Japan 160128 -29 Critters at Jigokudani Monkey Park

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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Japanese Serow a rare goat-antelope

Snow Monkey - Japanese macaque

Brown Dipper
© NF Photos 160128-29 Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan

The three species above was the main ones in the park. The monkeys was many, the Serow we did see three and one dipper. There was a few other birds but I did not get them.

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Japan 160204 Long way home

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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© NF Photos 160204

This was the first morning we could sleep as we pleased. We only had to be finished breakfast and packing until 9.45 when we should take the shuttle to the airport, Tokyo Intl Haneda. Our plane was due to departure at 12,50.

I was surprised at how beautiful the place was. Lots of  trees made of lamps. Looks like Christmas all day long. After checking in and I said goodbye to Ms Harumi Yamanaka I went to see if I could buy some hat but did not find any I wanted. But I did find a T-shirt with cherry blossom on it so now I have seen them in Japan. And I bought one.

This the Haneda Airport in Tokyo. I There is planes that has to land before we can tax out. This is goodby Tokyo and Japan.

The plane for the first part to Munich was a large one. When I had to go to the toilet I had to go down one floor. That was the first time I had to do that. Apart from that is was as usual. Food OK. Entertainment, worked, Flight INFO, worked. Window seat, YES. The trip took roughly 12 hours. 

I think this was the Russian river Lena. 

One thing that surprised me was that the flight path took us all the way up to The Arctic Ocean. 

Here is where we were closing in to Norway from the north direction. Then we had to go over Skandinavia all the way down to Munich. 

In Munich we had 3 hours to spare at that airport before the last flight, back up north, to Sweden. We arrived at ARN 22:40 and I was lucky, my daughter showed up. So I did not have to sleep at the airport. I got a nice bet at my daughters house. Then I took a train back home the next day. 

Here is a map of the places I visited in Japan during the trip. And the only Cherry blossom I saw and purchased.

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Japan 160203 Boat tour Rausu - Flight to Tokyo

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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© NF Photos 160203

Breakfast at 06.00 and ready to leave at 7.00h. I asked for help with my baggage because my legs was still wobbly from the cramp and I was on the second floor without a lift. Bus loaded with luggage and traveler´s and being waved of by the staff we headed for the harbor in Rausu. We were to board a boat for photographing eagles out on the ocean. And of course they brought breakfast for the eagles.
When we were out they stopped the boat and started to throw fish overboard. And soon enough we had eagles all over the place. Both kinds of sea eagles. But most of them were the Stellar´s Sea Eagle, the mighty bird. It is really a powerful bird. The rising sun was beautiful but who had time for that? There was eagles all around us. 

It was cold so the small heating pads was good to have in the boots and mittens. We moved the boat a little now and then so you have to be close to the fences for support. The floor too was slippery here and there. So, support was good. So, no crossing of floors if not necessary. 

From the beginning we were supposed to photograph eagles on ocean ice, but there was no ice so we were taken to the high pier instead. Looked kind of cool with all the birds on the top of the snowy pier. 

After about 2h we were done and was back on land boarding the bus that would take us down to Akan Tancho no Sato, the Crane sanctuary again. Due to the changes in plans we had time to visit the beautiful cranes again. We were there at 14.00h when they fed the birds with fish but today they landed the fish on the wrong place, so, not that much fuss among the eagles and cranes to our disappointment. But there was some fun with the fox.

lift off
  a fox payed a visit.

 A sea eagle steels the fish

After that we had to go to the airport for a trip back to Tokyo and the last night in Japan. Same hotel as before at the domestic part of the airport. We had time for dinner before takeoff at 20,10. Landed in Tokyo 22,00 just in time for bed. On the floor

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Japan 160202 Lake Furen and Steller's sea eagle

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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© NF Photos 160202, Lake Furen, Notsuke peninsula and Washi-no-Yado, Hokkaido, Japan

Big birds today, lot´s of them.

We had a very early breakfast and left Rausu to go to Lake Furen where we should spend the day. It was a 2-3 h drive south and we had to be there at 9.00 o´clock as the feeding should start at that time. Of course I ha to enjoy myself during the ride. Image taken through a frosty window over a misty Pacific ocean.

The sun was shining when we arrived at the location and we had an incredible morning. 

After a little slow start with the Steller´s Sea Eagles rather far off waiting while other birds took the opportunity to get fish one by one the eagles took to the wings. And then the air was full of raptors. And we clicked like crazy. So much going on among all the birds. Steller's sea eagle, Sea eagles, kites and a few others. And they fly all around us. A once in a lifetime experience, unless you live there and feed them every day.  :)
Black Kite

Steller's sea eagle and Sea Eagle

A little sidenote, I think this was just a snack for the birds, it could not be enough to feed them all enough. But the place was just by the ocean, I could see it in the distance, so I guess the birds took dinner at the ocean. Or they would not have enough.

On our trip south we had stopped at a store to buy lunch and everyone eat when they were ready for it. 
In the afternoon we went back a little to visit the Notsuke peninsula. There was a Visitor Center but it was only limited open. Not much birds on the peninsula but we did see many deer´s. Women and childern on one side of the road. And the male on the other

There was some waterfowl and small birds but I´m afraid I did not pay much attention to them.

Sika deer

View of he abandoned harbor towards the mainland of Hokkaido. 

Then we headed back to the hotel and dinner.

AND, then, back to the place with the Blakiston's fish owl for another session. Three more hours in the cold, old, van. And open windows as soon as we heard the owl. This night we did see two of them. But not together. We saw the male and one of the young. 

This night I woke up with cramps in both legs. It hurt a lot and was a bit scary. The second time on this trip. First time was the second night. The cramp was also in my thighs so I felt like I had 8 different legs dangling around me. Unable to get to the floor to set them right. I tried to fix it with my hands and eventually I made it. But the muscles are hurting. I was able to get back to sleep for another 2 hours before it was time to go up again. 

Steller's sea eagle

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2/2:   Lake Furen, Notsuke Peninsula och Washi-no-Yado på kvällen. Natt i Rausu.   


Japan 160201 Lake Kussharo to the fishing village Rausu

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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© NF Photos 160201, Hokkaido, Japan

Early morning as usual. Departure at 6.40, before breakfast,  for a morning session at the Whooper Svans at Lake Kussharo. The setting sun last night was in front of us. Now we had the rising sun behind us. And it looked completely different. We visited both places this time too and got a close encounter of the Falcated duck (praktand) as well.

At 8.30 we were back at the hotel for breakfast and to pack our belongings. We were now heading north. Well, after being waved off by the staff before we started.

The first stop was only 3 blocks away. We visited the  Kawayu eco center foot Onsen. Our guide told us it was an Onsen for footbath. Only your feet could be cleaned in that place. I had seen it from the buss when we drove back to the hotel and was now pleased to stop there. There was the cleaning area for the feet and a little further there was two "wigams", the kind of tents the native indian´s used. But I don´t know the purpose of them. The place was almost too beautiful in the strong morning sun and the water vapor from the hot spring.

Our next stop:
and I was not prepared for it! Just because I did not expect it. Silly me! I just love Sulphur hot springs. It is so wild and speaks to me in many ways.

Now we continued to the fishing village Rausu and we stopped at the harbor for a while before going to the hotel for an early dinner. One peculiar thing in the area was the fences of the side of the mountains. Probably built to avoid snow avalanche to the buildings. And now we started to see the largest eagle in the world. But more or them tomorrow.

A Stellar´s Eagle sitting on a branch in the tree next to the fences.

And a part of the harbor. We saw a lot of icy boats and some water fowl.

The hotel was a mix of both cultures. Some of us got rooms with floor bedding, others, like me got a room with normal beds. I even had two beds. And my own toilet while others had shared ones. But for showers we all used the Onsen in the basement.

And a little reflection in the bus window.

Blakiston´s fish owl
After the early dinner we took of for the last event for the day. We were to look for the Blakiston's fish owl. According to wikipedia this is the largest living species of owl in the world. The place we were going to was Washi-no-Yado who had a family of owls in the area. They usually come to fish in the evening.  The family who ran the place told us that the owls did never notice the fact that they were fed. Higher up in the stream they let live fish out and the owl catches them in a tiny pool that was lit up so visitors can see them. The present family was the male and two young ones. The female has died last summer so now they really wanted the male to find another female. 

Well, we heard the owl for almost two hours before it finally showed up. And everyone started to shoot. But the male did not last very long. After served himself with two fishes he left and no other owl appeared.  We were standing in an old shed and it was quite cold. After 2.5 hours we went back to the hotel. 

A shower in the Onsen and uploading today´s shots. And then to bed. A very soft bed with a very thick and heavy blanket.

Tomorrow we will see the large eagle up close. 

Whooper Svans at Lake Kussharo.

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1/2:   Morgonen vid Lake Kussharo. Sedan transport norrut till Rausu. Washi-no-Yado på kvällen (uven). Natt i Rausu.
Vi inleder med mera sångsvansfotografering i Lake Kussharo innan frukost, i ett härligt morgonljus. Även praktand och östlig fläcknäbbsand fanns på plats. Efter frukost på hotellet besökte vi Io-zan Sulphur Springs, där svavlet bubblade och rök ur berget. Mäktigt att se och snyggt på bild!

Färden fortsatte sedan norrut, tills vi slutligen nådde upp till Shiretoko Peninsula och fiskebyn 
Rausu, där vi ska bo kommande två nätter. Vi inledde med ett besök i hamnen, där det fanns gott om fågel att fotografera. Över 20 örnar (havs- och jättehavsörn), strömänder, vittrutar, skiffertrutar och annat kul. Efter en tidig middag begav vi oss till Washi-no-Yado för att fotografera Blakistons fiskuv
, världens största uggla. Det blev en spännande väntan, då vi hela tiden hörde hannen ropa i närheten. Men till slut kom den mäktiga ugglan och landade i den upplysta bäcken framför oss. En fantastiskt häftig avslutning på ännu en fin dag!