Japan Winter Safari: The Blizzard Abates for our Travel to Rausu

Ben Reports from the Japan Winter Safari:

We were up bright and early for one last session photographing the Red-crowned Cranes.

6 Snow Group

The sun was out from time to time this morning, giving us a marvelous opportunity for some backlit shots as the Cranes flew in from their roosting areas. We managed 1 1/2 hours of excellent, different photography before it was time to return to the inn for our departure.

This whole area is a winter wonderland and luckily for us the weather held off sufficiently for us to travel to Rausu on the Western coastline of the Shirotoko peninsula, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The trip was staggeringly beautiful, through magnificent snow-drenched mountains and valleys. Our cameras worked overtime as we pointed in all directions, clicking away.

We had a half hour stop to photograph a Ural Owl.

6 Ural Owl Stop

He obligingly sat just outside the entrance to his nest in a large tree, fully exposed, and using our long lenses we captured some excellent shots.

We arrived in Rausu in time for the usual welcome Olsen, followed by the usual fabulous dinner.

6 Supper Group Rausu

AAhh, the life … we really are spoiled!

On the way to the inn here in Rausu we saw pack-ice all along the coast, ready for our adventure by boat tomorrow in search of Steller’s Sea Eagles …