Autumn foliage in Shiga Prefecture 2018
In January 2018 I watched the mallard ducks at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園).
One male was especially active on January 12th as he scratched his head and rolled and flipped in the water. I took some still photos that caught him in various positions.
Watching wild creatures rewards us in many ways. We can appreciate their existence and their beauty, and often we can gain insight about their behavior. And sometimes we can be thoroughly entertained.
Video and photos were shot hand-held with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and a 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens.
Just before noon on January 7, 2017, I made a field recording in a large park along Yasugawa in Shiga Prefecture, Japan (野洲川立入河川公園). The recording was made with a small Sony PCM-M10 digital recorder mounted on a tripod near the lower end of the park. I chose this location in order to reduce traffic and train noises from bridges upstream, as well as the rumble of water at a dam downstream. I pointed the microphones southeast toward Mikamiyama.
We can hear the rumble of a nearby dam, traffic, crows, and kids playing in the distance. These sounds are overwhelmed by a recorded public address message broadcast from speakers on a small building on the embankment above the park. The recorded message asks people to obey park rules: no golf, RC cars or aircraft, fireworks, unleashed dogs, fires, littering, or other activities that may disturb people. The same loud recorded message dominates the sonic environment of the park once every hour.
I often visit this park to look for birds. Egrets, herons, cormorants, and ducks can be found in the river both above and below the dam, and many small birds live in the vegetation along the riverbank.
On January 7th, as I was recording, I walked upstream and saw a few birds.
Activity in this park varies a lot, depending on the season, the weather, and the day of the week. But whatever they are doing, everyone in the park hears the same loud recorded message once every hour.
Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (守山市の鳩の森公園) has small grove of sasanqua camellias (カンツバキ) along a small stream. They bloom in early December.
In mid-December Japanese white-eyes (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ) gather in the camellias. These photos were taken on December 17 and 19, 2016.
See more of my photos on Flickr: Greg Peterson in Japan.
I often ride a bicycle from my home in Ritto City down along Yasugawa to Moriyama, and then on city streets over to Hatonomori Park. Usually it’s a quiet place, except when people play ground golf, and often wild birds can been seen in the trees. Last August I posted a recording and some photos:
As we can see on the map, the park is in a residential district of a small city. As of November 30, 2016, the city reported a population of 81,126 Japanese and 858 foreigners (自治会別・地区別人口). More information about Moriyama City is on the city website in Japanese (滋賀県守山市).