29 May 2015

birding days

Some more British birds!

Avocet lino print from the sketches at Cley.

Yellowhammer. (キアオジ)

I love it when a bird comes back to a same twig or branch again and again. I don't have to set my telescope again but to look and start drawing!

Linnet. (ムネアカヒワ)

Grey-lag goose. I like those quick sketches if it works but the problem is you can not recreate it!

It was far far away but a nice Whinchat. (マミジロノビタキ)

And look! I had another nice session of drawing perching hobby.

27 May 2015

R is for Raptor

On bank holiday monday, I visited Raptor Foundation with two of my friends. It's always nice to be able to see birds in close up and draw them without worrying about them flying away.

I had just finished reading "H is for Hawks" by Helen Macdonald so it meant more to see the staff flying the hawks.  The book was really interesting as I could visualise woods in Brekland, places in Cambridge and refer to books like "Once and Future King" and "His Dark Materials".  It seems that falconry is a totally different world from loving birds and watching them.  Helen wrote that she almost became a goshawk by practicing it and quoted the scene when Wart were turned into a merlin sitting next to Cully, the goshawk. That was the scene inspired me when I was writing my "Snow in Summer," an story idea about the world in a snow globe. 

It was pity that the raptor foundation didn't have a goshawk in display but I sketched the saker/peregrine falcon instead, thinking about the prologue of "Silent Spring Revisited," another book I am currently reading, which talks about J.A.Baker's "Peregrine" and possibility of his peregrine being a saker falcon lost by a falconer.

I had to draw the little owl, too!

And this is what I had been working on these days!

Hobby print from the Minsmere trip!

26 May 2015

ワイバード通信 2015年夏号

New YBIRD travel agency's brochure for tours coming in summer, autumn and winter.


24 May 2015


Last Sunday, I joined the RSPB Cambridge local group's field trip to Minsmere. I can not believe that it's been four years since I first went there.  I remember that particular field trip very well because it was the one pulled me deeply into the birdwatching world in Britain.  And Minsmere reserve amazed and amused me as much as the first time.

On the first trip to Minsmere we went to Westleton Heath rather than Dunwich Heath on this trip but all the same we watched the stunning birds like dartford warblers and stonechats.

Little terns and an incubating avocet.

I was sitting in the Bittern Hide for long time watching marsh harriers and hobbies flying and a bittern flew across. And a hobby perched on a tree right in front of the hide!

Asmodeus Poisonteeth!

19 May 2015

Pied Flycatcher

I am enjoying my life in Cambridge for sure!
It's very important for me to have time on my own and create works on my own.  And it needs lots of time to be inspired, motivated and to actually work on it.  

This is a little linocut image I made after the Devon trip.

13 May 2015



I design this leaflet for my aunt's piano recital in June in the image of Bartok's Szabadban, Out of Doors... or rather Rapunzel?

チケット: ミリオンコンサート協会e+CNプレイガイド


12 May 2015

Devon Trip

I visited Devon to meet Mr. Aplin, the offspring of Captain Applin, who was based in Yokohama in mid 19th century and taught my great grandfather's grandfather how to ride horses in Western way. It was a "historical moment" as my mother calls it.
I am rather happy to discover that my ancestor had some interesting connection with Britain!

After that terrific meeting, I joined the RSPB Cambridge local group's long weekend trip to south Devon.

We were very pleased to watch some species that can only be found in west side of the country! 

Pied Flycatcher   (マダラヒタキ)


Cirl Bunting(ノドグロアオジ)

They sing very similar to the yellowhammer but they don't make it clear if they have cheese or not.  Just a little bit of bread.


This is a yellowhammer who clearly doesn't have or like cheese. It was nice to be able to compare the two species.

We saw many many stonechats!



We even spotted a rare one!  I knew what it was the minute I saw it flying pass.

The tidal pool seems to be providing lots of food for the heron.  We saw it catching something all the time.    

We had a long discussion about whether it was a meadow pipit or a tree pipit. We decided it was a tree pipit because it got long streaks on its breast and pale flunk with no dots.

6 May 2015

Painting in the field

This is, I promise, the last post from my trip to Bempton!

I was rather happy that I made this painting. I normally hesitate to use proper water colour paper for drawing birds in the field because I worry too much about wasting expensive paper that I don't make any good work on them!  But staying in Bempton for all that hours finally let me have a go.    

And this is the view of Bempton Cliffs in late afternoon.

5 May 2015

Bempton and Yorkshire race

I sketched something other than gannets, too, of course.

Guillemots and Razorbills were clinging on to the cliff.  I was freezing at the top of the cliff but they were out there, exposed in the chilly wind!

Puffin was a difficult one to find in the reserve. They were mostly on the sea or flying just above the sea surface. But occasionally I spotted one or two sitting on the cliff.

Another good bird to spot on the cliff was the peregrine. 

And it happened to be the day when the Tour de Yorkshire's inaugural race passed through Bempton and Buckton . I walked down to the village at noon to watch it.

Everyone was so excited and almost all the buildings on the street were decorated with blue and yellow buntings and bicycles as well as Yorkshire's flag with a white rose.  
When it started, though, the race passed in a minute.  Before I realised, it was gone.  

On the way back to the reserve, I found a corn bunting!

3 May 2015

Gannets and nesting materials

Most of gannets already had an egg in their nest but they were still gathering nest materials to improve their home.

In the strong wind, they soared and landed almost at the top of the cliff...  

to gather some grass.

They don't seem to care what type of grass they pick.

The one at home was also busy adjusting the grass that its partner brought home.

Gannets at Bempton Cliffs

Gannet is definitely my favorite bird of Britain.  So I couldn't wait until my Scotland trip for the Seabird Drawing Course to see and sketch them.  Knowing that, a very good friend of mine marooned me on the Bempton Cliffs!

So I spent hours and hours on the cliff with my telescope and sketchbooks. I can not be happier sitting at the seabird colony even though it was chilly and at one point, I was caught in hailstone.  

I had such productive days that I came out with almost too many sketches to show.

From Staple Newk view point. 
It was the next day after the reserve volunteer spotted the first chick of this year at her researching site.   I patiently watched the nest but the parent didn't let me peek its chick.    

I could spend weeks without getting bored here!

And to your surprise, there is a lot more to come!