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Good Grebes

November 24th, 2005

I went to Kasai Rinkai yesterday, where there were a lot of birds, but no new ones, really. There was a Kingfisher, a Snipe, and a ton of ducks (I think I’ve got all of them already, but I’ll have to check on a few). There was even a Tanuki, a Raccoon Dog. I’ll have some photos from there soon. But I also dropped by Sanbanze, what would be a tidal flats, had the high tide not been in since late morning. I wasn’t able to catch the area at its best–but I did get two new birds, both Grebes–and both surprising to me.

The first I saw was the Black-necked Grebe (Hajiro-Kaitsuburi • ハジロカイツブリ), which stood out from its form and its bright red eyes. Its propensity to dive made me figure it was a Grebe; it was hard to keep up with it. When a Grebe dives, it tends to go in a certain direction. Once you see the direction, when it dives you have to walk thirty feet or so in that direction to be in the right spot when it surfaces. And then to get a photo, you have to lock the focus and shoot fast, else it’ll dive again. These are two shots I got of it, both with enlargements when clicked:

1105-Black-Necked Grebe1-450

1105-Black-Necked Grebe2-450

But the big surprise was the second one. I thought I was shooting the same bird as the first, though this one was much farther off and almost in front of the sunset, so I didn’t see much detail until I got home and looked at it on the computer. It was a Great Crested Grebe (Kanmuri-Kaitsuburi • カンムリカイツブリ), a beautiful bird if you can get a clear, well-lit shot of it. But here are my shots, distant, blurry, and backlit…

1105-Great-Crested Grebe-450

And this last one, with no enlargement:

1105-Great-Crested Grebe2-450

These two make #81 and #82 on my photo-life list for Japan. Sanbanze will definitely be next on my list for birding when I get out to a Tokyo Bay location again.

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  1. April 24th, 2006 at 09:22 | #1

    Great idea on the photographic life list. I maintain one as well. Adding to it does get to be slow going after a while but it is always fun! Check mine out at: http://www.jseaman.com/ee/list.php?exhibition=5

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