Japan Diary – Day 5

Early start this morning. Alarm set for 4:15 and we’re in eagle-land… Incredible… Around 150 eagles around our boat this morning… A Mecca for wildlife photographers. So… before the excitement takes over too much. Let me explain. Basically we go out with a boat into the pack ice in the Sea of Okhotsk to the east of Hokkaido to photograph Steller’s sea eagles. After 10-15 minutes we reach the pack ice where the eagles land on top of the ice. From the boat they throw fish for the eagles so that we can photograph them properly. All set up by Wild Nature fotoresor

A pretty awesome sunrise, 150 of one of the largest eagles in the world, pack ice and a crew that is working hard for us photographers. Cannot get much better.

In the afternoon we left for Notsuke Peninsula an hours drive to the south. There we were searching for Sika deer and Foxes. The peninsula is literally littered with deer. They are everywhere and reminded me of being on the African savannah. During the few hours we were there we saw at least 6-7 foxes and some of them actually came up to us. Thats what happens folks when hunting is not allowed. Wildlife thrives and you can actually approach them and they are much less scared of you than normally.

At 16:00 we left Notsuke and 3 of us decided to go back for another try with the fish owl that we failed to see the night before. And we were not disappointed. At around 20:15 it decided to appear and show off its size and those gorgeous bright yellow eyes. As a bonus, 10 minutes after its appearance, it decided to give us a bonus performance. Some great images and all of a sudden the tiredness after a long day of photography just vanished. Back home, a quick hot bath in the thermal springs at the hotel and straight to bed. Tomorrow eagles again!