Feeding birds seems to be an almost universal pastime for the elderly of all nations on Earth. Here is a gentleman that I met in Yokohama who was kind enough to allow my photography as he was feeding the local gulls one fine afternoon in the sun. When I get to be his age I hope I can return the favor and do my share of bird feeding as well!
A just over two months ago I was taking a walk along Tokyo’s Sumida River and sat down to eat some bread in the warm spring sun. It didn’t take long before I was surrounded with some fabulously healthy looking birds. I think a healthy city has healthy looking birds! I know this is nothing special to do with Tokyo, but it’s great fun and good practice to go out and “shoot” some bird portraits every now and then. Some of these birds were so close I could have touched them! I know a lot of people don’t like pigeons so I only include one pigeon photo, but personally I love them.
Please forgive me for posting even more photos of the birds of prey that Kamakura and Enoshima are so famous for! They’re just to photogenic! I brought out my 500m lens for last weeks trip to Kamakura and couldn’t stop myself from taking more snaps of these magnificent birds! Sadly though, there were quite a few people who hadn’t bothered reading the warning signs and more than one bento box (lunch box) exploded in scraps of rice and meat as these birds dive bombed hapless families and hungry couples left and right. These photos might not be as spectacular as the ones I took a couple of years ago, but they’ll do for this time!
Around Tokyo there’s a score of small and relatively unknown places to see animals. Behind the huge Hikawa Shrine in Saitama prefecture’s Omiya, there’s a tiny zoo barely known even to locals and yesterday I was in the area so I went there to have a look at the flamingoes. It was biting cold and just a few days earlier I had seen ice along the rivers of western Saitama prefecture so I was hoping to see something I have always imagines: flamingoes hanging out in snow! Sadly enough for me but lucky enough for them there was no snow nor ice yesterday, but I still enjoyed seeing these gorgeous birds. The zoo itself is really old and run down but they have some interesting animals, a trio of Hyena for example, and until a couple of weeks ago, a talking crow who showed his temper by greeting visitors to his cage with a hoarse “bye-bye”! Sadly though, the crow recently passed away.
Best of all the zoo is free to visit! If you are in Omiya with nothing to do, you can impress your Japanese friends by taking them to a double treat of the beautiful Hikawa Shrine and the mini-zoo!