Some brief daily birdwatching and longer day trips on the west side of Jeju showed that winter has certainly begun, with a few surprises. The highlight so far has been an Oriental Stork along the south coast (originally reported by 강희만), with a tag labelled E68. This individual was reportedly tagged in Yesan in May earlier this year, and has made its way down to Jeju. It was comfortably standing around egrets, herons, and cormorants, occasionally grabbing the odd fish here and there.
Brief morning excursions at a local patch a bit further inland usually come up with the usual birds (bulbuls, tits, greenfinches, Japanese bush warblers, magpies, etc.), but one morning I found two Little Buntings mixed in with a group of Eurasian Sparrows, Meadow Buntings, and Japanese Bush Warblers. The Brown-eared Bulbuls seem to be congregating in large groups on the colder days, and the Large-billed Crows have come a bit further down from the nearby hills.
Along the coast, winter ducks and gulls have been filling in, including some Falcated Ducks. Common Snipe have been found in the reeds and fields. The gulls have really come in, with mostly Vega, Taimyr, and Black-tailed, and the odd Mongolian, Slaty-backed, and Common mixed in. Pelagic Cormorants were seen on a nice stroll along the north coast, as well at least four Pacific Reef Herons all along a short stretch of coast.
A Christmas birdwatching trip ended up being quite productive in various ways. Starting at Seongsan, plenty of interesting winter ducks were around but with strong cold winds it was difficult to stay long enough to search the whole area. Common … read more
Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Dr. Choi Hyun-Ah (Birds Korea, Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea), Amelie Schweiger (HSF Korea) After the heavy snow of the weekend, Monday (December 20) was much warmer, but the air was rapidly worsening with fine dust and the … read more