Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Eagle and the Bro

(Jigokudani, Nagano, Japan) well, it's been quite a while since I last posted here. A lot has happened in the interim as well. I felt that it was about time I got it together and put something up as I don't know how long more I will be doing least from Japan anyway. What with my brother giving me grief and SCE mentioning I had been quiet of late, I felt it time to blog.

February was an interesting month for me. Apart from the 70 hour week at work, turning 21 (again), I also got offered a job back in Dublin, Ireland. The emotions regarding the latter were phenomenal as I had planned to stay on in Japan a bit longer. What with 400 species in my sites and the fact that I really like the country, the job (to an degree) and that it's my home and has been for the last 3 years. It was a hard decision to make but as a famous Irish soccer player would say, "at the end of the day" family comes first. There is just too much going on with my family that the only option really was to go home. And so, with a meagre 4 weeks left in Japan before I leave, I have a heavy, yet excited feeling running through my veins...
(photo courtesy of Yumster - me at Yudanaka)
other happenings in February were not really much to write home about. I did some birding with Neil but neither of us saw anything new, well, at least when Neil was birding with me! The usual winter species and some added extras in Pacific Diver on Lake Biwa last weekend (a lake tick for both of us), 4 woodpecker species in one spot (green, pygmy, white-backed and great spotted), 3 merlin, american wigeon, steller's sea eagle, white's thrush (x3), and in one day trip a total of 85 species which is my record day total for Japan. Neil also had Thayer's, Kittiwake, and our odd "small yellow-legged gull) one afternoon in Osaka, the former two being mega birds for the area.

I also went to Yudanaka in Nagano with PJ, VG and Yumster to see the infamous Snow Monkeys made globally famous by Sir David Attenborough (whom JW talked to last week by all accounts) in his Planet Earth serious about 20 years ago. It was a wonderful and amazing experience for me because as long as I can remember, it has been a dream of mine to see these guys. I was not all. Incredible. The snow was immense, and driving home on the Sunday was a chore for PJ as the conditiions just kept getting worse and worse. All in all, a fantastic weekend in Nagano, the home of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
(photo courtesy of PJ - VG and the Monkey) I also had the great pleasure of seeing The Police live in Osaka Dome. Amazing to see them play live but I thought that some of it was not great. Still...I got to see one of the best bands in the world play live...noice noice

(grooming at Yudanaka, Nagano, Japan) And so, having left work at 8.30pm this evening, the earliest I have left in 2008, I am going to go to bed. I have to meet Kazu at 7.30pm. We are going to go to a Sumo training camp before I got to work. The Grand Tournament starts this weekend in Osaka and we are going to see a very famous training dojo...should be cool.

Carmo's Diet: this month, I have mostly been eating on the go

Carmo's Birds: Steller's Eagle; Merlin; Pacific Diver; Red-flanked Bluetail; White's Thrush

Carmo's Birds for Byrdy: No. 6


Blogger Harry said...

'(photo courtesy of Yumster - me at Yudanaka)'

Which one is you?

March 06, 2008 12:46 AM  
Blogger S.C.E. said...

Sorry to hear you're leaving Japan (even though we never actually met).

70 hours a week! Wow. 70 hours a month is enough for me. No wonder you're off. At least you picked up some nice camera gear while you were here.....

Joking aside, hope it all works out. You will be home to watch the Champions League Final at a sensible hour in a pub in Dublin. Liverpool to beat Arsenal 3-1 thus denying 4th place Everton a place in next season's CL. You heard it here first.

March 06, 2008 1:35 AM  
Anonymous col said...

hey fella - you have been gone a while all right - nearly as long as me! anyhoo, there's no way you'll be able to wrap up yer blog, not now you have such a huge following - I mean, you may as well spill da beans that you've been hiding in yer ma's attic the last 3 years, downloading cool japanese photos of de net, and trying to convince us they are yours, whilst all the while claiming to be working more & more infeasibly long hours - get orf the grass and go and look for coots at cuskinny biy - its yer future!

March 06, 2008 5:59 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Alright biy fair play tou updated! Jesus 8:30 earliest finish your workin ur ass off till you leave I'm typing this at 4:15pm finished work over two hours ago!

Fernando should be on the cards for a name for Gill!! Two hatricks in a row!

Will be looking for shelter in Dublin start of July!

March 06, 2008 9:17 PM  
Anonymous G said...

..70 hours a week..u should be fit for retirement...
ps. col...ur theory could be right..parents just put a stairs to the attic..was wondering what all that was about..LOL!!

March 08, 2008 4:03 AM  
Anonymous Pee Wee said...

Hey Fella,
Glad to hear you're wrapping everything up in Nippon,reckon the place has been chewing on you for far too long - a 70 hour week ?? Funk that...I'm still working part time so I'll have plenty of time to get you "reacclimatised" to life in Cork.And as I said,you're already pencilled in for Saturdays in The Roundy.Cant wait to see you man

March 11, 2008 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey mark,

Those monkeys look as if they've been on the Powers! Great news of your return. We'll have to fatten the calf! Not much craic here, waiting patiently for Olwen to pop in April. All's else is good.

Anyways we'll look forward to seeing ya back on the ol sod. A nice slow saturday afternoon in the Raven sounds in order. Although might not get the double buggy thro the door!

Enjoy the rest of it.


March 12, 2008 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Owen said...

Corkies must still undergo a 6 month quarantine when applying to live in dublin!You might miss the autumn!All the best for the journey home!

March 13, 2008 9:37 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

You won't be arguing with him living in Dublin when he finds an Oriental Pratincole at Rogerstown this July...

March 14, 2008 2:42 AM  
Anonymous like a leurve machine said...

alright sutra san....
whaddabout a "real japanese bird" blog for a change, hit the streets of osaka over paddys weekend and give us a glimpse of the ladies of nippon, we're all crying out for glamour here, secks sells dude !! (sorry granny carmo) you only gotta couple of weeks so aint it time to push the self destruct, hit the highs n lows of nippon armed with mount gay rum and a smile (and that awfully big camera lens).

this letloosedness may help prepare you for the arnets jursey warin blue collar execs of dubland,

on an aside we'll be hittin this place on the night of the wedding to dance a jig with the fairies bale required & peewees drivin his trabant

xx dl

March 14, 2008 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Owen said...

Oriental Pratincole would be nice ok.....Ah long as he has all his shots and jabs coming back he's grand!

March 15, 2008 1:54 AM  
Blogger Carmo said...

hey peeps, thanks for dropping by and all. The dl to de dmachine...I hears ya buddy, I hears ya.

HH and will be good to be back, that's for sure.

PeeWee: pencil me in brother

LJ: as long as they are wearing the red jersey I'm sure they'll fit in anywhere

March 15, 2008 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Owen said...

Sure let us know when youre in the civilized city of dublin!Id say youre dying for a proper Irish fillet steak with the pepper sauce an'all!;)

March 19, 2008 5:58 PM  
Blogger Gallicissa said...

I am sure you will carry lots of happy memories when you leave Japan. All the best & keep blogging!

March 30, 2008 11:09 PM  
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