The Noguchi-gera or Pryer’s Woodpecker is a rare bird species, endemic to the forests of northern Okinawa. I’ve been hoping to photograph one for a while but in general you’ve probably got a better chance of spotting a Yeti.
However as is often the case it’s not what you know, but who you know and my friend Ichiro Kikuta is a birdwatching guru living near the northernmost tip of the island. A couple of days ago Ichiro gave me a call saying he’d found a nest and I headed up north to get some shots.
We set up our cameras not far from the tree. Due to the size and weight of my 400mm lens and the addition of a 2X converter I brought along a 20 liter water container and hung it from the underside of the tripod to provide some stability.
The Noguchi-gera did appear on several occasions over the course of the afternoon. Unfortunately we were shooting into the sun so although I may have some nice backlit images of the birds I will head back up there soon to get some shots in the early morning.
Another important thing I learned is that we are now in mosquito season. Do not sit in the forest in a T-shirt without any repellant. My arms and neck are currently covered in welts. I hope the little blood suckers enjoyed their meal because next time I’m bringing the DEET.