Visitors from the North Pacific?

Peregrine Falcon

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

November 24, 2014



Today was a national holiday and I enjoyed a walk around Fukushimagata. (It was a dull day as you can see in the photos, but no rain!) More and more, I'm not surprised when finding birds that I think are from the North Pacific region. The above peregrine is a return visitor, the locals call, "O-hayabusa". (Great Peregrine) I'm sure it is the same one in the same location seen the last few winters. I think it is a Peale's Falcon as in this past post.

Not long after I photographed the "Northern Pacific Peregrine", some "Lesser Canada Geese" flew over. I've reported them before as well as seen here.

I've also included an American Wigeon, which I photographed at Hyoko back on November 8, 2014.

According to my field guides, all these guys are supposed to be rare visitors to Japan. I'm lucky to meet up with them again!


Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

American Wigeon 

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

November 8, 2014

Fukushimagata

Lesser Canada Goose

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

November 24, 2014

Lesser Canada Goose (top) with Bean Goose (below)

Mr Honma's Bird Tour


Steller's Sea-eagle

Niigata, Niigata, Japan

February 1, 2014



Mr Honma's now in his late seventies. He doesn't go birding/birdwatching everyday but he keeps mindful of what's about the place. 

He picked me up at 8am and our first bird of the day was the Steller's Sea-eagle. I'm not excited about photographing it up on the metal electricity tower but I'm still happy to see it. What bird-minded person in the world would be disappointed starting the day with a Steller's Sea-eagle?

After that, we visited the big, dark, Peregrine Falcon (Which I regard as a "Peale's Falcon"). I am a little concerned about it because it kept closing its right eye. We enjoyed nice views of it.

Then we headed to Hyoko and saw the winter collection of ducks. I took heaps of pics as usual and will post some later. They had posted a wanted ad the day before (in the newspaper), looking for American Wigeon and Smew. I took a pic of the Wigeon and was given a laminated certificate and two tickets for entry into the local museum. 

To finish our outing off we visited an area known for a Crested Ibis. ("Toki") Lots of cars and photographers and sightseers. 

We headed back home at 1pm and saw another Steller's Sea-eagle circling over the busy motor-bypass running right near the centre of the city.

I thought we'd seen a number of important birds for the morning; just running briefly between one then the next. I told Mr Honma any birder in the world would surely be impressed with such a tour. I told him he should get a bus and do the tour everyday. He looked at me very seriously but didn't say anything.

Thank you, Mr Honma. I really enjoyed the birds and your company! 





Steller's Sea-eagle with Eurasian Kestrel below

Peregrine Falcon





Whooper Swan

American Wigeon

Notice looking for location and time of sighting of the two pictured birds.

Birders watching "Toki" (Crested Ibis, Japanese Crested Ibis)







American Wigeon


American Wigeon

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

December 29, 2012

Nikon D800, Nikkor AF-S 300mm f4


Not quite what Lenny Kravitz was singing about but a beautiful little duck nonetheless. 

Found a number of serious birders at Hyoko last Saturday looking for the threatened Ferruginous Duck, which is a very rare visitor to Japan. I couldn't find it but was pretty excited to find this. I thought it was an American Wigeon when I first saw it and still reckon I'm right. According to my bird books it is a rare visitor to Japan although it is common in North America. I seem to keep finding vagrants in Niigata which keeps me on my toes and interested. I've included the camera model as I'm over the moon at the detail of the original raw files. 

Thank you for checking out this blog and for your comments. I hope you have a wonderful 2013!