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 […]

Great Egret on a Pine Tree

On December 21, the last day of autumn in Japan, I stopped at a quiet spot on the path between two reservoirs in Ritto City. Perched on top of a tall red pine was the only great egret I have seen recently. Nearly all egrets and herons have migrated south, so it was a pleasant […]

Butterflies

Shiga Prefecture in Japan is blessed with quite a few species of butterflies. A few species are shown here in photographs taken between April and September 5, 2018, when I also made a short video clip (music from “Redwood Highway” by Jason Shaw at AudionautiX.com.) Asian swallowtails (Papilio xuthus, アゲハチョウ) Old World swallowtail (Papilio machaon, […]

Crows along Yasugawa

On Sunday, March 18, 2018, I was cycling down the north bank of Yasugawa when I heard some noisy crows perched in nearby trees. https://soundcloud.com/gpjp/crows-in-ichimiyake When I ride my touring bike, I carry a small audio recorder and microphones. For this recording I used a Sony PCM-M10 recorder and Clippy Stereo EM172 mics by FEL […]

Little egret hunting in a canal

On October 14, 2017, I saw a little egret in the canal that runs around my neighborhood. It was hunting by shaking a leg to drive prey from vegetation in the shallow water. As I was returning on foot from a long photo walk, my camera was ready. I was able to shoot a few […]