Swarming Ducks

Northern Pintail

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

September 30, 2018


Well. It's that time of the year again. It's exciting to see so many ducks arrive at Fukushimagata. Many Pintail went overhead without landing but in front of me were thousands of Common or Eurasian Teal. I visited last Sunday too, but there was only one single teal then. How a week has changed things. Raptors were on the go, but I failed to get any decent shots. Two peregrines, three goshawks. I could see a spectacular adult goshawk sitting out in the middle of the water but it was way out of reach of my lens. When it moved, so did the ducks and I totally lost sight of the raptor in the crowd. Hopefully some exciting months ahead.

I only stayed a short while as a felt the wind building its power behind my back. I decided to get home before the typhoon got here. I feel sorry for all those birds that have travelled far only to arrive in time for a typhoon.





























Duck for Christmas


Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

December 27, 2017


It's nice to get some time off for winter. It seems to have been a long year. Being in Japan, Christmas Day was a work day but I took it off and headed to Hyoko. I found an adult Northern Goshawk hunting there then. Today I headed back with Luke and we found a young one doing the same. A number of raptors were about including Peregrine, Eurasian Buzzard, and milvus kites. Plenty of ducks included, Northern Pintail, Pochard, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Wigeon, Tuft and various mixes. Of course Tundra and Whooper Swans for which the place is famous. Coot, cormorants, sparrows, egrets, a Grey Heron, Carrion Crows. 

My weather app predicted 1C as the high for the day and hard ice under foot cracked with my steps. Love it but I don't want to fall.


Northern Goshawk





Eurasian Teal





Peregrine Falcon







Dogfight

Northern Goshawk

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

October, 2017


Almost every October I have found young goshawks around Fukushimagata with their eyes on the freshly arrived teal. This year a more mature bird has been on patrol.

There is usually one or two Eastern Marsh Harriers about the place as well and this one time I managed to see the two species interact. I think the goshawk is a female. Her body seems to be much bulkier than that of the harrier.







Eastern Marsh Harrier obscured by the Northern Goshawk with Eurasian Teal in the foreground.








The iWants

Northern Goshawk

Adult

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

February 21, 2016

Sony RX100iii held up to a Nikon ED50 field scope

I didn't bring an adaptor!



I want a big new spotting scope. Either Zeiss, Swarovski, or Leica will do.  The above goshawk looked fantastic through my little scope but I imagined a nice, intimate portrait with snow and dead reeds would have been nice. Looking through my scope the breeze was blowing the reeds in and out of the way and the soft feathers on the hawk's chest were fluffed up. The goshawk was interested in the ducks on the water and its yellow eyes peered through the reeds, sometimes almost directly at us. 



Nikon D7100 with Nikkor AF-S 300F4


Black-eared Kite




I got ready with my D7100 and 300 f4 when it looked like flying anf it came right at me. I messed up though, the camera just got stuck on the background.





I lost focus after this shot and didn't regain it until it had almost passed me.



Rock Dove
 I only brought my little scope and D7100 with the Nikkor 300 f4. These photos show why I like that set up. I wasn't ready for the goshawk.

Anyway. It was a fruitful outing.
Northern Pintail

female

Northern Pintail

male

Common Pochard

Whooper Swan



Eurasian Teal

male



Ducks and Hunters

Northern Goshawk

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

October 7, 2015
 The weather was beautiful today and I managed some time off work so I headed where I expected to find some action. This is an exciting time of the year as good numbers of waterfowl return to the wetlands. I visited Fukushimagata last Saturday and saw lots of ducks. Just a few days later and I saw lots and lots and lots of ducks. On both occassions I saw Goshawks and Peregrines but today also added Eastern Marsh Harrier to the raptor count. I also saw a lone swan flying high and calling. I'm sure the rest of its clan will arrive tomorrow!


Mostly Eurasian Teal




Eastern Marsh Harrier

Northern Goshawk

A Northern Pintail in there

Peregrine Falcon





A lone Swan. I guess a Whooper Swan