Up in the mountains

The day started with a trip into Tokyo to catch the shinkansen to Karuizawa.  It certainly puts our railways to shame in the UK.  At about 3000 feet altitude, there’s a little snow, but less than normal, but it is cold.  Not many birds, but some of them are superb.

Turning Japanese

A board full of cancellations at Heathrow didn’t provide the most optimistic of starts, but we left on time and arrived in Tokyo early.  Unable to get into our room for 7 hours we took a train into Tokyo and went birding around the Imperial Palace gardens.  We had a glorious day with a couple of lifers for me, and a hatful for Karen.

We’re a tad weary now, though.  The tour starts early tomorrow morning.

Turned out nice again

Storm Ciara arrived today, and as I had a bit of shopping to do in town, I walked down with a camera.  We haven’t had the rain that Yorkshire seems to have had, but it was very windy, although the only place that was genuinely hard to stay upright was just in from the coast, where the street layout formed a wind tunnel.  On the beach it was tough to hold a camera steady, but this isn’t the biggest sea I’ve seen in Worthing.


Quantity over quality

The blog’s been a bit quiet of late, as I’ve been walking too far to carry my SLR.  Today I tried out a new camera, which is small enough to carry the 28 miles I covered today, but has a long enough lens  to make a decent effort at birds.  The result was OK, if not dazzling.  The light for the Snipe (which never perform like that when I have an SLR with me) was pretty poor, so there’s a fair bit of noise, but the sun had come out for the, fairly distant, Nuthatch.  It will do for a record shot, should I ever find a rare bird.

What, no wildlife?

It’s been a while since I actually connected my small camera to the PC.  It seems I’ve taken a few half-decent landscapes and sunsets.

Happy New Year

There haven’t been any posts this year, mainly because I haven’t been taking many pictures.  There have been a lot of long walks, without a camera, which limits things.  Today we had a moderately long walk to Shoreham with a camera, seeing Purple Sandpiper and Kingfisher at the fort, Greenshank in the harbour and a Rock Pipit on the river.  Here’s a few pictures, along with a few Kites from the end of last year.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers (both of you).

Here’s another shot of the shrike from yesterday in slightly better light.

Great Grey Shrike

A good walk spoiled?

With the weather looking good, possibly for the last day before Christmas, I took one of my remaining days off with the intention of a 20+ mile walk around the Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings. 

My only concession to birding at Cissbury Ring was to walk at high speed around the perimeter checking the bushes for a Great Grey Shrike (there was one for a day a couple of weeks ago – surely long gone – but I’ve always fancied that there should be one up there one winter).  My plans were thrown into disarray when I actually found one.  It played the usual Shrike game of hide and seek , but ended up showing beautifully: what a shame I only had my compact camera, but it was meant to be a long walk.

The hour spent there meant that plans had to be changed, and the day turned into a shorter walk, returning to Cissbury in the afternoon, to meet up with Karen and my SLR.  The light was now awful and the bird utterly uncooperative, but it finally deigned to sit around for a couple of pictures.

(It ended up at 16.5 miles)

A short peregrination

I wasn’t up to much today, having just got back from a week working in Japan.

A short walk over to the reedbed just east of us failed to produce the hoped-for Jack Snipe, but 6 Snipes and a Woodcock were good, and this Peregrine flew into a pylon above us.

Madagascar Photos

The photos from my last few posts are now in one place in Madagascar 2019

There are more photos, and better quality and higher resolution copies of the ones posted here on my OneDrive.  It might be a bit slow: there’s a lot of big files there.