Japan Winter Safari: Blakiston’s Fish Owls!

Ben Reports from the Japan Winter Safari:

Luckily for us the roads were open this morning and we were able to reach Rausu by lunchtime … just in time to climb aboard our afternoon charter boat and head out to photograph the Steller’s Sea Eagles.

The pack-ice was extremely dense … and we couldn’t venture too far, and because of the weather, the Eagles sought shelter close to the mainland. We cruised along the coastline to photograph the birds huddling there.

6 a SSE Wim 154-149

But this evening was simply stupendous!

We decided to try our luck at a favourite fishing spot for Blakiston’s Fish Owls, and gathered at the river, waiting expectantly.

Before long, an owl swooped in silently, and within minutes he had caught a fish and was ready to fly off again.

Well, that was great! We waited for a few minutes, wondering if that would be the only appearance of this huge owl. And suddenly, there he came again, this time to perch on a branch of a tree overlooking the river. It was snowing hard, and the contrast between the owl and the white surroundings with the huge snowflakes was fabulous! He waited long enough for us to capture great images of him perched there before he swept down to the river again. There he caught another fish, and after waiting a a moment for another few photos, he flew off again.


Tomorrow morning we plan to take a sunrise cruise to photograph the Steller’s Sea Eagles. Another blizzard is forecast for the afternoon and if the afternoon weather looks stormy, we may head south to the Cranes …