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


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.

Zen and

Spot-billed Duck

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

I saw a book advertised in a Birdlife magazine this past summer and I ordered it. It is called "The Art of Mindful Birdwatching - Reflection on Freedom & Being". It was written by Claire Thompson and published by Leaping Hare Press, UK. 

It has some nice ideas and I recommend it. 

I sometimes worry about and, and a bird a day reminds me of where I am. I'm sure many birdos would agree with this book.

Goshawks 2016

Northern Goshawks

Niigata, Japan

June 19, 2016

Mr Honma and I went for a quick look at the goshawk nest this morning. I have been impatiently wanting to check it out but we have been waiting for the chicks to leave the nest.   We were a bit early with two just out of the nest and one still in the nest. I only spent about four minutes to capture the female and chick in the nest. The mum obviously didn't like attention so we left them alone to spend some time getting portraits of a single fledgling about 50 metres away. 

These pics are heavily cropped from the D800.

I also found the Kestrels along the Shinano River with 3 fledglings a couple of weeks ago. I got so-so pics but will post a brief story about them later.