After a good nights sleep in a comfortable Kushiro hotel, we picked up a hire car (4WD Nissan Note) and set off for along the coast, heading further east towards Nemuro. The rain had cleared overnight and the air was crisp and clear. Dozens of black-eared kites circled around the hillsides on the edge of town, enjoying the clear sunny weather. Driving on north, after about twenty minutes a large eagle soaring overhead caused a rapid u-turn and search for a roadside pull in. It was worth it. Our first Steller's sea eagle was drifting over the forested landscape. A magnificent bird. We later found out that they had only just started to arrive from Siberia - they are winter visitors to this part of Japan.
|Steller's sea eagle|
|Hokkaido coastline east of Kushiro|
|adult and juvenile Whooper Swan|
|forest almost reaches the clifftop, Pacific Ocean beyond|
|Japanese pygmy woodpecker|
|View across Kiritappu wetlands|
|pintails and wigeons|
|suddenly all the wildfowl took flight|
To round off the day, as we approached Nemuro, a majestic white-tailed sea eagle sat atop a fir tree, close to the road.
|white-tailed sea eagle|