Tokyo and the Izu Islands

One last post from Japan, this time from our extension, which started with a day in the Tokyo area, followed by an overnight ferry to the Izu Islands in the hope of albatrosses from the boat.

Hokkaido III

One last lot from Hokkaido, starting with a return to Notsuke, the Fish Owl and Sable at the magnificent Yoroushi Onsen, a visit to Lake Kussharo, some volcanic springs and a return to Tsurui for some more cranes.



Hokkaido II

If you don’t like eagles look away now.  This post is very edited highlights of our boat trip from Rausu to see the Steller’s and White-tailed Eagles being fed.

Hokkaido I

One of the few benefits of the lockdown is that I have more time to spend on my photos.  I need it: there’s not that many species on Hokkaido, but they are superb, so I shot more than half my of photos in the few days we spent there.  Here’s a sample from the first few days, starting in Tsurui for the cranes, moving on to Nemuro for some seabirds and then to our night in Rausu.

Japan II – Kyushu

Down south this time, where spring is springing, with two nights at the cranes in Arasaki and two nights near Miike.

Japan I – Honshu

Here’s the first batch of pictures from Japan, covering the first section of the trip on Honshu, starting in Tokyo, spending three nights in Karuizawa and a couple of nights in Kaga.

Not so cunning

Foxes on Hokkaido are great.  Not only do they look fantastic in their fluffy winter coats, but they’re also very friendly, actively seeking out humans in case there’s a sandwich or fish going spare.  This one had gone for a more traditional route, though, having caught a shrew and taken it off to eat in peace.  Things didn’t quite go to plan though…

After much more pouncing and digging, the fox gave up and looked sad at us until it was thrown some food.

Done and dusted

Our trip to Japan is over, we’re now at the boarding gate.

Yesterday’s pelagic trip to see some albatrosses was amazing, with over 100 seen.  A great trip to a great country: we had a whale of a time!

Humpback Whale

The vigil ends…

“It’s been coming between half past five and half past six the last few days.”  Excellent – a great bird and an early night.   By nine o’clock the advice was “probably between three and five tomorrow morning, but it could come in the next five minutes.”  Time to take three-hour shifts so we got at least some sleep.  Both awake for three, still nothing doing, and four went past too.

Finally after just short of eleven hours watching it came in.  Blakiston’s Fish Owl: what a bird!