Bird News from Dr. Bernhard Seliger (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Birds Korea lifetime members)
A pleasant late afternoon walk along the shore of Songdo – after quite some time. It was the first time I saw the fence removed and now substituted by a much more convenient (for birders, that is) handrail or, in the more Southern part, shutter with lookouts. There were an estimated 3000 shorebirds and 1500 ducks, including more than 300 Common Shelducks, but this might be easily an undercount, since high tide only set in when it was almost dark, so more birds came flying in over time.
Shorebirds included Far Eastern and some Eurasian Curlews, Grey Plovers, Little Ringed Plovers and Kentish Plovers, Dunlins, Common Sandpipers, Common Greenshanks, Bar-tailed Godwits, and Eurasian Oystercatchers (at least 50). Most frequent ducks were Mallards and Spot-billed Ducks, Teals, Tufted Ducks, Common Pochards, and Common Shelducks. Also, there were around 45 Grey Herons, and one Great Egret, as well as around fifty Cormorants (Temminck’s or Great), the latter mostly far from the Coast. Around 1500 Black-tailed Gulls, along with dozens of Black-headed Gulls and Saunders’s Gulls, mixed with the shorebirds.
It is difficult to call the place itself – an ever-smaller piece of tidal flat, from three-and-a-half sides cornered by multi-lane highways and high-rise buildings – lovely, but still it allows at high tide great and near views of many shorebirds.