Birds News from Mike Friel and Jason Loghry
Birding Socheong-do for the first time was quite exciting. From the ferry, it wasn’t until we arrived closer to the island that we saw any sea birds. These included Pomarine Skua, Streaked Shearwater, & Flesh-footed Shearwater. Conditions were foggy but still these birds feeding and in flight were easily viewed from the side of the boat.
Species observed on the island were a flock of about 300 Brambling that were observed on the first and last day, a few small flocks of Oriental Greenfinch, Eastern Buzzard (with a high count of 32 soaring), Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, and Kestrel.11 Japanese Lark, 4 Asian House Martin, 3 Chinese Bulbuls, 1 Red-billed Starling, 1 Grey-cheeked Starling, 2 Taiga Flycatchers, 1 Little Bunting, at least 10 Meadow Buntings could be found in the gully near the lighthouse, Chestnut Bunting, Yellow-throated Bunting (more than 30 in one field), 1 Yellow-browed Bunting (on our second day), Black-faced Bunting throughout our visit, Red-flanked Bluetail, Japanese White-eye, Goldcrest, 13 Korean Bush Warblers, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pallas’s Leaf Warbler, 3 Dusky Thrushes, 3 Bull-headed Shrikes, Eastern Great Tit, Daurian Redstart, Siberian Stonechat, a single Black-naped Oriole, and 2 Yellow-bellied Tits. 15 White Wagtails were observed on the last two days of our visit.
On the ferry back, again Streaked Shearwater, Pomarine Skua, Flesh-footed Shearwater, but also Kittiwake, only in small numbers. It was interesting to note that while closer to the island, in areas without fishing line, there were many more birds to see than on the long stretch of sea which seemed to have miles and miles of fishing line.
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus. Photo © Mike Friel.
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus. Photo © Mike Friel.
Siberian StonechatSaxicola maurus. Photo © Mike Friel.
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis sinensis. Photo © Jason Loghry.
Yellow-bellied Tit Parus venustulus. Digiscope vid © Jason Loghry.
Pomarine SkuaStercorarius pomarinus. Photo © Mike Friel.