Birds Korea (Jason Loghry, Lee Jung-Kyu, Jeon Shi-Jin and Nial Moores) & CLO (Gerrit Vyn and Adam Sedgley): Nakdong Estuary, October 3rd
Birds Korea has for some time now been gathering material for a mini-documentary aiming to tell the story of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Korea. This work led to discussions with the world-renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO), which is also deeply invested in raising awareness about this superbly iconic and Critically Endangered species. The CLO have already taken some breath-taking footage of Spoon-billed Sandpipers at the nest in Chukotka (if you have not yet seen it – please treat yourself!) but they have yet to get good footage of “Spoonies” in the Yellow Sea. So at the invitation of Birds Korea, the CLO’s Mr. Gerrit Vyn and Mr. Adam Sedgley arrived in the ROK late on October 2nd – to film Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Korean wetlands – before then heading on to Rudong, and more Spoonies in China, on October 12th.
Leaving Incheon behind (where ironically two Spoon-billed Sandpipers were found today!) the team spent much of the day in the outer part of the Nakdong Estuary where two were well-watched last week. With the tide out and shorebirds dispersed, only one Spoon-billed Sandpiper was seen during the day – unfortunately too distant for any camera. The total number of shorebirds was also much lower than a week ago, with probably only 500 Red-necked Stint and 100-150 Sanderling (many beautifully confiding, however). Nonetheless, numbers of some species were rather higher, with e.g. single Black-winged Stilt and Common Redshank, 70+ Great Knot, perhaps 30 Far Eastern Curlew, c.100 Kentish Plover, 40 Mongolian Plover and 3-4 Greater Sand Plover. Two of the Kentish Plover-types will be worth looking for again tomorrow – one was very rusty-toned and had clean white lores; the other was strikingly hefty and massive-billed.
In addition to a few hundred duck and one Bean Goose sensu lato, further species of interest during the day included a Dusky Warbler (in Namcheon Dong), single Red-throated Pipit, and two Richard’s and Buff-bellied Pipits.
What will tomorrow bring?