Golden Week 2013 post 2

Nagaoka Castle

Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan

Pentax K200D with Pentax 17-70mm - a nice kit for scenery, I think.

April 28, 2013

Part two of my Golden Week 2013 and we start off with views of Nagaoka Castle last Sunday afternoon. Don't be fooled. There were many, many humans about the place.

The bird photos were all at Junsai-ike, Niigata City on Monday morning. There was a nice variety of species to seek but bundles of tripods and agile walkers made for speedy record shots only.

Blue-and-white Flycatcher
Junsai-ike, Niigata City, Japan

April 29, 2013

All winter I schemed getting stunning shots of one of these in the sakura with Mt Fuji in the background.
After the rain and blossoms have gone I have had to settle for this record shot. Seconds after I found it a nice old man came over to me and stirred up a conversation and the bird departed up into the canopy. It's not that I'm a grumpy old birder, nor am I making excuses, it's just that...

This Great Spotted Woodpecker was wary and flew away as passers-by passed by.
He returned often but was unapproachable.
I guess everyone deserves a holiday. 

Had to shoot it as soon as I saw it as someone was stomping up behind me.
I think it is a Grey Bunting.

Again, I let all good birders down identifying these guys. I believe it is some kind of leaf warbler....
Please help Stuart and Ayuwat!!!??

Oriental Greenfinch

Actually I had a nice three day holiday!!!

Golden Lanterns.

Female Oriental Greenfinch with nesting material at Toyanogata, Niigata, April 17, 2011.

Golden Week has come and gone for another year. I didn't do any bird watching. Last 'bird' outing was at Toyanogata back on April 17. Didn't really see much although we found a couple of Long-tailed Rosefinches almost in the exact spot I photographed one on the 10th last year. I didn't get any good shots this year. A little frustrated by rows of photographers with big 600 and 500mm lenses on tripods. It means you can't stalk subjects without getting in the way. I like portable equipment allowing me to meander, wander, explore and stalk. This allows me to choose the best angles for lighting and good backgrounds. I don't like standing in a line waiting for Monday to get closer. 

For Golden Week we just visited some local tourist spots. First we went to the Northern Culture Museum followed by Yahiko Shrine. Buckets of people were flowing through both places on the always busy Golden Week Holidays. I uploaded these photos en mass and they came out in in different order than intended.

Male Oriental Greenfinch, Toyanogata, April 17, 2011.
A walking path at Toyanogata. Photo taken with my mobile phone. April 17, 2011

Azure-winged Magpie, Toyanogata, April 17, 2011.

To the side of the entrance path of the Niigata Northern Museum.  (May 4, 2011)

View at the Northern Culture Museum (May 4, 2011)

Inside looking out at the Northern Culture Museum. (May 4, 2011)

Garden at the Northern Culture Museum.

Wisteria just showing signs of awaking at the Northern Culture Museum.

The scenery at Yahiko Park. The blossoms all gone.

Looking towards Yahiko Mountain from Yahiko Park. 

Stone stairway at Yahiko Park. 

"Toro" - Japanese Lantern at Northern Culture Museum. (May 4,  2011)

At the Northern Culture Museum. (May 4, 2011)

This "Toro" in the grounds of the Northern Culture Museum is about a metre high.

Same as above.

"Toro", in the grounds of the Northern Culture Museum. (May 4, 2011)

A stone "Toro" at the Northern Culture Museum.

A very large stone "Toro" at Yahiko Shrine.

Wooden "Toro" at Yahiko Shrine.

One of two, "Komainu", (They mirror each other)
- a 'Lion-dog' guarding against evil spirits at the entrance of Yahiko Shrine. (May 4, 2011)

Canal at the entrance of Yahiko Shrine.