Japanese Weasel in Motion

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While at Isahaya I spotted this () hunting in the drainage ditches that run between the fields.

The fast frame rate of the 1D-X allowed for this series of images…

Japanese Weasel

John Wright

John Wright

John Wright is an Australian wildlife photographer and bird guide based in Kyushu, Japan. John became seriously engaged in nature photography while living in Japan and then Thailand. He returned to Japan in 2008 and has since concentrated on wildlife photography, especially birds. John visits Southeast Asia and Australia regularly, but usually travels within the Japanese archipelago, where he also guides visiting birders and wildlife photography enthusiasts.

John Wright

John Wright

John Wright is an Australian wildlife photographer and bird guide based in Kyushu, Japan. John became seriously engaged in nature photography while living in Japan and then Thailand. He returned to Japan in 2008 and has since concentrated on wildlife photography, especially birds. John visits Southeast Asia and Australia regularly, but usually travels within the Japanese archipelago, where he also guides visiting birders and wildlife photography enthusiasts.

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Glenn Bartley

John Andrew, congratulations on your success in “Most Popular and Widely-Read Articles in Feb 2013” – https://focusingonwildlife.com/news/most-popular-and-widely-read-articles-in-feb-2013/

Steven Scott

Wonderful series of such an elusive species. Nice endorsement for the 1D-X!

Maurice Tijm

Nice photos! Amazing animal.

Could this be another species? Just found out that Siberian Weasel is introduced to South Japan and is doing well (Kyushu,
Shikoku, and western Honshu, see:http://www1.unifi.it/caryologia/past_volumes/53_3_4/13.pdf). Isahaya is in southern Kyushu right, where both species occur.

Do you know of information on separating both species in the field? Looking at the facial masks jof both species in Handbook Mammals of the World:Carnivores (Plate 36, p.648) this one looks more like a Siberian Weasel.

John Wright
John Wright

Hi Maurice:

Yes, there are Siberian Weasel in Kyushu, usually on the coasts. I think they are pretty much identical with only the size difference to tell them apart for sure. Coloration has a lot to do with time of year; this one was in its winter coat and hence much lighter and brighter than in summer. I judged this was a Japanese Weasel due to its small size, but it is hard to tell for certain.

Cheers,

John

Maurice Tijm

Thank you a lot for this insight John! Pity that size is the only way to ID them. I really like the two species a lot, what a colour and what a fur! Enjoy your photography!

John Wright
John Wright

Thanks for all the comments! To Alex, yes, you can view them at night along with Blakiston’s Fish Owl at Fujiya Inn at Yoroushi Onsen, which is roughly between Kushiro and Rausu – make sure to book a room that looks out onto the pond area, however!

Margarita Steinhardt

Nice catch and great images! Nice to see weasel in action.

Steven Scott

Wonderful series of such an elusive species. Nice endorsement for the 1D-X!

Steven Scott

Wonderful series of such an elusive species. Nice endorsement for the 1D-X!

Noushka Wildlife

I can only say: WOW!
You have to be there at the right time!
Fantastic! and this weasle is gorgeous!
Congrats, Andrew!

Alexander Smith

Awesome pictures! Do you happen to know spots near Rausu or Kushiro where this species is seen regularly?

Alexander Smith

Awesome pictures! Do you happen to know spots near Rausu or Kushiro where this species is seen regularly?