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

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

Cormorants in the Rain

Great Cormorant

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

December 20, 2017

I've learned living in Niigata, that if you don't go out in the rain, you just don't go out. 

I think there are three possible cormorants to see in Niigata, but I just call them all "Great Cormorants". I must study the ones by the sea more carefully.

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

Don't Egret It

Great White Egret

Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

November 28, 2017

After impatiently waiting for rain to go away, Monday and Tuesday were fine. I decided to take some time off and go to Fukushimagata.

Many geese and swans but few raptors. I mostly enjoyed breathing air and seeing the mountains.

Maybe it will be the last fine day before Christmas.

Grey Heron

Bean Geese