Birding in Aomori was amazing. With the help of good weather, we enjoyed every single hour of every single day.
Wonderful birds, fabulous sceneries and quite often we had them to ourselves. There was no one to disturb the bird so I could spend long time sketching until the bird itself decided to move on.
One local birder told us an ironical story. He said that he once heard a group of birders from Tokyo complaining that there was no birder in the area so they couldn't find birds!
Some of the Tokyo birders can really be as bad as that. There are so many people in a few nature reserves in the metropolitan area that they don't have to look for birds but just find people to tell them where and what to see.
It is very sad. Because I believe half of the joy of watching birds comes from finding them by yourself from seemingly an empty scenery.
How we came to find this sleeping nightjar was a good story.
We were walking in a wood where one of us described as not-really-for-a-nightjar environment.
But a nightjar called once. And three of us heard it. None of us thought we could see it... it sounded like coming from beyond the trees.
Then one, who didn't hear the call said "You should be able to see the bird if you heard it."
Thinking that's not possible, three of us picked our bins since the way he said it was so confident and we thought we ought at least to pretend trying.
Soon after, one expert birder mumbled, "Can it be it or just a leaf?"
No one else could figure out what he was looking at but when he set a scope on it, it was clearly a nightjar indeed!
I even struggled to find it with my bins after seeing through the scope. It was so far and so hidden by leaves and branches in front of it!
I leaned that you always have to look for birds to see one.
Driving up to Shimokita peninsula reminded me of Scotland because there were horses grazing, cattle grids, a nice light house, sea stacks and natural lawn to be lying down. There is something about these remote, cliff edge scenery that I really love so I was delighted to find such place in this country, too!
Sketching this sea stack, my mind was at St. Abbs head looking down the Cleaver Rock.