Birds Korea (Jason Loghry, Lee Jung-Kyu, Jeon Shi-Jin and Nial Moores) & CLO (Gerrit Vyn and Adam Sedgley): Nakdong Estuary
Back out to the Nakdong Estuary under almost clear skies with a brisk northerly wind, whipping up waves and sand. With high tide at 8AM a 6AM start ensured excellent looks at roosting shorebirds – with probably 1300+ Red-necked Stint still, with next most numerous Sanderling (200), Kentish Plover (150), Mongolian Plover (90-100) and Far Eastern Curlew (60+)…However, as on the 3rd, only the briefest view of a juvenile Spoon-billed Sandpiper was enjoyed (and that by NM only). On Doyodung Island in the outer part of the estuary, other species of note included a stunning juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a good mix of pipits, with 8+ Pechora and 10+ Richard’s Pipits the most numerous, and a single Short-toed Lark (presumably Greater) heard briefly. In addition to watching GV crawl on his belly to within 1-2m of a flock of unconcerned stints, a further highlight was provided by the arrival of Mr. Chin Jae-Un (award-winning documentary-maker and TV news reporter) with a crew from KNN. Today’s interviews and some CLO footage of Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the breeding grounds was apparently already broadcast tonight – with recognisable Spoonies on domestic TV likely a national first. After a long lunchtime discussion, the late afternoon was spent filming landscapes at Miyeonji – where several hundred duck were present along with 20+ Taiga Bean and two Swan Goose. Final highlight of the day was a Eurasian River Otter, swimming and walking only metres away from hordes of people passing by on the tracks above the sea-wall. How many people in Busan know how special this estuary is? How many people anywhere know about the wildlife around them?