Saturday, July 19, 2014

Peregrine 2014


My first photo of a newly fledged Peregrine Falcon for 2014

Niigata City, Japan

July 6, 2014


It's been a good summer for raptors nesting in Niigata City. I have already watched Eurasian Kestrels and Northern Goshawks successfully bring out their young and am delighted to have found a single, new Peregrine Falcon on top of the Niigata Prefectural Office building.

Peregrines last bred successfully there back in 2009 but the original female was seriously injured in an accident and retrieved to live out her life in a sanctuary. The male met a new female and the two have remained on the building throughout the years but this is the first time they have been successful at raising young. 

As with previous years I witnessed the two mating high up on the buildings in the area (usually in March) but I have been sceptical as nothing came of it in previous years.

I called my friend Mr Honma and told him the news that night. The next day he confirmed my observation and notified the Niigata Wild Bird Society. The news has been well received and when making an official report, they were going put the observation in Mr Honma's name but he honestly told them that it was yours truly who first found the new peregrine and thus he informed me that the report has been made in my name. Which I think is pretty cool. Thank you, Mr Honma!

I can't believe nobody noticed them raising it but anyhow all is good. I'm usually reluctant to divulge nesting areas but this is on top of one of Niigata's highest buildings right next to the prefectural police headquarters and overlooking a government helipad. I think they are fairly secure. I just briefly stopped by and took four photos in a space of 20 seconds.

Yesterday I checked and witnessed the solo young bird pursuing an adult to retrieve dinner. All is good for now. The young one is quite vocal when in the air so I'm sure many curious persons will look up.





Eurasian Kestrel

Just a kilometre up river from the prefectural office building, I took this last photo of the remaining kestrel on July 6, just about 20 minutes before finding the peregrine. I had been worried about the youngest kestrel as it appeared to be sitting on a building without attempting to fly weeks after its siblings had left the area. I was happy to arrive just in time to see it fly out and greet an adult who gifted it with this dinner. I went back a week later and it was no longer there. Being an optimist, I guess it too had grown strong enough to venture away. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Goshawk Family 2014


Northern Goshawk

Niigata City,  Japan

Newly fledged

June 28, 2014

This year Northern Goshawks raised three young in a park in Niigata City. I don't know which park. I was taken there blind-folded. (Not really, but I pretend)

The place has been kept quiet to avoid buckets of tripods and smokers from loitering beneath the nest but I heard the news has spread and there were indeed numerous cameras visiting every day.

I visited just twice so far; a 90 minute visit one morning a couple of weeks ago after I heard they'd fledged, then another for about an hour last Sunday afternoon.

I followed the progress of the nest via telephone; a 'friend who knows someone'. I've decided to stay away from pointing my lens at active nests as much as possible.

I hope they stay at the site next year.


These pics were with my Nikon D300. I sent my D800 off for service on June 7. More about that another time.



Adult and below





A present from an adult





I think it is the adult female on the left and the three young

June 5, 2014

Nikon D300 with AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm VR @1/80 of a second handheld

Adult female is an impressive raptor