Sunday, 1 August 2021

Big in Japan - Alphaville (Part I)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjGl-pq4RxQ

It would seem that the conundrum of where to take our valued readership on the next couple of Sunday outings was solved for us by the recent goings on in the Far East. Not really a sporting type, with a body mass equal to 16 stone of Swarfega, the Olympic Games have been very much enjoyed, on a sporadic level, with the determination and dedication of the competitors to their particular disciplines being right ‘off the scale’!

So why not join Alphaville and become “Big in Japan” and don’t let your friends and families miss out.

Having already spent the first 3 weeks of Spring 2007 in South Korea, and having had a very good time of it, travelling from the DMZ in the north the full length of the country it was time to board the ferry from Busan to Fukuoka, Japan, capital city of the most southerly of the 5 main islands, to rendezvous with my shipmate Jim the Medic as being something of a glutton for punishment. On such adventures there is but a single rule  which amounts to doing whatever you please on any given day and if that fits with the other party then all well and good! In the first instance it worked as we

headed by ferry again to
mainly for the endemics and
finding more than an adequate hotel (the white building just right of centre) and getting straight into
The Traditional Stuff
(when in Rome)
Some Forest where we encountered the
YAKUSHIMA DEER

almost immediately but took some time to locate the similarly endemic

MACAQUE
which we were told are prone to taking rides on the backs of the former.
Back on the mainland (if a large island can be called that) the early mornings lasted for no more than 2 days before his Jimness fell into lethargic ways with me becoming a solo traveller. From here some of the destinations escape me so we will lean on something of a pictorial which had been planned for

CHERRY BLOSSOM TIME
"Do you remember the Cherry Blossom in the market square, do you remenber we thought it was confetti in our hair - by the way didn't I ........"
Now That's What You Call Company,
A Thorn Between the Roses!
The need was to visit all five of Japan's main islands

Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa
so a need to avail myself of a

with the sign outside saying
but didn't consider it that bad, in fact an absolute bargain on par with the Greyhounds in the USA!
BULLET
As for eating, the Sushi Bars with the never ending
Conveyor Belts
were as good as anything but when the gentleman in the glasses engaged me in conversation and then paid for my meal the Cherry was firmly on the Cake.
There was Wildlife in the Cities but most unexpected were the vast numbers of
TREE SPARROWs
on every thoroughfare along with
JAPANESE WHITE-EYE's
the odd
RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE

and

YELLOW-BREASTED GREENFINCH
in the parks.

Winter's city-side, crystal bits of snowflakes all around my head and in the wind
I had no illusions that I'd ever find a glimpse of summer's heat-waves in your eyes
You did what you did to me now it's history I see
Here's my comeback on the road again
Things will happen while they can I will wait here for my man tonight
It's easy when you're big in Japan - when you're big in Japan!

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Black is Black - Los Bravos

 With the expected arrival of a family from Derbyshire and fellow caravaners at any time, we set out with a few expectations on a rounds which threw up nothing new but captured our attention throughout.

Kicking off next to home and to the cawing of opportunist juvenile
ROOKs
muscleing in on the chicken feed we arrived up north to find an unexpected
EGYPTIAN GOOSE
on the Gravel Pit while at the same time bringing to you the daily update on the
Prospective Parent
LITTLE GREBEs
with no change as the 'dark' bird continues incubation (we hope).
Once in the Forest the
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERs
were not slow to show as were
WHITE-TAILED BUMBLE-BEE
along with one of a decent number of
SPECKLED WOOD BUTTERFLIES
Back at base not only did the Woodpecker theme continue with a
couple of
GREEN WOODPECKERs
along with the Tilley's who considered it too late for 'angling' but
champing at the bit for a sortie into the Wild World.
Totally convenient as within a hour or so of 'lighting up time' and as shaping up for the main gate
an overflying
LITTLE EGRET
Having not seen this part of the Recording Area before
Grandson Sam along with Ruth and Ian seemed mightily impressed
as Yours Truely also managed to edge his way into the Lime-light as well
and with the traps flashed up we headed off to make the most of the fading light.
Also to their liking the confidence of the
ROE DEER
which were well within 'naked eye' viewing but the binnoculars also brought to bear,
but the game wasn't yet over. Passing through the very same gates, south about, c2
GREYLAG GEESE
flew overhead before landing in a nearby horse paddock.
To end the session a couple of
BLACK ARCHES
moths had been held over to show the diversity even within the same species.
The book tells us that "specimens suffused with more black (right) have been noted from many localities including the New Forest, Hampshire where it is not an uncommon form. Our recording area fits into this geographically as once in that county before the boundery changes but remains the same for moth recording.

Friday, 30 July 2021

West Wind - Sky (the Band that is)

 Given the omens from both the

NORTH
and the
WEST
it was decided not to flash up the Heath Moth Traps but not to be totally faint hearted the c2 on home turf were plugged in.
For our efforts we scored this beautifully marked
CANARY-SHOULDERED THORN
along with a marginally early (the way things seem to be going)
HEDGE RUSTIC
just befre starting to beat ourself up at not running the others.
Straight into then the
LITTLE GREBE
update where our appearance seemed to match that of the other
Parent Bird

with the additional bonus of witnessing them changing rolls with the darker bird,

we cannot sex them, settling down to a spell of incubation.
Heading for the Heath we made a brief stop at the more northerly
Horse Paddocks
where we immediately switched into
George Stubbs Mode
although he never painted them quite as good as this?
At the gate and with much improvement in the weather we again noted the
PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS
flitting around the crown of the Mighty Oak along with a timely reminder that we had not, up to this point, featured one of Dave's finds across the recent Moth Weekendthe
Larvae / Catterpillar of the magnificent
EMPEROR MOTH male
EMPEROR MOTH
EMPEROR MOTH female
which we have seen the last of for 2021 as flight period being April and May.
All things come to those who wait, but it seems to have been a long time since the
EASY JETS
returned as now seen daily but this our first close up and looking across the
SEA of FERN
another stranger in the camp.
Like myself you may just pass it off as the dedicated
Police Helicopter
but looking a little closer
this was noticed, and to continue the theme and end this Post the 'all white'
AIRBUS'S
are also back in opperation.