Not skiing Niseko..birding?
When: December 2018 Weather: Cold Snow covered.. -5C
Leica M10P/Monochrom. 50mm F2.0 APO summicron, 35mm Summilux F1.4. Nikon P900
On a family holiday in Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan, everyone but me was skiing and snow boarding; I decided to just chill, enjoy the Japanese food and take some pictures of the snowy scapes. Didn’t really expect any birding in subzero temperatures….
Snowy Niseko landscape
where the whole world seemed to come to ski and board
did I mention that the snow was heavy?
that much snow fell on the branch last night alone…
possibly the largest snowflakes in the world..
We engaged the services of Niseko Photography tours to bring us out to some less frequented locations to take some pictures and Charlotte brought us to a natural outdoor hotspring location, a temple and the famous Cafe Kobo….
The hot springs were interesting
with steam rising…
the temple was set in a lovely snowy landscape
winter berries which provide some sustenance for the birdlife
spectacular snowy scapes
the icicles were crystal like and perfectly formed
But back at our apartment in Setsugetsu, Hirafu, we were fortunate to have some trees outside our window…
and these few trees provided me mnuch birding entertainment over the week we were here…
By far the commonest bird seen was the thickbilled crow which would dip its beak into the snow for moisture…
Eurasian sparrows were also plentiful
this little Eurasian nuthatch was very active
and then it became a bit of a tit fest! Here the Eastern Great tit or Japanese Tit perched and showed its prominent ventral vertical black stripe
Here, the Japanese Tit showing its greenish back but without the yellow ventral coloration of the Greenbacked tit
Coal tit with its little crest
Long tailed tit
long tailed tit
Brown eared bulbul was a pleasant surprise!
Brown eared bulbul
I was pleasantly surprised that even in subzero temperatures, birds were still active and entertained me well for the few days I was there…so there’s more to Niseko than skiing and snow boarding!