05 April 2016

Japanese Feeding Frenzy….7 Feb. 2016

We spent the day in and around Karuizawa, a Japanese holiday town, where people from Tokyo often visit in the summer months. However, this was the depth of winter, and it was eerily quiet. It felt a little like a deserted Christmas scene, with large pine trees, snow draped across the ground, but barely a person in sight. The town has the distinction of being the only location that has hosted both the summer (1964) and winter olympics (1998). 

We stayed in a hotel with a hot spring (a common combo in Japan, where they seemed obsessed with hot springs), where a small bird table was the scene of a feeding frenzy of birds in the morning. While we sheltered from the subzero temperatures inside the hotel, the birds were hurriedly grabbing all the grain they can off of the bird table. Tits were the most regular visitors, with Willow, Japanese and Varied Tits in attendance. The latter was a lifer for me, and a stunning bird at that. 

Below the table a Japanese Accentor snuck in every so often, although sneaking was not the best word for it, as a dusky brown bird cannot hide well, when perched on a blanket of snow!

A walk along a near road produced flight views of a Copper Pheasant, and a visit to a near river gave us Long-billed Plovers, but none of the hoped for Mandarin Ducks. However, another flighty pheasant was seen, this time a Japanese Green Pheasant-Japans national bird – and I hoped the pheasants would give us something more in the future.

We also ate traditional Japanese food, at a traditional low table, and dressed in traditional Japanese dress for the affair. Meal times in Japan are interesting affairs-the birds are far easier to identify in Japan than trying to name what is on your plate. There was plentiful fish, most of which was good, some of which was disgusting, and all of which was utterly fascinating. I thought we were going to be in for some unique meals, and it didnt take long for me to be proved right. The sheer presentation of the dinner, and the bewildering variety of dishes for each person was absorbing, and cameras went into overdrive

Next up were not birds at all, but monkeys, and the famous Snow Monkeys at that

1 comment:

PAK HARIS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.