Birds Korea and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Gwangju AM; Geum Estuary PM
Thanks to the generosity and hard work of Prof. Seong Ha-Cheol and his students and of course of the tireless Prof. Maria Lisak, a morning seminar on “The Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Korea’s Most Endangered Bird Species” was held at Chonnam National University, Gwangju in the morning. Although time for preparation was extremely limited (our apologies for that!), about 40 people attended to listen to presentations on shorebird research at Chonnam University (Prof. Seong); on the Korean Shorebird Network (Mr. Andreas Kim on behlaf of Mr.Lee Kyung-Gyu, the Network’s Secretary); on Birds Korea and the Spoon-billed Sandpiper (by Ms. Park Meena and Dr. Nial Moores); and on the CLO’s work for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Mr. Gerrit Vyn, CLO), sharing some stunning footage of Spoonies on the nest in Chukotka. Questions asked of the presenters were all focused on the Saemangeum reclamation and its huge negative impacts on shorebirds and human communities – and included a passionate plea by Prof. Park Si-Young to all participants to tell everybody that the Saemangeum tidal-flats are not dead and that much of the wetland can be restored.
The afternoon was spent by several Birds Koreans (Mr. Jason Loghry, Mr. Ha Jung-Mun and Dr. Nial Moores, accompanied by Ms. Lee Gi-Sun – one of the finders earlier in the week of the Song Do Spoon-billed Sandpiper) and the CLO team. And yes, we found, photographed and filmed Spoonies! With birds moving around numbers are unclear, though probably 10 or more Spoon-billed Sandpiper were found in total that afternoon. Also present were two Nordmann’s Greenshank and at least half-a-dozen Chinese Egret.