Birds & Plum Blossoms in Risshun (立春)

The two-week period of February 4-18 marks the beginning of spring, Risshun (立春) in the traditional Japanese calendar of 24 seasons. In southern Shiga Prefecture winter birds are still here, often hiding in bushes and trees as raptors patrol the skies. Sparrows are active in fields, and great cormorants return to local colonies. Pink and […]

New Year’s Day 2019

On January 1, 2019, I took an early afternoon walk to Yasugawa (野洲川) here in Ritto City (滋賀県 栗東市). Along the road many Eurasian tree sparrows (スズメ) appeared in trees and bushes. Several white wagtails (ハクセキレイ) were in a field, and one was hopping along the river. A beautiful grey wagtail (キセキレイ) appeared briefly and […]

Late Autumn Birds

Near the end of November bird photography becomes even more interesting in the southern part of Shiga Prefecture. Some larger birds, including most egrets, herons, and cormorants, fly south for the winter, but winter migrants appear, and some species that live here throughout the year seem more prominent and attractive as the temperatures drop and […]

A Ride to Hatonomori Park

On December 13, 2018, I rode my mountain bike down along the left bank of Yasugawa to Moriyama. Along the way quite a few Japanese black kites (トビ) were flying and roosting on the ground and in trees near the carcass of a large fish. Below the weir I rode over the embankment that divides […]