Don’t be fooled into thinking that raptors are terrible and evil hunters preying on the beautiful and weak. The most carnage I have seen in Japan has been by the common Oriental Crow (Nee, Carrion Crow). I have seen them take swallows, bats and this finch. They destroy Goshawk nests, push around Steller’s Eagles and pretty much rule the place. They are very active too.
Golden Week 2019 is soon setting into history. My passerine photo collection still wains behind large easy to photograph raptors and here are my only successes. I tried hard but didn’t find many subjects other than these. These three are still excitement for tired eyes, a sore throat and blocked nose.
Here are some recent images from Niigata. It’s seems winter had an early end, yet snow is forecast for Wednesday. A lot of rain today. I visited some different places and suddenly the swans and ducks that made up the bulk of birdlife throughout winter have gone. The weekend was sunny and spring-like, but I found it's silence somewhat eerie.
Some sparrows at Hyoko, Niigata. Hyoko is famous for swans and ducks but there are also some smaller species. All look beautiful in the snow.
Well, the winter break is far over already. I was hoping to spend lots of time capturing goshawks and falcons chasing ducks around the wetlands, but I could only muster a few rare and distant glimpses. My most successful photos were just of the swans and the mountains, which I took on December 31. Maybe the most exciting photos are of the male Smew which I realised was coming straight at me. I hope to go out sometime during the Coming of Age long weekend. The forecast looks good.