I had a great breakfast at the buffet breakfast provided by Comfort Hotel Kushiro. The variety was much greater than in Toyoko Inn. As time was early, I took a while to choose the food and had a sumptious breakfast, counting down to the wildlife adventures that is going to unfold.
My Teddy Bear, Ked, was enjoying the view of Kushiro train station from the hotel window.
I brought my luggage down to the lobby and waited for pickup by CS Ling and other photography folks participating in this trip. Luckily, everything went well for them with no flight delays. We happily set off for our first lunch together, somewhere near the Crane Centre.
This was my first time in a photography travel group. So it was a pretty refreshing experience!
The driver, who is also a tour guide who owns the Go-Hokkaido company, Takashi-san is a pretty friendly Japanese man with good driving skills as he maneouvered around the snowy roads. After lunch, we set off for our first stop at the Tancho Observation Center to see the mesmerizing crane dance. There are many other spots to see the Tanchos (Japanese Cranes) and we will be visiting several the following day. To many of us, this is a first-time experience! I was amazed at the crowd of photographers lining along the boundaries, with their super duper large telephoto lenses and tripods. Seemed that everyone was well equipped to capture even the slightest action of the Japanese Red Crown Cranes.
Let the Crane Dance began!
The young, being very active, hopping up and down to show the adult crane.
Saying Hello for the first time
Not just cranes, whopper swans were also spotted.
Shortly after setting up my camera and tripod, feeding session came by with a guy throwing food to the cranes. Then, more action unfolded as eagles arrived, targeting to grab hold any fish! I can only say the action is fast and furious.
Crane calls, Swift action of the eagles, and the changing of territories between the swans and cranes made this first visit a memorable one!
It was my first attempt in shooting wild birds, not including those I saw at Jurong Birdpark. Although most shots were blur, but it was after all a learning experience and hopefully the rest of the trip would be a great one.
After about 2 hours of intense shooting, we made our way to Tsurui Dosanko Farm. I have never heard of this horse farm until I came across this trip. One could imagine the bliss of waking up early in the morning and seeing the ponies right in front of you once you opened your windows! Taking about simple bliss! Most of the folks were tired after a night flight. As for me, I could still withstand a bit so I went ahead to have some first meetup session with the ponies before dinner at 6pm.
A private moment
Some commotion happening!
Saying Konnichiwa for the first time!
An Emo Pony -_-
The ponies were very friendly to me, who is a novice in handling animals. They walked towards me a couple of times, somehow lining up to say Hello to me in fact... but I was a little frantic when they started walking towards me. I have the fear that they would jump over the fence and carry me up hehe..sorry..im thinking too much! The cold was sweeping in as it was nearing sunset at just 430pm.