Wild Watch

Winter Birding in Izumi

Jan 31, 2022

Izumi: Japan’s Southern Crane Paradise


Cranes are fascinating, elegant, and dramatic, so it is hardly surprising that they are high on the list of species in-bound birders aim to see when they visit Japan. <...

Wild Watch Hotspot: Lake Miyagase

Aug 31, 2018

Lake Miyagase, Kanagawa Prefecture

Southwest of Tokyo, about an hour by express train and another 45 minutes by bus, lie the thickly forested Tanzawa Mountains. On the northeast side is a reservoir known as Lake Miyagase (Miyagase-ko). The lake lies within the Aiko District of Kanagawa, between Sagamihara an...

Cetaceans in the Sea of Okhotsk 

Jul 27, 2018

Blue above then blue below. Viewed from just below the pass at Mt Mokoto on the northern rim of the Kussharo Caldera, a low sea of cloud blankets Kussharo-ko, Japan’s largest caldera lake, from view. Beyond the rugged, forested far rim of the caldera to the southwest rises the peak of Mt O-Akan, while closer at hand to the sout...

Japan's Northern Summer

Jun 30, 2018

With Photographs by Stuart Price

A peaceful summer’s day dawns in the Akan-Mashu National Park, in east Hokkaido. Grey clouds linger low across the immense Kussharo caldera, shrouding the scene, muting its splendour. Droplets of morning dew linger on every spider’s web and mist enhances the mult...

Kaempfer, Thunberg, Siebold and Blakiston: names in Japanese natural history that live on

May 30, 2018

Wander through the pages of any natural history volume on the plants, birds, mammals or insects of Japan and you will notice that the majority of names, whether English, Japanese or scientific, refer to a species’ unique distinguishing characteristics, perhaps referencing its colour, its morphology, its habitat, or behaviour, o...

Wild Watch Goes to Colombia

Apr 30, 2018

My first taste of Colombia came most unexpectedly. It was 1980, I was not a coffee drinker and news of drugs and danger in Colombia were rife and alarming. I was delighted to be heading for Peru, on my first ever foray to South America as a wildlife expedition leader, and skipping Colombia by air. That was the plan, but it did not un...

Patchwork Birding

Mar 30, 2018

Patchwork Birding

Endurance is not a word I use lightly. Nor in the past would I have imagined using it in describing aspects of my recent lifestyle of nigh on twenty years, but then living in a semi-urban high-rise ‘mansion[1]’ in a commuter city was also not originally i...

Return of the Storm Rider: The remarkable story of the spectacular recovery of an ocean nomad – The Short-tailed Albatross 2

Feb 28, 2018

With Photographs by Tui De Roy

Known today by the oddly inaccurate name Short-tailed Albatross (its tail is no shorter than any other species) this delightful bird with its dusting of gold, was once known more prosaically and eponymously as Steller’s Albatross (G. W. Steller 1709–1746, is also c...

Return of the Storm Rider: The remarkable story of the spectacular recovery of an ocean nomad – The Short-tailed Albatross 1

Jan 28, 2018

With Photographs by Tui De Roy

Making the call

It was a highly pressured birding moment. It was 4 August 2010 and I was ornithologist on the deck of the Clipper Odyssey in the Bering Sea with birders on board ready to give their eyeteeth to add a species to their Alaskan ...

My Birding Paradise: Hokkaido II

Dec 22, 2017

I have been writing about the wildlife of Hokkaido since the early 1980s and Hokkaido is now widely known as one of the top winter birding and wildlife photography locations on Earth. It is rapidly claiming its place as a renowned year-round destination. 

Hokkaido is home to a number of eye-ca...

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