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  1. HokkaidoStu

    So is the Canon R5 a bird photography body?

    I got the ProGrade 128GB UHS-II card (the gold one, not the more expensive cobalt one). Seems fine for photos including long bursts.
  2. HokkaidoStu

    San Tin Fishponds (and beyond), Hong Kong

    Passed through San Tin last week Mike. Got a few interesting birds in the gloom and rain: a displaying Greater Coucal was the most striking.
  3. HokkaidoStu

    EOS-R first impressions for bird photos

    Thanks for the reply. Are there any advantages (apart from use of EF-S lenses) to using crop mode instead of just cropping the image on the computer later?
  4. HokkaidoStu

    EOS-R first impressions for bird photos

    I hadn't read or heard about this. How does it work? Is its main purpose for using EF-S lenses? Sounds like a side effect may be it provides a ready cropped image with lower file sizes. Is that true?
  5. HokkaidoStu

    Japan in May 2019

    I'd say the Furen-ko/Nemuro area is better than Rausu in May. But Rausu is of course the easiest place to see the BF Owls. Some of the woodland/high altitude species may not have arrived in Rausu yet (indeed the higher roads may still be closed due to snow even in late May). If you want nice...
  6. HokkaidoStu

    Japan in May 2019

    Sounds like Youroshi Onsen to me................... There are business hotels in Nemuro if you don't fancy Furen-ko but honestly Furen-ko isn't that bad to stay, it depends on your standards I guess. If you have a non birding spouse it may be a bit basic I guess. Akan-ko (Lake Akan, not Akan...
  7. HokkaidoStu

    Japan in May 2019

    Hi Tony. The Cranes are a long way from Hakodate. If you want to see them (and the Owl) you need to base yourself in east Hokkaido. SW Hokkaido has its charms though but for a visiting birder lokking for some Japanese specialties there are probably better places. If you look on my blog (which...
  8. HokkaidoStu

    Japan in May 2019

    Well a lot of stuff is passing through, everything is in summer plumage, the days are getting longer, rarities pop up etc etc. May is one of the best months in the UK too, no? If time is tight and you want to stay in central Japan the forests at the foot of Fujui are supposed to be good (I've...
  9. HokkaidoStu

    Japan in May 2019

    Black Woodpecker are not so difficult; I've seen them in many locations. I saw a Grey-headed Woodpecker last week. They are quite common in Hokkaido. Hi MacNara. I haven't been to Fuen-ko for a while so I don't know about the boardwalk. It is however a good base for the general area. I've...
  10. HokkaidoStu

    Japan in May 2019

    Can only speak about Hokkaido. Rubythroats don't arrive on their breeding grounds until late May. Bluetails arrive in mid to late April in Hokkaido but are easy to see elsewhere in Japan. The Cranes are resident and easy to see. The Stellers will be long gone (although you may get lucky with a...
  11. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    One of the falconry guys just sent me this message; "I have two more votes on pure Gyr. One is from one of the largest Gyrfalcon breeders in the US he said in 30 years breeding he has produced 2 that color. Second is from head field biologist from The Peregrine Fund. Still waiting on the PhDs...
  12. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    One of the falconers has got in touch with Clayton White, a falcon expert in the US who has studied Gyrfalcons. He stated that birds "from the far Aleutian islands. Clayton noted that some of these birds, as well as the Peal's Peregrine took on a bleached appearance"
  13. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    An update on this bird............. I didn't hear anything from the Japanese Falconry Association but I did ask the main falconer's group on facebook their opinion. They had some interesting things to say. Unfortunately it's a closed group (the name is 'falconry hub') so unless you want to join...
  14. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    I contacted the Japanese Falconers Association but have had no reply as of yet.................the website didn't look like it has been updated for a while however so i'm not holding my breath.
  15. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Thanks for all the replies by the way. I appreciate it and would like to get to the bottom of this bird's origin. It survived quite nicely that winter and regularly hunted large gulls successfully as well as a Short-eared Owl which was killed and eaten much to the shock of the local...
  16. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Here are 4 photos from the end of the season. The first 3 were taken April 6/7 and the last one atop the telephone pole was April 13th, the last date the bird was seen by me.
  17. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    It was first seen in late December 2013 and I first saw it on January 2nd 2014. Here are 4 photos, the 1st on Jan 2nd and the rest on other dates up to Jan 20th.
  18. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Again, forgive me but another dumb question, would it still be damaged after 5 months (at least) in the 'wild'? I've seen many wild birds with tatty feathers during moult.................
  19. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    I've emailed the Japanese Falconers Association asking them their opinion of this bird and also if they know of any escapees from that time. Their webpage didn't look like it had been updated for a while though so I may get no reply. At the risk of sounding stupid, I'm genuinely...
  20. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    And more photos of a similar looking bird identified as a Gyrfalcon in North America.
  21. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Some more photos, maybe they add something.............
  22. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Maybe I was right to have some doubts then.......... One person's opinion was "Gyr for me..1st winter bird. Overall uniform coloration & blue bare part coloration a good indicator I think." I'm no expert at all but after seeng the pic of the hybrid and recalling the bird I saw 4 years ago...
  23. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Thanks for the detailed reply. The general opinion on here and on our birding Japan facebook group seems to be it is a wild Gyr but there are 1 or 2 who think otherwise. Guess I'll have to find a real white one to dispel any doubts.........
  24. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Thanks Edward..........
  25. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    Thanks for the replies. It was identified at the time as an immature Gyrfalcon and of course I was delighted with that. By coincidence I found this picture whilst poking around the internet this afternoon: a hybrid Gyr/Saker. It does look rather similar to my bird. Now the doubts have set in...
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