Late Autumn in Rural Shiga

In November and December we can see gradual but dramatic changes in rural Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Brilliant autumn colors appear and then fade, and deciduous trees and shrubs begin to appear barren as they reveal their branches. Bird populations change; most cormorants, egrets, and herons leave for warmer places, and winter migratory birds begin to […]

Egrets in Summer

View from Yasugawa Ohashi (野洲川大橋) In late July and August 2016 I spent many hours on Yasugawa Ohashi (野洲川大橋), a bridge that crosses Yasugawa between Ritto City and Yasu City in Shiga Prefecture, Japan (map). From the sidewalk the view downstream provided a good change to observe large birds, especially great egrets (ダイサギ) as they […]

Swallows Nesting in Ritto City

https://youtu.be/m5_jnK8iYsE Barn swallows (ツバメ, 燕) repairing an old nest that was last used in 2014. Morning sunlight strongly backlit the scene, so I used small LED lights to bring out the colors of the birds. Some people are surprised that barn swallows have such beautiful blue heads. My timing was lucky. The birds had been […]

Pipits in the Woods

Olive-backed pipits About year ago, at the beginning of 2015, I learned the name of some greenish birds I’d been seeing each winter for several decades: olive-backed pipits, ビンズイ (binzui) in Japanese. Each winter they come to the woods in Yasugawa Sports Park near my home. Woods in Yasugawa Sports Park As you can see […]

Bird Photos on New Year’s Day

On New Year’s Day, 2016, I didn’t get outdoors until after 11:30, so I stayed near home along Yasugawa. The weather forecast said it would be cloudy, but the sky was blue. I was lucky to see several species of birds in the middle of the day. Long-billed Plover (イカルチドリ) I don’t see plovers often […]