Wednesday 21 February 2018

Rausu and Notsuke

From the Blakiston's Fish Owl atYoroushi Onsen we cut across to the coast to head up to Rausu and the next iconic Hokkaido sight, the flocks of eagles around Rause harbour.

The eagles were the main target and though it would have been good to connect with the likes of the returning Bufflehead, the local wintering Ravens or anything else of interest we moved soon moved south to the Notsuke Peninsula once we'd had good views of the eagles and checked the various (largely empty) harbours.

Imagine this on your doorstep.

The usual birds were in the harbours but from the Kansai perspective Harlequin Duck, Glaucous-winged and Glaucous Gulls were the pick.


Glaucous-winged Gulls

Juvenile Glaucous takes some beating...

The first birds we saw on Notsuke were Snow Buntings but it was really difficult to get decent shots because they were quite flighty and the grass stems meant some were always out of focus. It was only after going through the images at home that I realised Snow Bunting was a photograph tick!

In late afternoon hundreds of Sika Deer were coming out into the open along the peninsula.

I've never been to Lake Biwa when there wasn't a long line of photographers' cars and ranks of cameras at the ready to capture 'our' Steller's every move. It almost seems sinful to have a solitary Steller's all to yourself.