Author Archives: Bernhard Seliger

Birds and the park in Chuncheon, Gangwon province (September 19, 2022)

Dr. Bernhard Seliger (Hanns-Seidel-Foundation Korea, Birds Korea), Jeongmin Khil (Hanns-Seidel-Foundation Korea) and Prof. Dr. Tomasz Wierzbowski (HUFS)

Parks sometimes can be teaming with birds, either because of a lack of suitable other habitat in cities, or because the have genuinely good habitat, in particular for passerines. It is different, alas, with a number of “eco-“parks built in Korea: good habitats, often in wetlands or stretches of rivers, are transformed into areas with large concreted places, natural bushlands and riparian forests are substituted by single trees surrounded by concrete, riverscapes become artificially altered so that no real view of the river is possible. One of the worst examples I know is the destruction of the lovely riverside of North Hangang near Chuncheon, which we earlier discussed as part of the river and Scaly-Sided Merganser survey early this year (http://www.birdskoreablog.org/?p=25610). 

A short survey on September 19, 2022, confirmed the observations of early this year: the whole park area was completely empty of people, birds or any other life. Just outside of that, the riverside is still beautiful. Highlight was a beautiful pair of Long-billed plovers. Sad to say, but hopefully greater fiscal burdens will make this kind of “improvements” too expensive in the future. Much better, there should be greater understanding of the needs of habitat preservation and restoration, instead of habitat destruction which neither serves humans, economy, or flora and fauna.

The park, only recently built, already looks like a trashed area – no space for people, fauna or flora…(© Bernhard Seliger)

Long-billed Plover Charadrius placidus (© Bernhard Seliger)

Two Long-billed Plovers Charadrius placidus (© Bernhard Seliger). Long-billed Plovers like to breed on stony or pebble beaches along rivers.
Japanese Wagtail Motacilla grandis (© Bernhard Seliger)
A more natural riverscape, fortunate still the larger part here. It is far from “wilderness” and a smooth bicycle and pedestrian way runs along it, convenient for observers, but it has a lot of habitat for all kinds of birds and other animals. (© Bernhard Seliger)
Female Bull-headed Shrike Lanius Bucephalus (© Bernhard Seliger)