My last blog left off with the magnificent Steller’s sea eagles day. We had so much fun that we went back again for more Steller’s sea eagle action. They are so powerful and so fast, that you just shoot and shoot to get a better image than your last. It is a lot of fun working with these beautiful birds. At the end of our second day with the eagles, the eight of us took over 10,000 frames of photographs. It was crazy fun!
On the morning after our sea eagle shoot, the temperature dropped down to a chilly -17º Celcius. We drove to Lake Kussharo to photograph Whooper swans knowing that the cold temps would make for interesting photography. Because it was so cold, and because a hot spring ran into the lake, we had fog and steam which attracted the swans. For hours, we were able to take beautiful, moody and artistic images. The Whooper swans (pronounced Hooper), are one of the heaviest flying birds weighing in range from 18 – 25 lbs. The heaviest Whooper swan was recorded at 34 lbs. They spend most of their time in the Siberian Arctic before migrating as far south as Japan in the winter.
They require a large body of water to live in because their legs cannot support the weight of their body for a long period of time. They come to Lake Kussharo because of the warm water flowing into the lake from the hot spring.
The steam makes for dreamy, surreal photography:
Our time in Hokkaido just flew by. Because it is so beautiful and exciting, we decided to add an extra day up here to our trip scheduled for next February.
The landscapes are beautiful covered in snow….
So for now, I bid Hokkaido farewell until next year! But don’t go away! The adventure is not over yet!