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  1. HokkaidoStu

    What's this big falcon from Hokkaido, Japan?

    I don't want to prejudice people's views so I'm not going to say what this was identified as. What do you think it is? All shots are of the same bird, taken in Hokkaido in early 2014 over 3 or 4 months. Any opinions appreciated.
  2. HokkaidoStu

    Small wader Hokkaido Japan

    Terrible photos I know........it wasn't close and these are 100% crops. I saw this small wader today in south Hokkaido, Japan. Is it a Long Toed Stint? I did see a LTS nearby but it looked a lot browner than this one and was a lot more active. Can't really see what else it could be though, I...
  3. HokkaidoStu

    Snipe in Hokkaido, Japan

    I noticed 3 snipe on a little marsh in south Hokkaido, Japan this afternoon. Lathams Snipe are the breeding snipe species here but are quite pale, tese ones look much more rufous.............also Lathams Snipe prefer grasslands not wetlands. They could be Common/Swinhoes/Pin Tailed. I have no...
  4. HokkaidoStu

    Is this an Arctic (Hoary) Redpoll?

    There were a lot of Redpolls in south Hokkaido, Japan last week. Most seemed to be Common Redpoll but there were some pale ones. How about the first one? Is it an Arctic? The second and third ones are also pretty pale............... I didn't see the rump. In fact I didn't really think about...
  5. HokkaidoStu

    Sooty Flycatcher in Japan? Or just Asian Brown?

    I'm struggling with these 2 species. I see loads of Asian Brown but almost no Sootys................both species should be present in Hokkaido (although Sooty should be scarcer). I've just trawled through loads of my flycatcher pictures.....................and does anyone think #1 is a Sooty? It...
  6. HokkaidoStu

    Thayers or Vega Gull in Hokkaido?

    I struggle a liitle bit with the large white headed gulls here in Japan. This individual is from the end of December in Hokkaido, Japan. I thought it was just a Vega Gull at first but looking at the short legs, thin bill and relatively pale mantle I' wasn't so sure. I was actually distracted...
  7. HokkaidoStu

    Small gulls in Hokkaido Japan

    I was watching large numbers of Black Legged Kittiwake passing through Yakumo today and I suspect there were some interesting things among them. I have some ideas about this/these bird(s) but want to get some more knowledgeable people's opinions first. These 4 pics are all of the same...
  8. HokkaidoStu

    More skuas from Hokkaido Japan

    I saw a lot of skuas offshore at Yakumo in south Hokkaido this morning. Last week I saw an individual Long Tailed Skua (see ID thread here). Today there were between 50 and 100 skuas offshore and I think the majority were Pomarines. Can anyone (better than me at identifying these difficult...
  9. HokkaidoStu

    Which Skua species, Hokkaido Japan?

    I saw this skua pursuing the Common Terns which pass through at this time of year. It came close enough inshore for me to fire off some record shots, these are very heavy crops. The same 3 smaller species one sees in Europe/North America (Pomarine, Arctic and Long tailed) occur in the north...
  10. HokkaidoStu

    Great or Temincks Cormorant?

    I noticed this Cormorant in one of the local harbours today. Temincks Cormorant is the 'default' marine cormorant in most of Japan especially in Hokkaido. Great Cormorants occur too but generally favour inland locales (although I have seen both species in both fresh and salt water). Great...
  11. HokkaidoStu

    Which Skua species in Japan

    I saw this skua species at the weekend on a pelagic trip in Hokkaido. I have no real experience of IDing skuas. I thought it looked pretty chunky (I initially thought it was an immature Slaty Backed Gull when I saw it in the distance) and when I reviewed the photos I noticed the small white...
  12. HokkaidoStu

    Swinhoes or Little Egret in Japan? Again.

    I took these photos of 2 egrets in Hokkaido this morning. The first 2 are of them together, the one to the left is the one I think may be a Swinhoes. The last 2 are crops from the same picture. The 3rd one is the one that may be Swinhoes, the 4th one is definitely a Little Egret I think. I...
  13. HokkaidoStu

    Red Breasted or Taiga Flycatcher?

    I took these pics almost 2 years ago, late November 2009 in south Hokkaido Japan. Taiga Flycatcher is a scarce migrant in Japan and had been recently spilt from Red Breasted Flycatcher. I assumed the latter was to the west and the former here in the east. One reader of my blog suggested at the...
  14. HokkaidoStu

    Swinhoes or Little Egret in Japan?

    I saw this egret last week, it got me a little excited as it seemed to have (in addition to yellow feet) a yellow bill. I immediately thought of Swinhoes (Chinese) Egret, a rather rare bird these days. On closer inspection I thought it was just a Little Egret. The bill is fairly pale but maybe...
  15. HokkaidoStu

    Canon 300 F2.8L vs Sigma 500 f4.5 EX?

    I've decided 2011 will be the year I take a step up from my trusty old 100-400L and get a better lens with more reach. Of course I'd love a 500, 600 or 800L but that isn't going to happen to someone with my stricken finances. It's probably going to boil down to a secondhand Canon 300 f2.8L IS...
  16. HokkaidoStu

    Canon 200-400 f/4L announced

    Well well well, who saw this coming? A 200-400 zoom lens with built in teleconverter.............. The new 500 and 600 primes were announced at the same time, shame I'll never be able to afford them. The 500 is out in May, the 600 in June and in Japan are about 20% more expensive than the...
  17. HokkaidoStu

    Which Accipter in Japan?

    I saw this bird this morning here in Hokkaido. I sometimes have a complete mental bloc when trying to ID Goshwaks and Sparrowhawks. If it's a big female Goshawk or a small male Sparrowhawk it's an easy call to make re size even when I just see a silhouette......... I'm sorry to say I have no...
  18. HokkaidoStu

    What are these Swans in Hokkaido Japan?

    I saw a flock of swans flying south high in the sky this afternoon and am struggling for a firm ID. Whooper Swan is the main wintering species in Hokkaido but normally don't arrive this early. Bewicks Swan occur on passage only (they winter further south). So which ones are these? Very heavily...
  19. HokkaidoStu

    New Sigma 300 F2.8 with OS

    I see Sigma have announced this interesting new lens. The 120-300 F2.8 zoom now has stabilization. If it is attractively priced (2/3 or less of the price of a Canon 300 F2.8 IS) and gets decent reviews I may well be interested.............
  20. HokkaidoStu

    Which Knot (East Asia)?

    Great Knot is the commoner Knot species in Japan and I've seen quite a few over the years but no Red Knot...............until today. Maybe. The first bird is the one from today, it looks a little dumpy, has a shorter bill and has a very scaly grey back. Is it a juvenile Red Knot? For...
  21. HokkaidoStu

    East Asia: which Sand Plover?

    On Friday I saw a Sandplover on one of the local beaches here in Hokkaido Japan, I identified it as a Lesser (Mongolian) Sandplover. The first 2 pictures are of this bird, it was very shy and these are heavily cropped images. The next day I relocated what I thought was the same bird, I could...
  22. HokkaidoStu

    The Big Year movie

    Dunno if this has been posted elsewhere but check out this link. Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin! Having read the book I know which one Jack Black will play................
  23. HokkaidoStu

    Japan: Sooty or Asian Brown Flycatcher?

    I took some shots of this Flycatcher this afternoon. I saw a lot of Asian Browns last week and then this individual turned up a week or so later. Is it a Sooty (Siberian/Dark Sided) Flycatcher? I was led to believe Sooty should have longer wings than this. The lower mandible is also paler than...
  24. HokkaidoStu

    7D BIF shots

    I had an hour or so to test my new 7D so I took a walk down the local river to see what was about. I was very impressed with the camera's capabilities capturing birds in flight. These shots were just messing around, I haven't worked my way around all the controls/settings, I haven't even found...
  25. HokkaidoStu

    Tufted Puffin at IS0 6400 with new 7D

    My new 7D just came so I know all you UK twitcher types were getting mighty excited about that Tufted Puffin last month so here's a picture to make you truly drool. After upgrading from a 400D this camera seems pretty complicated. My manual is in Japanese alas. I downloaded the manual in...
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