The Frozen Lake

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

February 11, 2018

After a long cold week with heavy snow, it was sunny yesterday morning so I went to Hyoko. It was treacherous walking between thick walls of ice. A kind lady showed her concern for me while I was standing on the slippery ice and she cleared a space for me next to her on up on a ledge of soft snow. We stood side-by-side for a while with our digital cameras with birds all around us. I think everyone should have a digital camera and stand by the side of a lake.

BiFs for the New Year

Northern Pintail

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

January 5, 2018

After two years thinking about it, I finally got a Nikon D500. The pictures are noisier than the D800 but the AF is pretty amazing, and I can take millions of pictures in half a second. It seems. Thankfully I'm not paying $36 for a roll of Ektachrome.

I was interested in BiFs decades ago and it was such a big thing to get any decent shot. Like one every three months or so. I don't know if I have stated it before but I remember going to the Birds Australia library in the early 1990s and a kind man named David Eades photocopied several articles on how to do it. I think one was by the American photographer Brian Wheeler. I then got one of his books but can't find it anywhere. 

I learned about 3oo 2.8 lenses a but they were beyond me. I found a Pentax 400 f5.6 for $4500 aus but those who knew me suggested I shouldn't spend that on a hobby. Not to matter. I got one for half the price when I arrived in Tokyo. I can't understand why Australians have to pay so much more than everyone in other countries.

It's all point and shoot now. Easy to forget to concentrate. Can't blame the equipment any more.

I guess Nikon will announce the D500s next week with much less noise. 

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Endless Rain

Tundra Swans

Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

January 3, 2018

I went to Hyoko again this morning but light, wet, snow became a blizzard so I only stayed for an hour. By the time I got home again the sun broke out. 

I wonder what Charles Darwin would have thought after many years in Japan. I went from steak and veges to rice and miso. I think the shape of my beak has changed. I know my body has.

I have been getting into a lot of Japanese music recently. I watched X Japan sing "Endless Rain" on the tele the other night and I broke and bought it. Listened to it heaps, along with Masaharu Fukuyama's latest song. 

Another Year Over


Hyoko, Niigata, Japan

December, 2017

My mum passed away on the first day of this year so today is the eve of her first anniversary.

I still have metal things in the arm I broke. The largest looks like a utensil for serving spaghetti. 

There have been some challenges but I have wonderful family and friends and I know I'm lucky to be looked after so well. 

I think the best way for me to see out this year is to find something beautiful with my lens and share it with the world. 

Hyo Lake in Agano City, Niigata is famous for its swans. 80% are Tundra Swans and the rest are Whooper Swans. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you find something beautiful in your new year.

Tundra Swan

Whooper Swan

Sunny at Sakata


Niigata, Japan

December 3, 2017

Yesterday Keiko, Jonah, and Luke kindly took me to Sakata. It was sunny but very cool when we got there. It was nice to see plenty of waterfowl out on the water including Smew, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shovelers and maybe more. 

I mostly enjoyed seeing long legged birds such as egrets, Grey Herons and the very delightful Oriental Stork.

Raptors included Black-eared Kites, a very pale headed Eurasian Harrier, and several other normal harriers.

Later, we went to a farmers market and I bought some rice before we headed to a cafe for coffee and gelato. 

Wish we could do it again tomorrow!

Thanks guys!

Little Egret

Tundra Swans

Grey Heron

Oriental Stork

Great White Egret

Bull-headed Shrike