|adult make Blakiston's fish owl prepares for supper|
One, if not the, highlight of a birding trip to Hokkaido is without doubt a close encounter with the world's largest owl (though there is a bit of debate about this, see wikipedia). Anyway, it is a huge, rare and thoroughly other-worldly bird, that would definitely look fully at home in Hogwarts. To see this owl you really need to stay overnight in accommodation set up for observing and photographing them. There is a great place to stay on the outskirts of Rausu called Washi yo Nado. The accommodation is basic but the food is very nice and prepared for you during your owl viewing session - consequently it is hard not to let the freshly cooked fish and other delicacies get cold when the owls are showing well.
Fishing technique (not too tricky):
|grab (put up with damp feathers)|
|step onto the shore|
|prepare to swallow|
We were fortunate that a researcher was also visiting the site on the evening of our stay and explained that there were three birds visiting this spot every evening. There is an adult male, a one year old bird and a juvenile raised this year. Sadly the female of the resident pair had died while raising the chick, the male had continued to successfully fledge the young bird, but was now in search of a new mate.
|I think this is the juvenile - ring DD|
|I think this is the one year old bird - gold ring with WW in white|
|adult male - yellow and blue rings|