May 5, 2020 About this time of year, you might find me walking around Yamagami Dam Lake in search of birds arriving from their wintering grounds. On this particular day, I was looking and listening for the Narcissus Flycatcher (Kibitaki) as well as the Blue and White Flycatcher (Oruri). As soon as I got out of the car, I could hear a Narcissus Flycatcher singing from within the cedar forests that surround Yamagami Lake, and this male, as it turned out, happened to be in the exact same location and on the same perch as a male I had photographed last year. Of course there was no way I could tell if it was the same exact bird, but I would not be surprised. Speaking of flycathers, I have also seen the Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, with it’s extremely long tail at Yamagami Lake. That was just for an instant, and I was only able to get it’s tail in a fuzzy photo.
A few days ago, I was on the other side of the lake with the camera set up, and a male Blue and White Flycatcher landed on a branch right in front of me. I was only able to get off a few frames before he flew off right over my head. I was back in the hopes of finding him still in the area. I did hear him, but I was not able to see him. A Red-billed Leiothrix also popped out of the bushes for a moment, flashing it’s bright epaulettes. Each of these gems of the forest has a beautiful voice.
Earlier this week, I went out to photograph the night sky. After the Moon set, taking with it it’s shining silver coat, the Milky Way began to stand out more as it rose up from the horizon. Glorious as always, it still takes my breath away.