A Photo-Filled Trip Report by Bo L. Christiansen and Eva F. Henriksen
Spring…perhaps the best season of the year, when almost every birder is thinking about which island to bird. There are a quite a few to choose from – each with their own special attraction: the remote and mountainous Gageo, very hard work with small numbers of birds – many Japan-bound – but more than a fair share of national firsts and rare migrants; or Socheong, with its undulating hills and narrow-neck watch-points and long list of amazing finds over the years, including the only Korean records still of Godlewski’s Bunting arriving from the north, Grey-sided Thrush from the northwest and Ashy Woodswallow and Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher from the deep south; or Baekryeong, my personal favourite in recent years in spite of its large size; or Weiyeon; or Heuksan and Hong and Mara in the far southwest; and what about Eocheong, off from Gunsan, with most of the best birds concentrated in the centre of an already small and workable island?
I first went to Eocheong back in April 2002, with the very first bird seen a male Grey Thrush flying over the harbour, followed in the next two hours by the national second Himalayan Swiftlet. The next day, I enjoyed great views of a singing adult male Red-throated Thrush, and over the next couple of weeks, Korea’s first Crag Martin and Ferruginous Flycatcher too! That was the Spring that Eocheong got the well-deserved nickname, “Magic Island”.
As elsewhere there are fewer birds now than a couple of decades ago – even on Magic Island – but still the spring birding can be superb, with often excellent views of tired migrants freshly arrived after crossing the Yellow Sea. Highlights on Eocheong last spring included a stunning Rufous-bellied Woodpecker (perhaps only the 10th or so Korean record in recent years) and rarer still in the Korean context, a Booted Warbler…
For a taster of things likely to come over the coming two months, please check out the stunning images and text in this trip report by Bo L. Christiansen and Eva F. Henriksen. Many thanks indeed both for sharing your spring Eocheong highlights with Birds Korea!
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Bird News from Nial Moores with Bernhard Seliger (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Korea office), Cheng Qian (UNESCAP) and Guo Jin, Han Yongxiang and Yang Ziyou (SBS in China, Shanghai) from March 15-19 & from March 21-26 Au Man Cheong, Chan Wai-Man, … read more
This morning heard some genuinely devastating news: Dr Lew Young had a fatal heart attack yesterday. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, Deborah and Omi and Ken, and to his hundreds of friends. We have all lost a … read more
Bird News, Nakdong Estuary and Eco-parks, March 4th An excellent half-day in the field in Busan in unseasonably warm spring sunshine, with twenty minutes at the Nakdong Estuary (where highlights were one First-winter Relict Gull still and a probable Far … read more
Bird News from Nial Moores, Bernhard Seliger, Andrey Averin, Zeng Qing and Lu Cai with officials from the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection In early December, agreement was reached at the Scaly-sided Merganser Task Force meeting in Dongting and … read more
Bird News from Nial Moores, on own on 3rd, and from January 4th-14th with the very good-humored Team Zoothera (Nick Upton, Lee Collins, Stephen Davis, Jeff Higgott, Simon Roddis, Peter Zelenyj, David Cousins, John and Pauline Arkle and Nick Blackwood). … read more
Bird News from Nial Moores with Jason Loghry On December 31, much of the day was spent in Taejongdae in Busan where highlights included good views of one (rather self-conscious!) White’s Thrush, Red-flanked Bluetail, good numbers of Japanese White-eye and … read more
Bird News from Nial Moores Two quick visits to local woodland on December 25th and to Igidae on 28th and one half-day at the Nakdong Estuary (on 27th) produced several species of note, though no real surprises. Highlights in an … read more
Bird News from Nial Moores With a presentation to give in Seoul in the evening, a chance on December 3rd to spend an hour and a half visiting the tidal creek at Siheung to look for the long-staying male Green-winged … read more
Bird News from Nial Moores with Choi Hyun-Ah and Felix Glenk (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Korea office) and Gimpo City officials As part of a project initiated by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (Korea) and Gimpo City designed to improve understanding of … read more