Shorebirds back to Songdo, March 15 – 16

Bird News from Spike Millington

A flock of Eurasian Curlews and a few Eastern Oystercatchers has been the sum of the shorebird entertainment over the winter at Songdo, so it was great to visit the Gojan mudflats over the weekend and see newly-arrived Dunlins, about 1,000 frantically feeding on the dropping tide, along with 100 Grey Plover and 6 Kentish Plover (these last actually arrived last weekend). Also quite a few Eastern Curlews (I counted 30 but I suspect quite a few more) in among the Eurasian Curlews. And best of all, a single Bar-tailed Godwit on the 15th, starting to get a bit of orange on the undersides. The Dunlin and Grey Plovers were all in winter plumage and I think these came from not too far away. On Sunday, a lone Black-faced Spoonbill was alone in the shallows, maybe wondering why the water was so cold …

The Saunders’s Gulls are nearly all in summer plumage already and feeding on the tidal flats, calling constantly. The Eastern Oystercatchers are also displaying.

In Michuhol Park, only Naumann’s/Dusky Thrushes (60) and Bramblings (50). This winter has been very disappointing for passerines. I have not seen a single Rosefinch all winter and the Varied Tits are absent, and much missed (although a couple of Yellow-bellied Tits have been some compensation). Siberian Accentors have been around and on March 6th, a single Olive-backed Pipit, the first spring arrival.

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