Sunday, June 19, 2016

Goshawks 2016

Northern Goshawks

Niigata, Japan

June 19, 2016

Mr Honma and I went for a quick look at the goshawk nest this morning. I have been impatiently wanting to check it out but we have been waiting for the chicks to leave the nest.   We were a bit early with two just out of the nest and one still in the nest. I only spent about four minutes to capture the female and chick in the nest. The mum obviously didn't like attention so we left them alone to spend some time getting portraits of a single fledgling about 50 metres away. 

These pics are heavily cropped from the D800.

I also found the Kestrels along the Shinano River with 3 fledglings a couple of weeks ago. I got so-so pics but will post a brief story about them later.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Swifts and Terns

White-winged Tern

Sakata, Niigata, Japan

June 4, 2016

Had a scarce bird outing on Saturday and Sunday and found some scarce birds to match. I think these were White-winged Terns. At first I thought they were Black Terns but I think the contrasts are more likely to be White-wings. Both are scarce in Japan.

I also had some swifts that came overhead for a couple of minutes. It was quite gusty and challenging for the D7100 and AF-S 80-400mm to keep up. I was so frustrated with the buffer of the camera. Every time a bird was coming towards me I'd start firing when in range but the camera would freeze after 3 shots. I really need to convince my wife that I need a D500. On Sunday I went back with the D800 and found it was much better but I didn't get close enough for any decent shots.

There were two pods of terns on both days. The more common-usual, Little Terns and White-winged terns took turns in their groups to pass over the lake. The rarer bird seemed shyer and rarely came over close. 

Little Tern

Pacific Swift

Barn Swallow

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A rose by the name of "Bara"


-Japanese for "Rose"

Echigo Hillside Park, Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan

May 29, 2016

No, it's not Australian English. "Bara" is the Japanese word for "rose".

We went to the Nagaoka Rose Show today. It was just supposed to start this weekend but due to warm humid weather the roses have mostly bloomed early and are already in the last stages. 

To encourage everyone to come, admission was free for the day except for 310 yen for parking. It was quite crowded. I took buckets of pics and chose 12 for this post. I think the one with the bee isn't a rose.

After a long dull winter, it's nice to have some colour. Enjoying summer before it gets too hot.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A walk around Fukushimagata


Niigata, Japan

May 15, 2016

 It was early summer out there today. I went for bit of a walk around Fukushimagata. Didn't really find anything new. The bird of the day was "Grey Heron". They were everywhere. Also spot-billed Duck and Mallard. A small sprinkling of egrets and other small herons but I didn't take any pics. 

I also saw Oriental Goldfinch, Oriental Reed Warblers, sparrows, Chestnut-cheeked Starlings, and Black-eared Kites. I realised today that I haven't seen Ospreys here for a least 3 years now. They were always here before that during summer. I think the trees are less now.

This Large-billed Crow didn't like me walking near its nest.