【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (26) Cute, white ribbon seal cubs
The drift ice that, during the winter, covered the coastal region of the town of Rausu on the Shiretoko Peninsula in eastern Hokkaido is blown from the shore by the southerly winds. The sunlight reflects on the surface of the sea, heralding the arrival of spring.
Boarding a small sightseeing boat, we set out toward a strip of drift ice offshore, in search of ribbon seals. The seals that inhabit the sea around Shiretoko are mainly the two spotted and ribbon varieties. Both varieties give birth to their cubs on the ice in spring. Compared to spotted seals, ribbon seals and their cubs are more difficult to find as they inhabit the offshore areas.
Like the spotted seal – which is known by the nickname of “Goma-chan” and is a protective white color that blends in with the ice – newly born ribbon seal cubs are also cute. They are not so cautious of their surroundings and, if you’re lucky, you may even be able to encounter a scene of a suckling cub.
However, the birth of ribbon seals coincides with the period in which the drift ice heads north. The possibility of being able to photograph such scenes depends on whether or not drift ice remains within a distance accessible by boat from Rausu.
- May 7
Yezo sika deer have survived a winter that blankets the earth in snow and deprives them of sufficient food sources, and now they eat the soft, newly sprouted grasses and rejoice in the coming of sp...
【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (27) Swans thread through iridescent clouds towards Russian Far EastApril 28
From late March through April, the skies above Eastern Hokkaido's town of Kushiro are filled with birds returning north. Swans feed on aquatic plants and the like at migratory resting areas to keep...
- April 24
Snow removal work on the Shiretoko Odan Road (National Highway Route 334) in eastern Hokkaido, which links Iwaobetsu in the town of Shari and Yunosawa in the town of Rausu, was opened to the press ...