April 2005


I’ve built a patio in the garden and it has benches consisting of cemented concrete blocks with wood on top. These are hollow so that we can store things inside them. Anyway, I lifted the lid of an empty one and spotted three of these strange beasts inside.

Order: Orthoptera; Family: Rhaphidophoridae;
Camel cricket: Diestrammena japonica: madarakamadouma
Body length = 20-25mm
Wingless – related to cave crickets

madarakamadoumamadarakamadouma

Information in Japanese: Saitama Zoo

Holding a woodpecker: a very rare but lucky opportunity!

I was doing a bit of gardening when I heard a bang and then a thud as something landed on the grass behind me. It was a pygmy Japanese woodpecker that had flown straight into the window and stunned itself! I thought it was dead, so I picked it up and held it in my hand. After a couple of minutes the little thing opened its eyes and moved its head slightly, but it made absolutely no attempt to fly away. I guess that the fact I was wearing gardening gloves made it feel a bit safer (perhaps). Anyway, I took a few photos and then put it on the branch of a tree. It just lay there on the branch without moving, so I was worried that it was injured. I touched it again and suddenly it shot off through the hedge and flew into the neighbour’s garden. Very fast and very well.

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker: Picoides kizuki: kogera

Japanese pygmy woodpeckerJapanese pygmy woodpeckerJapanese pygmy woodpecker