Daily Archives: 05/03/2019

Bring Out the Buntings: spring is coming!

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 Eastern Curlew ‘scoped at long range), followed by six hours walking through a couple of the “eco-parks” upstream of the barrage.

Here, most notable species included two Greater Spotted Eagle soaring up high together; and much lower down, two Common Starling, 20+ Dusky Thrush and lots of buntings, including 5+ Rustic (nonetheless, a dreadful year for them so far it seems), five Little, a half-dozen Common Reed, 50 or so Yellow-throated and at least 90+ Pallas’s Reed Buntings, including a single flock of 70, comprised mostly of males with emerging breeding plumage, many of which were feeding out together on a footpath: stunning!

One of two Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga © Nial Moores
Pallas’s Reed Buntings Emberiza pallasi © Nial Moores
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla © Nial Moores

Other highlights included a flock of about 30 Red-billed Starling, two groups of Light-vented Bulbul and good numbers still of regular over-winterers, including c. 1400 Taiga Bean and 90 Greater White-fronted Geese and 200 Whooper Swan, along with a good selection of ducks which included a handful of resplendent Falcated and Tufted Ducks – both tending to be rather commoner here in March than in mid-winter.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula © Nial Moores