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 November 2018

Autumn bird update 2

The weather is good. Cool and sunny Good for a walk around the fields. Autumn colors are making place for winter-grey and -beige. Buntings are flying in small groups, Finches in big flocks. There are still insects, seeds, enough for them to eat. Farmers are working their lands, cutting and burning the weeds, turning up soil, bringing out the goodies

Chestnut-eared Bunting, ホアカ

Raptors frequent the fields for their share. Birds fly and hide, but not all
female Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ

The ditches are popular with wagtails, snipes, winter waders

Just a concrete ditch, but supplying food for 5 different birds. (1 White Wagtail flew up) 
Pushing the f-stop to the limits, trying to get all of them in there. Wasn't too happy with it, so did some stacking to get the right idea (Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Japanese Wagtail, Common Snipe)

below the Common Greenshank, アオアシシギ with his catch of the day

Many ducks have gathered in the river. Picking out the Northern Pintail, オナガガモ but too far for a close-up. I will have to post a 'duck special' some day.

1 single Shelduck, ツクシガモ on the mudflat

I'm sitting in the sun, enjoying the last warm rays of the year. Feeding right in front of me are 20+ Dunlins, ハマシギ  They lost their summer feathers completely. It makes me sad and happy at the same time.

Northern Lapwings, タゲリ suddenly got frightened. What's up there? Another raptor probably. I'm too lazy to get up and look.

Common Sandpiper, イソシギ not too scared of me.

The Thrushes have arrived as well. Just a few still.
Dusky Thrush, ツグミ The first one of the season.

Towards the end of the day the spoonbills like to gather inone of the lakes. 

Black-faced and Eurasian Spoonbills, クロツラヘラサギ,  ヘラサギ side by side. They seem to get along alright, though this place is really preferred by the Eurasians.

Time to go home. And that's when I found the owl... 

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Long-eared Owl, トラフズク

They come to our part of the country in autumn, but we don't get to see them every year.
This time I was lucky!

Autumn birds update 1

Atumn comes and goes. Warm days, cold days, it is always the question what effect this has on our birdlife. The following photos are in chronological order, beginning with the first ones seen.

Last shot of October: Spotted Redshanks, ツルシギ in Saga

November 3rd:
Japanese Great Tit, シジュウカラ against a background of autumn colors

Bramblings, アトリ are roaming in the forests, finding food on the ground among th fallen leaves

Happy to see the Mandarin Ducks, オシドリ in the damlake of Magaribuchi

Surprise! A Eurasian Sparrowhawk, ハイタカ perched in a tree at Iharayama. I was walking and had just a small camera with me :-(

November 11th
In Imazu the Penduline Tits, ツリスガラ are often heard. But they don't want to come out on cloudy days. So I took this Reed Bunting, オオジュリン. The first of the season

Another bird that is very reuctant to show itself. I started thinking wether it had left again.
This was the last time I saw our Long-tailed Shrike, タカサゴモズ, November 11th

November 18th
In the fields towards the west Water Pipits, タヒバリ are quite active

I spotted some Red-throated Pipits, ムネアカタヒバリ at the far back. (as usual) There were about 4 birds 

The Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ fly in a lot. A very handsome male likes to hunt in Imazu

Spoonbill numbers are increasing every week. I will post some more later on

Black-faced Spoonbills, クロツラヘラサギ

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

October visits to Saga 2

My favorite place to stop on the way back from Hachimandake is Kashihara shitsugen at Nanayama. There is a swamp about 600m above sea level and it's home to a large number of plants and flowers that are seldom seen anywhere else. I'm not good with their names, but I'll give it a go

Akebonosou, アケボノソウ, Swertia bimaculata

Umebachisou, ウメバチソウ, Parnassia palustris

Kikkouhaguma, キッコウハグマ, Ainsliaea apiculata

Japanese Gentian - Rindou, リンドウ, Gentiana scabra var. buergeri

Nodake, ノダケ, Angelica decursiva
The host plant for the caterpillar of a Black Swallowtail, カラスアケハ

Found at a different location, at Tenzan: Jinjisou, ジンジソウ Saxifraga cortusaefolia