Oriental Honey Buzzard | Pernis orientalis

Oriental Honey Buzzard

This morning I had a chance to go to Mount Hiyamizu near Sasebo city, Nagasaki prefecture. This time of year is good for migrating Oriental Honey Buzzard at Hiyamizu, and although there were gale-force winds and generally cloudy conditions, the birds co-operated and I could see 68 of the raptors fly past the mountain observatory due to the northerly gusts. Always at this time of year in Japan, it is interesting to note the numbers of juveniles and I am happy to say that a large number of the birds I saw and photographed were young hawks off on their first migration! I exclusively used the 300/2.8 with the 2x TC for this trip, and the wide 360 degree unobstructed view from the observation tower offered the perfect set up for use of this combination. Perhaps I am also getting more used to this combination, as I found I was able to both locate birds in the viewfinder quicker than before and get a good AF lock more quickly. I stayed at the observatory from sunrise (06:20) until 10:30 (when a squall came in). On the way home, I also saw Grey-faced Buzzard and Japanese Sparrowhawk.