Relaxed weekend in Obihiro


I have been to Hokkaido for several times to watch animals and birds. But I have not seen Hokkaido Squirrel. Since I heard population in Obihiro is very high, I had a weekend trip to there to see them.
Though there were still snow in Obihiro, Hokkaido Squirrel was very active.

The only word I can say is .... How cute they are!!

They were busy for hopping, watching their behavior made me relaxed.

Finally I watched they were playing among the flowers of Amur adonis. I makes me feel spring is coming up.

Then in the late afternoon on Saturday, I went to another forest to spot Russian flying squirrel. Since they are nocturnal and sleeping in daytime. (In mating season, they are said to be active from later afternoon to early morning.)
Thus, I thought I could not find them, even though I knew they were there.

However..... I found them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!

How cute they are...
I cannot remind any animals which have such a round shaped eye.

Even they are so tiny, they don't hibernate, surprisingly.

Main purpose of this trip is to watch Hokkaido Squirrel and I spent most of  time to watch them. In addition, I watch many kinds of birds which are typical in plain area in Hokkaido.
Here is Nuthatch.

Willow tit

Last photo is Amur adonis. Hokkaido Squirrel and Russian flying squirrel were so impressive, but this flower was also the one which I found with surprise, since this is my first time to see them in wild.

そんな訳で、、ここ最近の動物運の悪さを吹き飛ばしてくれるような週末となりました♪ G.W.を前に調子が上がってきたのかな?
So I enjoyed very much watching animals and flowers which are new to me in this weekend. I wish this continues in G.W. holidays.


Spring in Oki islands

目的はただ一つ、固有種であるオキサンショウウオの成体を見ること! というわけで、、土曜日の昼過ぎから日曜日の昼までかなりストイックに探しました。

Last weekend, I took a short trip to Oki islands. The purpose is to see adult of endemic Oki salamander. I spent most of time in the afternoon on Saturday and morning on Sunday to find them.

が、、残念ながら見つからず・・・ どうもサンショウウオ運がないみたいです(笑)
However, I could not find them... ;-(   It seems I don't have a good luck to find salamanders.

But, I found some juvenile of the salamander, as I did in last summer. Below photos are ones I took on Sunday. They are so cute, aren't they?

As you can see, its body surface is colored with many black spots. And this spots seem to have many variations.

Since I did not bring snorkel gear, I just put camera housing  under the water and took photos. I have to say it was very strange view, if anyone who does not know what I was doing saw it.

Depth of the water was so shallow (at most 10cm), it was something like a water pocket. There are other places where is deeper, but I did not go such area, simply because I did not get drenched. Anyway, for this reason, lens port was not completely under the water, and water surface came out in the photo like below.

正面から見ると、、昔流行ったウーパールーパーそっくりですね♪ (ウーパールーパーも変態しないサンショウウオの一種だったりします)
Though I could not take photo freely, I enjoyed watching and taking photo of them. They looks like axolotl. (Axolotl is a kind of salamander which cannot be metamorphosed to adult shape)

Other animals I saw was, Oki Tago's Brown Frog. When I turned over the stones in the upstream area, I found them frequently.

And a beautiful flower. I don't the name.

Butterbur sprout. Depending on the height above sea level, I saw many stage of the flower.

その他には食べ頃のタラの芽も一杯! 家の近所の山と比べ、かなりの密度でタラの木が生えているようでした。山菜好きにはたまらない場所かも♪
And I found many shoot of Japanese angelica tree!! Comparing with the mountain close to my house, more Japanese angelica trees were seen. Oki may be a good place for those who love to edible wild plants.

Black-tipped Leafhopper was also seen.

Since many part of Oki islands are surrounded by the cliff, there are many scenic area. Below is Jodo-ga-Ura,

Even it is not introduced as a sightseeing place, view was nice.

因みに水中写真はNikon D90で、陸上写真はCanon EOS 5DMarkIIIで撮ってます。

Though I could not find adult of Oki salamander, I enjoyed staying at Oki islands.
In near future, I want to come back.