Thursday, 28 January 2016

Japan in November (No.6): just Harlequins

Near Rausu, Hokkaido: 19th November 2015
One of the real delights of Hokkaido in November is the abundance of Harlequin Ducks around the rockier sections of coastline.  Whether you are looking down from a cliff top towards a scattering of dots in the surf, or sneaking behind a boulder and watching them close up, they always catch your attention.  What beautiful birds.

The morning after the fish owl spectacle, the sun shone and driving just a little further along the coast of the Shiritoko Peninsula I stopped look at an interesting gathering of gulls (more on those next time) but was soon distracted by two pairs of Harlequins close to the shore....  surely I couldn't sneak up close behind the breakwater?  Well, it turned out I could, and the birds continued enjoying paddling around in the surf for a good ten minutes or so before drifting off.
two drakes

the whole group together

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