Author Archives: Bernhard Seliger

Birds in Siam Wetland and Hangang Estuary, August 25, 2020

Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Dr. Choi Hyun-Ah (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Birds Korea lifetime members), Prof. Dr. Amaël Borzée (Birds Korea annual member)

In scorching heat (up to 37 degree Celsius) in between the rainy season and an approaching typhoon birds (like humans!) were not very willing to move, and with the breeding season over and the rice fields high, they were neither vocal nor easily detectable. Yudo Island has a large breeding colony of Black-faced Spoonbills, Great Cormorants, Great and Intermediate Egrets, Grey Herons and other birds. But the island was largely empty now, with only a few Great Egrets and Grey Herons and an occasional gull remaining. Also in the rice fields the numbers of egrets and herons, which nonetheless included at least 11 Chinese Pond Herons, plus Striated Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons and Eastern Cattle Egret, were smaller than in previous surveys. In terms of spoonbills and waders, only Black-faced Spoonbills (22), Common Sandpiper (2) and a single Eurasian Whimbrel were recorded.  

A Brown Shrike was a first during our two years of surveys in the area. The assembly of Barn Swallows was also a sign of the start of southward migration. Other notable birds included two Chinese Sparrowhawks, harassed by a Common Kestrel, and a Grey-capped Woodpecker, and a surprise late Common Cuckoo calling.  

Finally, we also enjoyed beautiful views of a Mamushi snake (Japanese pit viper) or 살모사.

Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus © Bernhard Seliger
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos © Bernhard Seliger
Barn swallows Hirundo rustica assembling for migration (in total, 300 were seen in flocks from 40 to 100 birds) © Bernhard Seliger
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus © Bernhard Seliger
Grey-capped Woodpecker Drendrocopus canicapillus © Amaël Borzée
Mamushi Snake (Japanese Pit Viper) Gloydius blomhoffii © Bernhard Seliger