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ

Some lucky catches for a Great Crested Grebe, カンムリカイツブリ


and Great Cormorant, カワウ

Towards the mountains: Buzzard, ノスリ

And then the rain started...  Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ  female