Tim Edelsten. An interesting trip, at times birding with G. Broughton (GB), Nial Moores (NM), and Herve Darmandieu (HD). The diversity and habitat range is outstanding for an offshore island, and the relatively frequent and extreme weather changes result in a high turnover of migrants.
Unfortunately, the island is rapidly succumbing to harmful development projects that reduce the options for biodiversity. The mudflat at Yonggipo New Port appears to be undergoing reclamation and impoundment; areas that were marsh or swamp on my previous visit have been converted to industrial storage space or trash dumps; the main wetland at Hwadong is having a road constructed through its core area, and is gradually being drained in preparation for redevelopment. As of last year, the island is now intersected by a vast network of vertical-sided concrete agricultural drains and canals that are proving to be death traps for a whole variety of smaller fauna, from frogs to insects.
A full list of my observations below:
1. Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna. Seven were at Sagot Beach on the 7th, followed by singles at the old port on the 10th and at Damsu Lake on the 15th.
2. Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata. An almost invisible female stayed partially hidden on the 17th. On the 18th, a pair was in the eastern ricefields.
Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata @ Tim Edelsten.
3. Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope. At Damsu Lake, a drake on the 9th was still still present on the 10th, where a pair was seen on the 15th.
4. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. Two were at Damsu Lake on the 9th.
5. Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha. Widespread and common throughout. I counted 267 on Damsu Lake on the 9th.
6. Common Pochard Aythya ferina. Five -including three males- were at Damsu Lake on the 10th.
7. White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi. Fifty-three were off Sagot Beach on the 9th, where 57 were counted on the 10th.
8. Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica. Two were at the eastern ricefields on the 6th, two at the central ricefields on the 9th, and singles were in the eastern ricefields on the 14th and 18th.
9. Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus. Common and widespread throughout the island, with e.g. 25+ counted on the 9th.
10. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis. Two were at Hwadong wetland on the 9th. At Damsu Lake, there was one on the 10th and six on the 15th.
11. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus. One was at Damsu Lake on the 10th.
12. Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor. Two adults were present at the gull colony on the 16th.
13. Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis. Two were seen on the 17th and 20th.
14. Von Schrenck’s Bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus. One emerged on the evening of the 20th.
15. Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus. I flushed an adult male at close quarters on the 16th, which had been found by HD a day earlier, being also seen by him on the 17th. He also reported also a female there on the 19th and 20th- as well as another female at Yeonhwa-ri on or around the 16th.
16. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. Two cruised in high gliding flight over Jungwha-Dong on the 12th. Singles were also at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th and Jincheon on the 17th.
17. Striated Heron Butorides striata. Singles were at the central ricefields on the 9th; eastern ricefields on the 10th and 14th; Jungwha-Dong on the 12th and 19th; and Yeonhwa-ri on the 15th. Two were also in Jincheon on the 16th.
18. Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus. Seen daily throughout the island, from the 7th-20th, with personal highest counts being of twelve on the 14th and 18th.
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus @ Tim Edelsten.
19. Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus. Recorded daily, with a maximum of 30+ on the 15th.
20. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea. Seen every day. At least 20 were at Damsu Lake on the 9th.
21. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea. Four flew over Jincheon on the evening of the 19th.
22. Great Egret Ardea alba. Maximum three on the 10th, flushed with pinkish upperlegs.
23. Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia. One was at the central ricefields on the 9th, Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th, two at the eastern ricefields on the 14th, and another on the 17th.
24. Little Egret Egretta garzetta. Single numbers seen almost daily.
25. Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes. Two were seen fishing in the eastern ricefields on the 14th and 19th, in an area off paddies still with naturally-vegetatted irrigation ditches (as opposed to concrete canals). One was also in the ricefields near Junghwa-Dong on the 19th.
26. Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus. Small numbers were seen offshore daily.
27. Temminck’s Cormorant Phalacrocorax capillatus. Common around the coast, with e.g. 20 at Damsu Lake on the 9th.
Temminck’s Cormorant Phalacrocorax capillatus @ Tim Edelsten.
28. Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus. One circling the Hwadong wetland on the 9th was chased off by an irate and territorial Oystercatcher.
29. Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus. One tentatively identified as a dark-morph of this species was seen over Jungwha-Dong on the 12th.
30. Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus.Three appeared over “the rock” (a rocky headland with viewing platform at the south end of Sagot beach) on the 10th. One also passed over Damsu Lake on the 15th.
31. Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis. Singles were seen at the Jincheon farmfields on the 8th and 10th. I counted six on passage from the Shimcheonggak Pavilion between 10.30 am and 12pm on the 11th. This was followed by three on the 12th; four on the 14th; six over Jincheon on the 16th; one at Jincheon and two on the 17th; singles on the 18th and 19th, and another on the 20th.
32. Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis. Three seen over the Shimcheonggak Pavilion between 10.30am and 12pm on the 11th were followed by three at Junghwa-Dong on the 12th, and individuals on the 13th and 19th.
33. Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus. One struggled through the wind at Jungwha-Dong Harbour on the 12th, I later saw three in the north on the 16th.
34. Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus. I distinctly heard one calling over “the rock” on the 10th.
35. Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla. One seen well at a small reedy area on the 17th and 20th.
Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla @ Tim Edelsten.
36. Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca. One seen well and another heard on the 17th; one heard on the 20th.
37. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus. Two were at Hwadong wetland on the 9th and 15th; six at Damsu Lake on the 15th; and four (including a juvenile) were at the “new” wetland on the 16th, 17th and 20th.
38. Eurasian Coot Fulica atra. One was heard at Hwadong on the 9th.
39. Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus. Seen daily and widespread in several areas along the coast, with a maximum day-count of nine on the 10th. Territorial or breeding pairs were noted at Hwadong Wetland, Sagot Beach, Damsu Lake, Gwan Chang-Dong and the northeast coast near Jincheon.
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus @ Tim Edelsten.
40. Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. Four were at Hwadong on the 9th.
41. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius. Seen almost daily, with a maximum eight on the 9th. Pairs showing territorial behaviour were seen at Hwadong Wetland, Sagot Beach and Yeonhwa-ri.
42. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus. Territorial pairs were noted at Hwadong and Sagot Beach on the 10th and 15th.
43. Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus. Singles were at Hwadong on the 9th and at Sagot Beach on the 10th.
44. Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii. One in Jincheon on the 6th allowed a close approach. Fieldmarks include tertiaries that obscure the primaries and a long-tail (more obvious in other frames).
Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii @ Tim Edelsten.
45. Pin-tailed Snipe Gallinago stenura. One in Jincheon on the 8th (identification based on call and high flight).
46. Swinhoe’s Snipe Gallinago megala. Based on calls, build, darkness of upperparts, short low escape-flight and drier habitat, singles were at Jincheon on the 7th, 12th and 15th.
47. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa. One at Hwadong on the 9th.
48. Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. One at Sagot Beach on the 10th.
49. Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis. A curlew had earlier been reported on the 7th (GB). I also heard an unidentified Curlew calling from the central ricefields on the 9th, and on the 10th I finally saw one of this species in Yonggipo New Port. All records presumably relate to the same individual.
50. Common Redshank Tringa totanus. One was at Damsu Lake on the 15th.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus @ Tim Edelsten.
51. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis. At farmfields near Jincheon, one was seen intermittently between the 12th and 16th; one was also at Damsu Lake on the 15th.
52. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia. At Damsu Lake, three were present on the 9th, where also two were seen on the 10th and 15th. One was heard over Jincheon during heavy rain on the 11th, and perhaps three or four were heard at Junghwa-Dong on the 13th.
53. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus. Individuals were noted at the eastern ricefields on the 7th, central ricefields on the 9th, over Jincheon on the 11th and Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th. Two were also at the eastern ricefields on the 14th.
54. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. Seen on most days, with counts of e.g. six at Jincheon on the 10th and seven on the 13th.
55. Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes. Two at Damsu Lake on the 9th were followed by one heard over Jincheon during heavy rain on the 11th.
56. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. Seen almost daily, with counts of e.g. six off “the rock” on the 10th and eight at Junghwa-Dong and Jincheon on the 19th.
57. Sanderling Calidris alba. One in partial breeding plumage at Sagot Beach on the 10th.
58. Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis. Three at sagot Beach on the 10th. Although images are poor, one of these showed multiple characteristics suggestive of Little Stint (e.g. a fine, pointed bill and slender build).
59. Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta. Two were at Damsu Lake on the 9th.
60. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata. Four at the eastern ricefields on the 14th.
61. Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum. At Jincheons ploughed fields, one was seen on the 11th and two on the 16th.
62. Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris. The colony along the north coast contained thousands of nesting pairs on the 16th.
63. Mongolian Gull Larus mongolicus. Single numbers were seen on most days, e.g. four on the 7th.
64. Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis. Common and widespread throughout the island. A migrating flock of ten was seen moving through the northeast on the 8th.
65. Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides. After a brief thunderstorm on the 19th, one was found and sound-recorded at Junghwa-Dong by NM. I saw it well from below as it flew – an outsized Cuckoo with slow, laboured wingbeats, recalling a large female Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Frustratingly, it narrowly avoided being photographed as it disappeared into the forest. A mysterious muttering “gof-gof-gof” sound from a nearby valley is speculated to have possibly emanated from a second individual.
66. Rufous Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx hyperythrus. One singing at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th was followed by four at Junghwa-Dong after a rainstorm on the 19th.
67. Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus. Individuals were heard on the 7th and 15th, with two on the 13th.
68. Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus optatus. Recorded on most days, with the first observation of two near Damsu Lake on the 10th, and last of one at Junghwa-Dong on the 19th.
69. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. Seen almost daily, with the first record of one at Jincheon on the 6th and last of one along the north coast on the 20th. The maximum day-count was of 12 on the 10th, which included four sitting in a row along the trellises near Damsu Lake.
70. “Barking” Cuckoo (Cuculus spp?). At Junghwa-Dong on the 19th, one was heard to give the characteristic barking call followed by a chuckle: I glimpsed it as it flew.
71. Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia. One or two were calling at Junghwa-Dong on the 12th. Singles were heard in Jincheon on the 14th, 15th and 17th; one was also in Gwan-chan-Dong on the 16th.
72. Northern Boobook Ninox japonica. One calling in Jincheon on the evening of the 10th was followed by one seen on the wires in Gwan-chan-Dong at dusk on the 16th.
73. Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka. Singles were reported as roadkill on the 6th (GB); seen near the Shimcheonggak Pavilion on the 11th, and heard at dusk in Gwan-chan-Dong on the 16th.
74. White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus. Eight were seen heading northward from the Shimcheonggak Pavilion between 10.30am and 12pm on the 11th. Singles were also seen over Jincheon on the 15th and 17th.
75. Common Swift Apus apus. An all-dark swift, apparently of this species, was seen among a gathering of 3000 hirundines over Jincheon on the 17th. It was followed through the telescope for about two minutes, when it was seen to bank three times, each time showing a dark rump on the upperside and greyish throat on the underside.
76. Pacific Swift Apus pacificus. First noted on the 11th, when two passed northward. Highest counts thereafter included 30+ over Jincheon on the 16th and 100+ among a flock of hirundines on the 17th.
77. Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis. Between 10.30am and 12pm on the 11th, 12 were counted moving north from the Shimcheonggak pavilion. One was also present in Junghwa-Dong on the 19th.
78. Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata. Despite the ongoing infilling of a local wetland, one was apparently in territory in Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th and 15th. At a site in the north, one was seen on the 16th, 17th and 20th.
79. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis. Widespread throughout the island, being recorded from Hwadong Wetland, Damsu Lake, the central ricefields, Junghwa-Dong, Gwan-chan-Dong and also at another new wetland area.
80. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. Individuals were seen or heard at Jincheon, Yeonhwa-ri, Gwan-chang-Dong, Junghwa-Dong, and another different wetland site.
81. Amur Falcon Falco amurensis. A male and female at Junghwa-Dong on the 12th were followed by a female at Yeonhwa-ri on the 15th and two females along the north coast on the 20th.
Amur Falcon Falco amurensis @ Tim Edelsten.
82. Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo. Recorded almost every day. A pair has a territory near Jincheon, and several presumed migrants were seen elsewhere.
83. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. Encountered daily, with individuals typically seen at Hwadong and Junghwa-Dong.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus @ Tim Edelsten.
84. Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus. Recorded daily, with the highest day-counts being of 26 on the 10th and 34 on the 12th.
85. Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus. Singles were at Junghwa-Dong and Jincheon on the 19th.
86. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus. Encountered daily, with my highest day-count being of 18 on the 19th.
87. Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis. Recorded most days, with the highest number being seven on the 17th.
88. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus. Singles were at the eastern ricefields on the 7th, 9th and 14th; Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th, and three on the 15th.
89. Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius. Widespread throughout the island.
90. Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus. One was heard in Jincheon on the 6th. Pairs were seen at Junghwa-Dong on the 13th, and at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th and 15th.
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus @ Tim Edelsten.
91. Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos. Widespread throughout the island, with e.g. seven squabbling in woods next to Damsu Lake on the 10th.
92. Eastern Great Tit Parus minor. Seen daily: widespread at relatively low density throughout the island.
93. Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla. A presumed individual in ploughed fields next to Damsu Lake on the 9th was followed by one in Jincheon on the 18th.
94. Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis. Widespread and fairly common throughout the island, as a breeder and migrant: maximum of 25+ on the 19th.
95. Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis. Fairly common throughout the island.
96. Sand Martin Riparia riparia. Based on a prominent breast-band and relatively deep tail notch, all individuals closely seen were of this species. Observations commenced with two at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th, followed by one also there on the 15th. Several were noted amongst a large mixed flock of hirundines over Jincheon on the evening of the 17th, while at the same location, 123 were individually counted in a 1.5 hour watch on the 18th- a noteworthy total. One was also seen in the north of the island on the 20th.
97. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. Recorded in varying numbers daily, with larger day-counts consisting of 250+ on the 12th; 500+ on the 13th; and c.2500+ predominating a mixed gathering of hirundines over Jincheon in the evening of the 17th.
98. Common House Martin Delichon urbicum. Five were seen well at Jincheon on the 19th, clearly showing e.g. bright white rumps extending onto their uppertail coverts.
99. Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus. One or two presumed individuals glimpsed at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th were followed by at least one over Jincheon on the 17th, with another one or two there also on the 18th.
100. Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica. Observed daily through the period. Significant day-counts consisted of 1300+ which predominated in a larger hirundine flock on the 10th, and perhaps 500 on the 17th, both at Jincheon.
101. Korean Bush Warbler Horornis borealis. Several heard daily, maximum seven on the 13th. One- possibly of this species- glimpsed in low bushes on the 12th, had an even, deep rufous shade on the back and tail.
102. Asian Stubtail Urosphena squameiceps. Two were seen in forest in the south on the 10th.
103. Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus. One was heard near Sagot-ri on the 7th.
104. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus. Recorded in small numbers daily from the 9th onwards, with a maximum of eight at Junghwa-Dong on the 19th.
105. Alpine Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus occisinensis. One was photographed and provisionally identified by GB on the 6th or 7th. Another (found by NM) was glimpsed at Junghwa-Dong on the 12th.
106. Radde’s Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi. Maxima eight on the 12th and seven on the 13th.
107. Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus. Two were observed in Gwan-chang-Dong on the 16th.
108. Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus. Recorded in varying numbers daily, with influxes of 80+ in Jincheon on the 6th and 75+ on the 9th.
109. Hume’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus humei. One was in Junghwa-Dong on the 12th.
110. Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis. First observations included one near Damsu Lake on the 9th and four on the 10th. An influx began on the 19th, when 15 were at Junghwa-Dong and Jincheon.
111. Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus. Photographed individuals at Gwan-chan-Dong on the 16th and 17th were provisionally identified on appearance, after this species had been heard calling.
112. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes. Recorded in single numbers daily after an initial influx of 12 on the 10th.
113. Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus. Individuals seemed to be on territory in two or three locations, and an influx of 23 was noted on the 10th.
114. Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis. Small numbers seen or heard singing daily from the 9th to the 19th, including six on the 15th.
115. Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps. First recorded singing at a wetland area on the 16th. Three were noted on the 17th and 19th, with a single also on the 20th.
116. Thick-billed Warbler Iduna aedon. One seen in the north on the 17th was followed by three on the 19th at Junghwa-Dong and Jincheon.
117. Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata. Five seen or heard at Junghwa-Dong on the 13th preceded one at Jincheon on the 14th, one at “South Valley” on the 15th, and one at a wetland area on the 17th.
118. Middendorff’s Grashopper Warbler Locustella ochotensis. A probable inividual was seen in the southwest on the 10th.
119. Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis. Five were singing at Hwadong and the central ricefields on the 9th, and six were at Hwadong on the 15th.
120. Chestnut-flanked White-eye Zosterops erythropleurus. Recorded in varying numbers daily from the 6th (when 15) to the 19th (when two). Higher day-counts included 310 on the 12th, 190 on the 14th, and 180 on the 16th.
Chestnut-flanked White-eye Zosterops erythropleurus @ Tim Edelsten.
121. Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus. Two in trees west of the lake on the 10th were followed by three at the Shimcheonggak pavilion on the 11th and one at Jincheon on the 12th.
122. Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus. One was in Sagot-ri on the 7th: another was in Jincheon on the 11th.
123. White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus. A pair was seen at the nest in Sagot-ri on the 7th and 10th. Pairs were also seen at Yeonhwa-ri, Jincheon and Junghwa-Dong.
124. Daurian Starling Agropsar sturninus. Seven were in Jincheon on the 6th. Other day totals consisted of one on the 10th, Two on the 12th, a plucked/ deceased individual on the 16th, two males and a female at Jincheon on the 17th, where also three on the 19th.
125. Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar philippensis. A female was in amongst a flock of Daurian Starlings at Jincheon on the 6th.
126. Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica. An immature male was at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th.
127. White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea. I saw one in Jincheon on the 8th.
128. Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum. Single numbers recorded almost daily between the 6th and 19th.
129. Chinese Blackbird Turdus merula. One was in Junghwa-Dong on the 13th. I saw a female on the 17th and 20th in a different area, repeatedly flying to and from a particular spot- possibly breeding?. Two males were also reported from the same site in the preceding days by HD.
130. Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus. First recorded on the 10th, when 48 were counted. In lesser numbers thereafter until the 19th.
131. Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus. One was singing at Junghwa-Dong on the 12th.
132. Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus. Singles were noted in Jincheon on the 6th, 8th and 17th.
133. Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta. Interesting to see them often hunting on the ground in ploughed fields. My highest counts consisted of 17 in Jincheon on the 6th; 43 at multiple sites on the 10th, and 35+ on the 17th.
134. Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica. First noted on the 9th, when three. Twenty-one were counted at multiple sites on the 10th, with lesser numbers after that date.
135. Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris. Seen almost daily, with peak numbers of 23 on the 10th and eight on the 12th.
136. Blue-and-White Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana. My highest day-count was of nine on the 16th.
137. Zappey’s Flycatcher Cyanoptila cumatilis. I photographed one on the 7th in Sagot-ri. Another possible individual was glimpsed on the 9th, and a very pale blue-backed second calendar-year male -possibly of this species?- was photographed in Jincheon on the 10th.
Zappey’s Flycatcher Cyanoptila cumatilis @ Tim Edelsten.
138. Siberian Blue Robin Larvivora cyane. First noticed on the 7th, when one at Sagot-ri. The largest subsequent number was four on the 12th.
139. Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans. One on the 8th was the first record, with single numbers on most subsequent days.
140. Siberian Rubythroat Calliope calliope. One in Jincheon on the 8th; also two in the south on the 10th, and one on the 12th.
141. Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus. Only one seen- a female, on the 8th.
142. Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia. Observations began with two in Jincheon on the 6th. Recorded on all subsequent days, including a day-count of 15 at multiple sites on the 12th.
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia @ Tim Edelsten.
143. Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina. Only one seen- a female, on the 10th.
144. Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki. First record of two on the 6th, last of one on the 15th- with similar numbers on all dates in between.
145. Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla. Seen in small numbers on most days, with a maximum of five near Damsu Lake on the 10th.
Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla @ Tim Edelsten.
146. Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius. Recorded on most days in coastal areas.
147. Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri. Five were in Jincheon on the 6th, four in Hwadong on the 9th and two were seen on the 13th.
148. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus. Common and breeding throughout the island.
149. Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus. One at Hwadong on the 9th.
150. Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava. Two intriguing individuals seen on the 12th were fortunately identified by NM.
151. Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis. Recorded daily. I counted at least 75 in ploughed fields near Damsu Lake on the 9th.
152. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea. Seen every day, with a maximum of 17 in Sagot-ri on the 7th.
153. White Wagtail Motacilla alba. Three, including an ocularis were seen on the 8th. All subsequent sightings were of leucopsis, with a maximum of eight on the 15th.
154. Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi. First appeared on the 10th, when six were in southern fields. The largest subsequent number was nine, at Jincheon and Gwan-chang-Dong on the 16th.
155. Blyth’s Pipit Anthus godlewskii. One was in the central ricefields on the 9th.
156. Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni. Recorded in small numbers almost daily. Influxes of 30 on the 7th, 51 on the 9th, and 40+ on the 10th.
157. Pechora Pipit Anthus gustavi. One was along the road at Sagot Beach on the 10th. Singles were also at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th, near the north coast on the 17th, and at Junghwa-Dong on the 19th.
158. Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. Two were in the central ricefields on the 9th.
159. Brambling Coelebs montifringilla. The last observation was of four at Jincheon on the 19th.
160. Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria. Eighteen were at Junghwa-Dong on the 12th, with smaller numbers on other days.
161. Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica. Widespread, common and breeding throughout the island.
162. Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra. Twelve hurried northward on the 17th (pointed out to me by HD).
163. Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides. Fairly common throughout the island; single numbers recorded every day.
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides @ Tim Edelsten.
164. Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami. Two on the 6th, three on the 10th, two on the 11th and 12th.
165. Chestnut-eared Bunting Emberiza fucata. One on the 6th was followed by two at the eastern ricefields on the 14th. One was also at Yeonhwa-ri on the 15th.
166. Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla. The last record was of four on the 14th.
167. Yellow-browed Bunting Emberiza chrysophrys. Ten present on the 6th had dwindled to one on the 19th.
168. Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans. Recorded almost daily on territory, at low density, in wooded parts of the island.
169. Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola. I photographed a male on the 6th in Jincheon, where also six females were seen on the 19th.
170. Chestnut Bunting Emberiza rutila. I counted a flock of 26 in coastal pines near Sagot-ri on the 10th. Only single numbers were seen on other days.
171. Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurata. One was at Yeonhwa-ri on the 13th.
172. Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala. Highest day-counts were of 80 in Jincheon on the 6th, and 80+ in different areas on the 10th.
Among other fauna, several Spotted Seal Phoca largha could be seen daily off the northeast coast, either hauled up on the rocks or liesurely lolling on their backs; I also saw a Siberian Weasel Mustela sibirica heading out to hunt in Gwan-chang-Dong on the evening of the 16th. Deep-sided storm-drains had trapped numerous small creatures: one at Jincheon held over a thousand struggling Black-spotted Pond Frog Pelophylax nigromaculatus, while another at Yeonhwa-ri contained several Japanese Tree Frog. I was able to rescue and release some of them.
Free at last: a released Japanese Tree Frog Hyla japonica @ Tim Edelsten.
Of the reptiles, I saw one or two White-striped Grass Lizard Takydromus wolteri along the side of Damsu Lake on May 9th: I returned on the 10th to interrupt a Brown Shrike, which had impaled one on a thorn.
Shrike larder: a White-striped Grass Lizard Takydromus wolteri @ Tim Edelsten.
The all-too-common toll of roadkill included one of this species at “South Valley” on the 15th, and sadly at Jincheon an Asiatic Pit Viper/ Ussuri Mamushi Gloydius ussuriensis. Also at Jincheon, a beautiful Red-banded Krait emerged in the late evening to warm itself on the road, from where myself and NM were able to quickly move it out of harms way. This species is non-venomous, although must be treated with caution as it strikes readily -and even non-poisonous snakes may cause infected bites.
Red-banded Krait Dinodon rufozonatum @ Tim Edelsten.