Oji-ro and JPW

White-tailed Sea-eagle
"Oji-ro washi"

Toyanogata, Niigata, Japan

January 10, 2015

Enjoyed a late morning at Toyanogata with Mr Honma. He kindly showed me where to see the lone White-tailed Sea-eagle and I was very happy to get such close views despite lots of branches and twigs between us and the subject.

We also saw plenty of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a couple of Japanese Woodpeckers and a number of the Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers. Quite a few Great Tits and Mallard out on the water.

Thank you Mr Honma. A very satisfying outing.

Finally some sun

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker

Toyanogata, Niigata, Japan

A Road to Nara

Messengers of Shinto Gods, Sika Deer wander freely around Nara’s world heritage site that incorporates several of Japan’s oldest temples and shrines. The deer are designated “National Living Treasures” by the highest legislation in the land. 

I wish Australia’s animals were protected with such respect. Everything in Australia seems to be evaluated by scientific conditions such as biodiversity and sustainability, with little conceptualisation of the value of heritage.

(click on the image for a larger view)

We had a long weekend for March 21, 22, and 23 and we took the seven hour drive from Niigata to Nara. (The capital before Kyoto, which was before Tokyo). It was rainy and snowy along the road but we enjoyed two nights in Nara. The Saturday weather was kind to us and most of these shots were taken then. 

Thank you to Mr and Mrs Kosaka who kindly showed us the secret parking spaces of Nara, bought us too much dinner and took us out on the town in Osaka on Saturday night. I treasure my new hat.

Mr Kosaka has a wonderful hat store in Nara and he visited Canberra last October with the mayor of Nara and presented his new product, the "Sun Levee" which protects wearers from harmful UV. I think it will be most beneficial to those who have to work in the Australian sun. His website is in Japanese but can be accessed here: http://j-k-labo.co.jp

Japanese Pigmy Woodpecker on the grounds of Todai-ji

I saw a swarm of birds including Great and Long-tailed Tit as well as this JPW and they looked so nice in the sunlight but when I got out my bird camera and approached they went up into the shadows. Ain't it the way.

Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) at Todai-ji

The Great Buddha of Nara (Nara Daibutsu) (right figure) was completed in 751 or 752 AD according to various sources

I think the looming figure on the right is Bishamonten 

One of Todai-ji's guards

Oriental Turtle Dove in Nara Park (Nara Koen)

Dusky Thrush

Nara Park


Kofuku-ji (above and below)

Mr Kosaka in his hat store in Nara.

and me

Golden Week 2013 post 1

View at an inlet up along the Shinano River Niigata, Japan

April 20, 2013

The first two pics were taken last week but hopefully this is the first post for this year's Golden Week. We just had a three day weekend with Monday off. Two more work days for me til we get a big four days off. Hope the weather will let me do another Golden Week post in a few days.

Japanese White-eye

Junsai-ike, Niigata City, Japan

April 27, 2013

Brown-eared Bulbul

Junsai-ike, April 27

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker

Junsai-ike, April 27th.

Tulips alongside the Shinano River, Niigata City late afternoon April 27th.

Saturday Morn

Barn Swallow

Junsai-ike, Niigata, Japan

April 13, 2013

Last Saturday morn Mr Honma and myself visited Junsai-ike from 7am til it started raining at about 10. I felt cold and called it a day. Typically it became fine and warm once I got home and packed up the camera. 

Some blossoms about but also bits of melting snow under the hedges etc. I think when the weather became finer it would have been too crowded with humans for birds. 

We saw this lost bunny when we arrived. It's haunted me since. I should have tried to catch it.

Black-faced Bunting female

Thought this was an Eurasian Siskin female however, many thanks to Pat Moll with the comment below

I think: first time for me to ID these.

male Black-faced Bunting

ID thanks to Pat Moll, comment below.

Great Spotted Woodpecker female

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker

Common Moorhen