Monday 25 July 2016

Greater Painted Snipe with chicks

Some more shots from my Mie trip last week.

This male Greater Painted Snipe with chicks was a surprise find, at first they were too close to get a shot off, but they dashed away so quickly I still couldn't get a good in focus image before they made it into cover.

Initially they were at my feet and I was too startled to think of the camera. After a short dash they paused as if to assess which way to the best cover.

Mind made up, off they went again. They almost look like a family of ducks here.
Sticking with waders I saw six Greenshank, two parties of three, in various stages of moult from breeding to non-breeding plumage. All adults, no sign of any juveniles coming down yet.

The hind bird had the most advanced moult of any Greenshank I saw.
I saw 15 species of waders, it's early days yet, but most were too far out on the mud for photography. A pity as there was a cracking Sanderling and some smart Red-necked Stints too. The only really close birds were Grey-tailed Tattlers.

Waders aside there wasn't too much to get excited about, a few terns were passing but mostly too far out to ID (there were Little and Common for sure), plenty of shearwaters off-shore too but all the expected Streaked. This male Northern Goshawk was less camera-shy than many though and was quite happy sitting on this exposed branch while Oriental Greenfinches occasionally buzzed it.

There were torrential downpours throughout the day, they didn't matter too much as most birding in this area is from inside the shelter of my van. However by mid-afternoon I'd had enough and decided to try the mountains on the way home. On the face of it, it sounds pretty daft given I could see from the coast that clouds were down to nearly the base of the range, but often one side will be bathed in sunshine while the other is getting a right royal soaking. It didn't quite pay off and I was limited to hearing birds in the fog, but sure enough a couple of kilometres beyond my birding area it was clear skies all the way back to Kyoto.

One final shot from the coast as it's a little unusual to see racoon dog out and about in daylight. As a rule they there's nothing much about them that suggests 'dog' to my eyes (unless it were a very overweight corgi), but with only the head poking up it does indeed have a dog-ish feel to it.

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