Daily Archives: 07/10/2020

Paju, Wetland near Yongwha Mau, rice fields and Gongneungcheon (stream) on October 3, 2020

Dr. Bernhard Seliger (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Birds Korea) with Johann Seliger

Starting a little too early on October 3 (Gaejeoncheol holiday in Korea and the 30th anniversary of German unification), we had to wait almost an hour in the dark in front of Yongwha Maul for sunrise. As soon as there was some light, some of the two dozen Black-faced Spoonbills were the first to depart from the roosting area for foraging in the rice fields, until (around 6.50 a.m.) only two were left. Together with them, there was a mixture of egrets and herons, an assortment of Eastern Spot-billed ducks, a single Common Teal, two Common Moorhens, a few Black-tailed Gulls, and two Common Snipes. Additionally, hundreds of geese (all which I could identify were Tundra Bean Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese) flew over the wetland (and the adjacent highway) toward the rice fields and Hangang riverside.

At Gongneungcheon stream in Odo-ri, the construction of the new bridge, still a bridge to nowhere not linked to any street, proceeds. Already, at the foot of the bridge two former rice-fields have been bulldozed down …where will the street go? (It is parallel to another street one kilometer to the West and yet another one kilometer to the East…). From there, we took a long walk toward the bicycle lane bridge close to Odusan and back.

On the wires, two interesting discoveries: first four Amur Falcons, later one (maybe from the same group, maybe not) and a Chinese Grey Shrike. Sadly, three or four “twitchers” came up with cars and huge, gun-like cameras, to the Amur Falcon until it flew predictably away, and then roamed the area with their SUV to find the bird again… in vain, but disturbing the rice-fields a lot.)

Besides, a beautiful Western Osprey, a presumed Hen Harrier, quite a few Common Sandpipers, Common Greenshanks, and a single Eurasian Curlew, plus half a dozen Black-faced Spoonbills. In the reeds, possible Pallas´s Reed Buntings, Meadows Buntings, Black-faced Buntings and in the small wooden patch toward the end Yellow-throated Buntings. Still a few, occasionally vocal Oriental Reed Warblers, and in the bushes Arctic-type Warblers. And, lastly, two quite miserably-looking young Barn Swallows – hopefully they still can make it South!

Amur Falcon Falco amurensis © Bernhard Seliger
Three Amur Falcons Falco amurensis (2 female, one male) together with an Oriental Magpie Pica serica on the wire © Bernhard Seliger
Contemplating Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor © Bernhard Seliger
Chinese Grey Shrike Lanius sphenocercus © Bernhard Seliger
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis (or Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus ) © Bernhard Seliger
Gongneungcheon stream © Bernhard Seliger
1cy Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala © Bernhard Seliger