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, 27 February 2019

More of mid February

Having the day off I wanted to go out birding, but it was raining. I waited till the afternoon and did a small round in my area. Checked the Mandarin Ducks, オシドリ at the small pond. There are around 6 birds, but they see me coming too soon.

I heard the Bluetail, but it would not come down.
Mr and Mrs Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ keeping a constant eye on me. 

That's some fat bit of larva he's got! He sucked it right out. Japanese Great Tit, シジュウカラ

The following day was Jaap's birthday and we payed a brief visit to our popular shrine.

The coins are not worth much, but there are not many countries where you can find money lying around in public places like this :-)

The Plum blossom was still fresh and several birds like thrushes, tits and Japaese Bush Warblers could be heard. The last one singin awkwardly.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Crested Kingfisher, ヤマセミ

At the usual place...

 ... 2 birds

Let's hope they will succeed nesting this year...

Sunday, 17 February 2019

February 17th in Imazu

The Goldeneyes, オオジロガモ had an intruder. A Herring Gull (Vega Gull), セグロカモメ was constantly on top of them, bothering them when they came from a dive down looking for food, landing nearly on top of them.

Common Shelducks, ツクシガモ

At the creek I found Black-crowned Night Heron, ゴイサギ nr 12

With so many Reed Buntings, オオジュリン around this year it's easy to find one at a photogenic spot

A Buzzard, ノスリ flew in and sat on the tree right next to me briefly. I'm sure he or she had it's eyes on one of the Reed Buntings, but didn't get it.

What a raffled tail. Life must be hard on the sometimes

The lucky bird that got away

The Kingfisher, カワセミ at one of it's favorite spots

Muromi river

Fishermen setting up the traps for our "whitebait" which will be on the market in March. The local restaurants serve it life! I tried it once and found my mouth full of those jumping fish an unusual experience, but not that tasty and actualy a bit 'kawaiso' ... Once was enough.

Kids from a nearby Preschool wearing the same 'uniform' in winter as in summer? 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Black-crowned Night Herons, ゴイサギ in Imazu

These Night Herons never fail to uplift my spirits. I have not been able to take any good photos, but the fact that they chose this place to stay the winter, while numbers of other birds have gone down so much makes me feel good. As if we don't need to worry about them. And then it has become a sport to locate as many as possible. I started of with just 3 or 4, but this week there were 11 birds. I'd better record this. The juveniles worry less about hiding into the reeds. Their plumage is their camouflage.

Fun facts

Another name for Black-crowned Night Heron is Quark Bird because of the sound it makes as it flies.
They sometimes lure food to them using bait or vibrating their bill in the water.
When disturbed young birds can regurgitate partially eaten food onto the intruder.
They sometimes eat chicks of other waterfowl. Their digestive acids are so strong, the bones dissolve in their stomachs.

Other birds on the same day

Daurian Redstart, ジョウビタキ

Magpie, カササギ challenging young Peregrine Falcon, ハヤブサ

Lady Kestrel, チョウゲンボウ

Rooks, ミヤマガラス on the move.

Any others among them? Yes, 2 Carrion Crows, ハシボソガラス

Plum, 梅

All those dark cold days after the New Year's holidays we long for warmth and light. And then, suddenly, there is Plum. The blossom came early this year. The first images are already 2 weeks old.

Japanese White-eye, メジロ in a  Plum tree, 梅

Officially spring starts on the 1st day February. Visiting birds start leaving then. I look out for ducks' courtship displays. Magpies and Shrikes are flying by with presents. Some are already preparing a nest. But my days are still cold. I'm looking forward to hear the Uguisu sing.

After reading an article about Kofuji in Itoshima I went there to see the 3000 or so plumtrees. The  slope of Mt Kaya was filled with trees that produce the 'ume' for Japanese 'umeboshi' pickles and they were all in bloom. Their flowers are white and small. Pretty for the eye, not so much for the camera. The decorative plum trees that the locals keep in their gardens are much more photogenic. Below the result of a cloudy afternoon.