Monday, October 22, 2007

... part deux

and so, I return home to Osaka from my home in Ireland. I had a great 12 days at home, chilling out in Cape Clear and West Cork, spending some quality time on this occasion with my family and not drinking too much actually. I really needed a break from Japan, from work, from everything...and I did just that. Although my schedule during the holiday was packed, I did find some time to myself, and to do things I wanted to do...that is, birding in some of my favourite places in Ireland and actually seeing my parents for more than one night during my holiday!!!! For those reasons, amongst other commitments made before I came home, I didn't see everyone I wanted to see, so for those of you who read this and didn't see sincerest apologies.
The Fastnet Rock and Lighthouse
I spent a couple of nights on Cape Clear with AV and CC, chilling out in the evening and just strolling leisurely around the island during the day in cloudless skies and balmy temperatures (as balmy as they can get in October in Ireland). Cape Clear is just like a priceless jewel in this weather and waking up to clean air, no noise, no crowds, no pollution at 7am was so refreshing. I relaxed for the first time in 2 years during my time on Cape Clear. It was AV's first time there and could understand why I love the place. It was just what the doctor ordered and made it incredibly difficult to get back on the plane to Japan.
Looking out across to Schull
Driving around in Dad's car was great and the sense of freedom that I lack in Japan was flooding through me again. It was marvellous. A perfect example was a 4.30am start one morning with CC and JW to get to Lissagriffin in West Cork for a dawn...a twitch!! We couldn't remember the last time the three of us went on a twitch together and it was great fun (we also saw the birds so it made it the day). Meeting up with HH at B'cotton was good as I hadn't seen him since I moved to Japan. Being knee deep in mud wasn't the most pleasant of surroundings to catch up, it was good nonetheless.
The Stag Party
The family time was better on this trip, catching up with Dad's side of the family this time at my cousin RC's wedding. I was groomsman (hence the reason I went home) and it was a great day. The only hitch being the visiting Americans being late for the dinner but in true Irish fashion, we turned their tardiness into a laugh and a joke so the great fun was had by all. My inability to drink was obvious on that day as the hangover the next morning killed me and all I wanted to do was sleep. It was also the first time that a photo of CC, JH, RC, and I was taken but Dad still hasn't given me that (DAD!!!!). It was great to have the four of us together. I guess being friends for the bones of 30 years makes it hard not to have fun together. Although JH was missing for the stag, we had a great day and night. Sailing around Cork Harbor for the afternoon was great or "awesome" as I kept telling Skipper TO'R. The funny thing was that there was no wind so we motored for 90% of the time. Still though, motoring around Cork Harbor on a yacht was damn nice....
This would be me...
So much happening when I was home that it would take too long to write about. The birding was great. Catching up with the lads from Uni undergrad days and the lads I used to work with in the Biochemistry department was fantastic. Dinner with DW was just like the old days from when we lived together. Going for pints with GB. It was no wonder I found it hard to come back to Japan....

However, in saying that, I'm back a week and it feels like I've never been away. Birding, photography and work taking precedence, but not necessarily in that order. 2 new JP ticks and a lifer for me in the last week is pretty incredible. The Lanceolated Warbler feeding no more than 6 feet away in the OPEN was mindblowing (photos on Flikr by the end of the week)...backed up by Pectoral Sand and Little Stint finally added some rare waders to our season list. Much to our dismay, we discovered that a Spoon-billed Sandpiper was seen at a place in Mie prefecture 2 days afer we were there...c'est la vie.

And now, it's back to the mayhem of work, work, and fitting it all in at the weekends...

Carmo's Diet: This week, I have mostly been eating ommlettes

Carmo's Birds: BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT (Ireland); *Pectoral Sandpiper; *Little Stint; LANCEOLATED WARBLER; (JP:333; IRE:274)

Carmo's Birds for Byrdy: Megan Fox


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, it was all good! Looking forward to the lancy shots. Been quiet here since you left, nobody to harrass....

October 23, 2007 3:06 AM  
Anonymous col said...

fresh air? no noise? on cape? you can't have walked straight up to cotters when ye got orf the boat then - the smog and racket from the knackered cars is unreal!!

anyhoo, i digress - dusky warbler oml ya bas - 278!! Thats gotta hurt! xx

October 23, 2007 4:19 AM  
Blogger S.C.E. said...

Welcome back to Japan.............

Cape Clear to Osaka. Could you actually find 2 more different places?

Hakodate is a small Japanese city with a small cape so I guess it's a bit of one and a bit of the other.

I won't make any sporting comments. I'm far too jaded.

October 23, 2007 3:14 PM  
Blogger Carmo said...

C, stop Barton increasing his list!!!

Col...ur a LANGER biy. Did you get the Pallas's as well or is that already on da list?

SCE, good to be back...sort of. Let's not talk sport for now.

October 23, 2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Sure Col found 2 Pallas's of his own in 2003, when we were tripping over them! Saw those birds meself, out of 5 that I saw that year.
The mud was a bollix alright at Ballyc, but the Sharp-tailed was nice, though!

October 24, 2007 1:28 AM  
Blogger Minnsy said...


Can't believe you got a Lancey darn ya! That is still not on my life, let alone Jap list. Keep getting Gray's Groppers and Middendorf's down here!

Dipped Amur Falcon last weekend, but did manage a Chinese Bulbul as a small compensation.

Gonna go dip Baillon's again this weekend!

Welcome back for better or worse. How long are you planning to stay anyways?

October 24, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Carmo said...

HH, aye, the Sharpie was nice all the same. We'll not talk about Pallas's though...

Minnsy, if you could throw up a few Middendorf's and Grays my way, I'll throw you down a few Lanceys. There were 4 of the b'tards at Phoenix (Wader spot) on Sunday but nae waders!! Good luck with Baillon's. How long will I stay...em...I'll email ya :)

October 24, 2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous col said...

aye - back in 2003 when I could still find birds! do you still need pallas's for ire so? tart!

October 24, 2007 10:36 PM  
Anonymous col said...

hey fella, good news! Was just persuing me cork list as a certain mr mundy is after me. Imagine my delight & surprise when I discovered I'd omitted to tick purple sand - 259 biy - result!! ps mundy is 8 behind ye for ire, and sitting on 245 for cork! feel de pressure!

October 25, 2007 12:13 AM  
Anonymous david hasselhoff said...

Fella - "harbour" has got a "u" in it - did they teach ya nuthin' at de schule, like biy?

October 27, 2007 3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's gone all Yankified on us, methinks?

October 27, 2007 5:09 AM  
Blogger Carmo said...

the Hoff etc....i've gone yankified...the shame

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