Home from Home

I have a free day on Saturday before long trek back to Okinawa. I tremble with anticipation. I am on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific and this means only one thing – new birds!

I set off for a park at the end of Waikiki Beach that sits just under Diamond Head.


It is where all the trees are and goes way back


This woman is trying to get there before me.

I have found that the most successful technique for this kind of birding is to sit somewhere and wait. At first it seems that not much is happening but little by little I start to notice stuff er like birds. This is a very calming process. Striding through the trees is no good at all.


Yellow Fronted Canary


Not very good photo of Java Sparrows


Red-vented Bulbul


Zebra Dove


Common Waxbill


Rose-ringed parakeet


Mynah Bird – but not in a cage.


Red-crested Cardinal

I have rarely enjoyed myself more. The weather is beautiful, the park is fragrant, I am totally engrossed. These are all new birds to me. My only regret is the White Tern of which there were lots but I was unable to get a reasonable photo. Beautiful birds.

On the walk back, I come across an open area where there is a massive Okinawan festival going on. Home from home.


Girls getting ready for dance performance.

DSC_4016 2.jpg

Traditional Okinawan orchestra, of which there lots, singing their hearts out.

I also stumble across a Hula dance school. This was serious stuff. The teachers were very picky and the girls went through the routines over and over. This was not languid hip swaying hula but very fast, athletic hula. Amazing.


I hope you win.

Wonderful day.

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3 Responses to Home from Home

  1. Leslie Quintero says:

    Hey Neil! I was just talking about you and then Julie forwarded your blog about birds. Lovely! Do you know Peter Damashek and his wife Yumiko? They lived in Kyoto for years and Sal and I visited them there…they just spent 3 days with us here in California and we talked about how much fun it would be to visit you in Okinawa. They have never been. One of these days we’ll return to Japan…in the meantime hope you are well and playing lots of tunes! Leslie

    • Hi Leslie!
      Thanks for the message. I do not think I have met Peter but he and and you and spouses are always welcome in Okinawa. Life here is wonderful except I increasingly find that work gets in the way of having fun. As I am moving towards 66 I wonder how many more totally active years I have in me – 10 certainly but 15,who knows?
      So I think I will pack it in soon. I have already bought a pick up.

      • Leslie Quintero says:

        Well I worked until I was a month shy of 69 and really regret it. Circumstances beyond my control…Sal’s mother ran out of money and we had another whole family to support. I only got to retire when she passed away (I did love her though, so don’t want that to sound crass). I just returned from an incredible hiking trip to England…it was the hardest hiking I’ve ever done and so glad that I did it as know what you mean with wondering about how many more active years you have left! But I was climbing mountains in the Lake District under tough weather conditions with steep rocky paths and clambering through boulder fields, clinging onto rocks as we pulled ourselves up to the top. Exhilarating. I just turned 70, haha! Good on you for the pickup…where do you plan to land when you retire? Are you staying in Okinawa or maybe you aren’t even sure yet…Anyway, glad to hear from you.

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