wedge-tailed eagle

Raptors

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Accipitridae – hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites and Old World vultures Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) Brahminy More »

hyottoko mask

Japanese Cultural Night #2

Saturday Night Live. Last night I went out to the second Japanese Cultural Night at the Ski-jo up the road(Furano, Hokkaido, Japan). The last one was a few weeks ago so I More »

ski furano

Furano Skiing 3

Skiing at the Furano Zone. I woke up this morning an looked out the window and there was about ten centimeters of fresh snow on the cars. Which was a very good More »

kobe

On to Hokkaido

Arrived in Furano. I am so tired. My eyelids are drooping and my shoulders feel like the weight of the world is upon them. My head feels heavy and I am almost More »

oasis hummingbird

Best Bird of the Year 2010

Best Bird of 2010 I saw a post on 10,000 birds about the best bird of 2010 so I was curious as to what defines the “best” bird of the year. I More »

Pacific Gull

2010 Birding Photography Retrospective

2010 Looking Back Well here we go again. Another year bites the dust. I can remember doing my Overview of 2009 just like it was yesterday. The new year of 2010 started More »

la hoya skiing

South America Overview

South America I flew into Buenos Aries from Sydney after a horrendous 14 hour flight. It took me a few days to readjust my body clock. Meanwhile I was really enjoying going More »

Snowy Egret

More Chicama Surf, Birds

More Surfing and Birds at Chicama, Peru. This morning after my surf at Chicama, I saw an Egret down on the rocks below the hostel. I had seen a couple of them More »

American Oystercatcher

El Chaco, Paracas NP

El Chaco Birding. El chaco is the town and port at the entrance to Paracas Nature Reserve in Southern Peru. This morning after I arrived here, I went for a walk along More »

Andean Lapwing

Bird of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Copacabana and Isla del Sol, Bolivia. The Puna Teal is found on the Andean altiplano. Its Chilean name is Pato puna. They have a black cap that extends to below the eyes. More »

osaka

Osaka March 2014

Osaka tourist.

I am spending my last day in Osaka before heading back to Australia tonight. Here is the view from my hotel window this morning. At least I can see the sky.

view from hotel window
View from my window.

Before lunch I went to the hundred yen shop, had a cup of coffee, then went for a walk across the road to Shinsekai. This is the alley where all the izakayas are at. They are very popular and people line up trying to get in around lunch time.

shinsekai
Shinsekai alleyway.

Kuromon markets are a favourite with me every time I am in Osaka. Here are a couple of crabs in a box for sale.

crabs in a box.
Crabs in a box.

I always seem to spot a TV crew around this area. Today was no exception. There are so many food shows on TV in Japan that one gets bored with them.

film crew
Filming the cook.

annupuri

Annupuri Skiing in March

Niseko Annapuri.

This morning I headed over to Annapuri. I had a bit of a little stash of snow that I thought may not be totally tracked out. There was about ten centimeters of new snow last night and it had just kept the old stuff a bit fresh.

Annapuri piste 01
Annapuri pistes

First run was down gate 1, which had a little bit of new snow but icy underneath in patches. Then I went up the Annapuri Quad chair and over the ridge. I just did laps like that for the rest of the morning.

Annapuri piste 02
Annapuri piste 2

On the way home, I went through gate 7 and skied the gully under the double chair lift.

Niseko Village
Looking towards Niseko Village

Annapuri piste 03
Snowboarder at Annapuri

hanazono

Hanazono Powder Guides

Hanazono Skiing.

Joe from Hanazono picked me up from the hostel in Hirafu at 7am. There were three other Australian skiers and a couple of Japanese snowboarders in the group. We got to Hanazono and filled in the forms and then were shown how to use the beacons, shovels and probes. We were provided with a good backpack.

Hanzono Powder Guides
Hanazono Powder Guide

I took off with Joe as my guide, whilst the Aussies went with Mark and the two Japanese snowboarders went with a Japanese guide. We went up Hanazono #1 lift at about a quarter to eight and went into Strawberry Fields. At the top it was pretty wind-packed but as we got down the slope it got really nice. I guess we had got about twenty centimeters of fresh snow overnight.

Joe the guide and me
Joe and Me.

After that, we went down the Legend of Shinya piste, which was well covered but still a bit bumpy. Then down Blueberry Fields and another couple of runs down Strawberry Fields.

meathook in the fog
The meathook in the fog

The fog was pretty intense so we did not head up to Hanazono #3 lift. You could hardly see anything.

hirafu

Hirafu and Annapuri

A sunny day out.

Yesterday was nice and sunny, so I had a few runs at Hirafu and then went over to Annapuri. There was no powder left. It was all tracked out and even my little stashes had been vandalised.

Snow Cave
David building a snow cave.

Kutchan
Looking past Kutchan from Hirafu.

Moiwa ski resort
Moiwa Ski Resort seen from Annapuri.

Mt Yotei
Mount Yotei seen from Annapuri.

niseko

Niseko Skiing

Niseko Village.

There has not been any fresh snow for about three days and I was gettting a bit toey, so I went for a ski this morning to get rid of the cobwebs.

Niseko Hilton
Niseko Hilton Hotel

I did a few runs down from the hooded triple at Hirafu, then headed for the Gondola at Niseko Village.

Me in Niseko Gondola
Me in the Gondola

Superstition trees
Superstition trees

Niseko Village SW
Country off to the South-west

And here is a bonus photo from night skiing about a week ago.

Hirafu nighta
Night skiing at Hirafu.

annapuri

Skiing with Friends

Skiing at Annapuri.

This morning I had to catch the bus to Annapuri because the top lifts at Hirafu were closed. The bus was super crowded. What a nightmare! I met my friend Toyo at the Nook restaurant and had fried chicken (Yakitori) and rice.

Me and Toyo
Me and Toyo at Annapuri.

Toyo
Toyo

Xiu
Xinyu

Toyo and Xiu
Toyo and Xinyu skiing

Xiu skiing
Xinyu skiing

niseko

Niseko Village Onsen

To the Onsen.

This afternoon I went with my mate Toshi to the Onsen at Niseko Village.

Snow clearing Niseko village
Snow clearing at Niseko Village.

We stopped at the Post Office for a while so I took some photos of the main street.

Toshi at Niseko Post Office
Toshi at the Post Office.

After that we went to the onsen where we had a bath and jumped into the icy cold water outside. I met my old mate Kohei, whom I had met at Jindabyne.

My mate Kohei
Me and Kohei.

hirafu

Niseko Night Skiing

Hirafu Gondola.

Last night I went night skiing at Hirafu with the Swedish kids. There was no new snow so the pistes were pretty chopped up and cruddy.

Me in Gondola
Me in the gondola at Hirafu.

Swedish guys
The Swedish Kids.

There was some fresh snow a couple of days ago. It was strange because up top the snow was wind-packed and heavy and down low in the trees there was fresh stuff that was lots lighter.

Swinging Monkey
My tracks at the Swinging Monkey

niseko

Niseko on a Friday

Sunny in Niseko.

Today was sunny for a change and I even got a bit sunburnt. I headed up to the Gondola about eight thirty and had a few warm-up runs before I headed over to the quad chair.

Yusuke
My room-mate Yusuke.

I had a few runs on Ace Number three chair. The powder was all right, but a bit patchy with wind-packed stretches.

King hooded lift
Going up Ace #3 chair-lift.

That was looking towards skiers right of King Number three hooded lift. You can see new lines going through the fresh powder. After that I went up Ace Number four chair and traversed across to Annapuri. Annapuri had hardly any people so it was straight onto the chairs without any waiting at all.

Annapuri
Mount Annapuri.

niseko

Niseko snow

Hirafu in the snow.

This morning was the first time in a few days that I have been out skiing. I have been sick all week with the flu. The whole hostel has come down with the virus and everyone is sniffling and coughing.

Hirafu snowing
Snowing at Hirafu

My Korean friend Kim came to visit me. He is living in Sapporo. We had eggs on toast for dinner.

Me and Kim
Having dinner

I went up the hill with Kim to get his new skis from the Toyfu shop. They are Japanese skis, Vector Glide.

Kim's new skis
Kim’s new skis