Little Baby Birdy

White Wagtail

Niigata City, Japan

July, 2016

Went out for a walk with my old D300 the day after my last post and found this baby Wagtail. I also used the old Nikkor 80-400 VR. The lens was released in 2000 and boasted Nikon's first attempt at image stabilisation. I didn't get it until 2010 after waiting yonks for the updated version. (It came in 2013). I can't believe my D300 is already 9 years old. I love the build quality. It's sad that I just can't put a new sensor in it. These pics were at ISO800 to 1000. It was very late in the day and in shadows. I scrubbed up the noise a bit with a tad "sharpened". 

Bic Camera is offering 17 000 yen trade in for a D300 for the new D500 ($200aus) It was originally over two grand. The same price as the D500. I think I'll keep it. The kit is very compact.

Shadow of the Wagtail

White Wagtail

Niigata, Japan

July 18, 2016

Been quiet recently. Very warm and humid. I haven't been in the mood to go out much. Steamy is a good way to describe it. This White Wagtail I met this afternoon looked as if it had been walking around in the steam.

White Wagtail

White Wagtail

 Motacilla alba ocularis

UPDATE: I'm now relabelling it as Motacilla alba   'lugens' not "ocularis" as originally posted thanks to Ayuwat's comment below - see comments and Thank you to Ayuwat.


Niigata Prefectural License Center, Niigata, Japan

October 27, 2013

I posted a Willie Wagtail which is a fantail from Australia a couple of weeks ago. This time I'm posting a common sight in Niigata which I believe is a real wagtail species from the northern hemisphere. This guy hanged-out with me while waiting at the Niigata Prefectural License Center.

I didn't realise until I opened my guides that there are numerous variations so I hope I have chosen the correct one. Any opinions are most welcome. Many thanks.

First Buzzard


Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

September 2013

We've had a long summer this year in Niigata. The last real bird adventure for me was watching the Northern Goshawk fledglings back in June. It has been quiet ever since, so much Australian content has been added to this blog in that time.

I've been trying to find the signs of seasonal migrations but mostly I have just found the lingering signs of summer. I have been searching Fukushimagata, Sakata, Mt Yamamoto, and Junsai-ike the last few weeks and uploaded my findings now. Mostly all the images are summer.

This week has seen the biggest typhoon to hit Japan in ten years and the temperature is dramatically dropping so things should look different in the coming weeks. The buzzard I have posted here is from last Sunday morning and is a sign the cooler months are arriving. I have only seen them in summer high up in the mountains. I also saw a sprinkling of ducks with a dash of distant Bean Geese at Fukushimagta on Sunday.

In the dark hours of Tuesday morning I heard swans flying over my bed. It will be a long winter next.

Fukushimagata, Niigata

Tiny Tortoises



Sakata, Niigata

Giant Tadpoles


Junsai-ike, Niigata

Help needed to identify this chick, please?


Eastern Buzzard




Little Tern


The observatory at Fukushimagata is to be torn down over winter and rebuilt for spring.
Too bad everyone wants to use it at winter the most. I can see the top deck is already being dismantled.

White Wagtail with dragonfly





Too bad about the dirt spots on this one :(


Common Kestrel 
(Fukushimagata, June 4, 2011)
Today, I was strolling in the middle of the day at Fukushimagata. I was walking in an area with long grass and reeds all around and was thus surrounded by the calls of warblers, sparrows and finches. Suddenly I realised that with a few chirps, all the small birds were fleeing from the grasses towards a clump of large trees ahead of me. It was obviously evasive action yet I scanned the skies for a predator but saw nothing. An eerie quiet took over the area and it took me another two or three minutes to get up on the road that cut through the trees. Once there I looked up and saw a crow chasing this kestrel towards me. The kestrel was well above the trees but I tried to get focus through the branches and managed to just get two shots in a gap between the trees; the first a little out of focus and this one. It's into the sun and overexposed, but still I think its ok in that we can almost see what it was carrying. I thought it wanted to stop in the trees but I think it saw me, did a left, and faded into a dot over the rice fields. 

I continued past the trees and followed the road for another 50 metres in the direction from which the  kestrel had come. I saw a very young wagtail on the side of the road and one adult. I had seen two adults in the same spot one week ago taking food to a spot in the bank of a waterway next to the road. I wonder if the package the kestrel was carrying was a member of the wagtail family?

White Wagtail, male

White Wagtail, female