A is for Animal.

Most people come to Niseko in Winter, to ski or snowboard the incredibly dry, deep, powder snow, of which there is an annual average snowfall of around 16 meters, I too was one of those people. I came here for a few seasons, then ended up living here year round, long term. Now even though I still enjoy the mountain and Winter in Niseko, I am also very glad when the snow starts to melt. It’s a time when all the buds on the trees start to awaken, and the animals, especially birds, start to re-appear and busy themselves for Spring.

At this time of year a stroll around Asahigaoka (Forest trail behind the ski hill in Kutchan) or Hangetsuko (Lake Hangetsu – Half Moon Lake at the base of Mt. Yotei) reveals lots of birds, although you might have to sit still and look long to get an appreciation for how many species there are, I was happy to spot many species that I reconised from the hedgerows of farmers fields I used to frequent as a child living in England. Birds like, Woodpeckers (lesser, greater spotted, black, and pygmy), Great, Coal, Willow, long tailed Tits (yes they are birds.) Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Jays, Warblers, Owls & many more…

There are also Foxes, squirrels, chipmunks and many more animal species, Unfortunately i haven’t had a chance to snap all of them yet, but i’m working on it.
I’ve compiled some bird & animal shots here (mostly taken recently in Spring – but also a few from Summer and Winter from my animal archives) and a few nature/landscape shots for your enjoyment.

Red Squirrel, (Ezo Risu), Asahigaoka

Red Squirrel, (Ezo Risu), Asahigaoka

Jay - [Kakesu], Asahigaoka

Jay - (Kakesu), Asahigaoka

Chipmunk - [Shima Risu], Shinsen Numa trail.

Chipmunk - (Shima Risu), Shinsen Numa trail.

Red Fox [Kita Kitsune], Shinsen numa Trail, Summer.

Red Fox (Kita Kitsune), Shinsen numa Trail, Summer.

Heron, (Ao Sagi), Kutchan, Summer

Heron, (Ao Sagi), Kutchan, Summer

Great Spotted Woodpecker, (Akagera), Asahigaoka.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, (Akagera), Asahigaoka.

Red Squirrel, (Ezo Risu), Lake Toya.

Red Squirrel, (Ezo Risu), Lake Toya.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, (Akagera)

Great Spotted Woodpecker, (Akagera)

Pygmy Woodpecker, (Kogera), Lake Hangetsu.

Pygmy Woodpecker, (Kogera), Lake Hangetsu.

Late afternoon Yotei

Late afternoon Yotei

Japanese Grass Lizard, (Kana Hebi - ?why hebi? it's not a snake), Lake Hangetsu

Japanese Grass Lizard, (Kana Hebi - ?why hebi? it's not a snake), Lake Hangetsu

Japanese Bush Warbler, (Uguisu), Lake Hangetsu

Japanese Bush Warbler, (Uguisu), Lake Hangetsu

Hangetsu Lake

Hangetsu Lake

Long Tailed Tit, (Enaga), Asahigaoka.

Long Tailed Tit, (Enaga), Asahigaoka.

Great Tit, (Shijuukara), Lake Hangetsu

Great Tit, (Shijuukara), Lake Hangetsu

Nuthatch - with grub in beak, (Gojuukara), Noboribetsu

Nuthatch - with grub in beak, (Gojuukara), Noboribetsu

Marsh Tit, (Hashibutogara), Asahigaoka

Marsh Tit, (Hashibutogara), Asahigaoka

Narcissus Flycatcher, (Kibitaki), Niseko-cho

Narcissus Flycatcher, (Kibitaki), Niseko-cho

Time to grow rice, somewhere in Niseko-cho

Time to grow rice, somewhere in Niseko-cho

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on “A is for Animal.
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