Bird News from Nial Moores with Park Hea-Jeong (Hwaseong KFEM)
Back for the eighth waterbird survey of the Hwaseong FNS, where highlights included huge numbers of Tundra Bean Goose, and a trio of scarcer geese species: Swan Goose, Lesser White-fronted and Cackling.
In addition to generally poor views/ low numbers of several regular autumn migrants (e.g. Yellow-browed and Dusky Warblers, Richard’s and Pechora Pipits), a few of the highlights/ higher counts/ more memorable encounters included (with all images copyright of Nial Moores):
- Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii 캐나다기러기. One on 15th.
- Swan Goose Anser cygnoides 개리 (VU). Two on 13th were still present on 15th.
- Tundra Bean Goose Anser serrirostris 큰기러기. More than 43,000 geese were counted during the dawn flight on 14th. The vast majority of these were Tundra Bean (based on flight calls and views), with c. 2,500 Greater White-fronted.
- Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus 흰이마기러기 (VU). Two were seen on 14th; and on 15th, a group of four (or five) adults and a single adult were also seen, first on “Pond 13” and then on the main tidal-flat.
- Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus 큰고니. Two were seen on 13th and 14th.
- Baikal Teal Sibirionetta formosa 가창오리. Only small numbers seen (1-3).
- Greater Scaup Aythya marila 검은머리흰죽지. A flock of 1,145 were seen on the main reclamation lake on 13th.
- Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 댕기물떼새 (NT). A group of sixteen were watched flying in on 13th,
- Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 검은가슴물떼새. After several high-flying birds heard through the autumn, it was a real pleasure finally to enjoy very close views of three at the high tide roost on 14th.
- Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 개꿩. 690 on 13th; 695 on 14th; and 1,450 on 15th.
- Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis 알락꼬리마도요 (EN). The highest count was 180 on 15th.
- Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 마도요 (NT). The highest count was 3,100 on 18th.
- Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 붉은어깨도요 (EN). Small numbers still present, with 45 on 15th the highest count.
- Dunlin Calidris alpina 민물도요. Large day-to-day fluctuations in numbers, with the highest day count 12,120 on 13th, but only 7.000 on 14th. Most of the Dunlin looked to be very long-billed – though it is still unclear whether most of the birds here are articola or sakhalina. One rather smaller and very delicately-marked individual (in the bottom image) was especially eye-catching.
- Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 쇠청다리도요. Highest count was 39 on 13th.
- Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer 청다리도요사촌 (EN). One on 13th; and one again on 15th.
- Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 검은머리갈매기 (EN). Small numbers seen each day.
- Taimyr Gull Larus heuglini taimyrensis 줄무늬노랑발갈매기. Two to three each day, mixed in with small but steadily-growing number of Mongolian and Vega Gulls.
- Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor 저어새 (EN). Still the commonest spoonbill, with the highest day count 98 (compared with the highest day count of 33 Eurasian Spoonbill).
- Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus 개구리매. One on 13th.
- Chinese Grey Shrike Lanius sphenocercus 물때까치. Two present: both highly vocal.
- Marsh Tit Poecile palustris 쇠박새. Two were seen disappearing into brush on the 13th: a fairly remarkable record for one of the nation’s most sedentary/ least dispersive species
- Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 검은이마직박구리. Probably 5+ were present throughout.
- Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 제비. Probably 2,500 on 13th and 2,000 on 14th – many hawking along the main inner dyke road until a chemical dispersant truck started spraying the roadside vegetation.
A more detailed report of our survey results is being shared with the EAAFP Secretariat and with Hwasong City officials (and is available on request by Birds Korea members); and a fuller report (in both Korean language and English language versions), with survey summaries and some recommendations for management and wise use of the wetland is being prepared as part of the Hwaseong Wetlands Project, for publication within 2020.