Baekryung Island, May 28-31
Bird News from Robin Newlin
The following is a brief account of highlights. I had little sense of any significant day-by-day change in numbers of most species, so redundancy is avoided in favor of brevity. Many of these sightings are probably of the same birds found in earlier weeks by Hervé Darmandieu, Nial Moores, and Tim Edelsten: much thanks to each of them for various directions to various good spots!
May 28. From the ferry over calm seas: a handful of Streaked Shearwaters. From the ferry at Socheong’s north point: a single Black Drongo. At various points around the northeast side of Baekryung in the afternoon: a Eurasian Hobby, an Oriental Dollarbird, 3 Black-faced Spoonbills, a few Pacific Swifts and Barn Swallows, several calling Indian and Common Cuckoos, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Light-vented and Brown-eared Bulbuls, 2 White’s Thrush and a Pale Thrush, a few Meadow Buntings, a pair of Common Moorhens, an Eastern Cattle Egret, a Chinese Pond Heron, about 6 Chinese Grosbeaks, 3 Tiger Shrikes and 2 Brown Shrikes.
Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor ©Robin Newlin
May 29. The spoonbills again; several Grey-capped Greenfinches; a Dusky Warbler, a few Eurasian Jays, occasional calling Korean Bush Warblers and Oriental Reed Warblers; a small flock (c.8) of Red Crossbills; a Baillon’s Crake; a pair of Brown Shrikes; a Black-capped Kingfisher, a single Chinese Blackbird, a Black-browed Reed Warbler; a Japanese Sparrowhawk.
Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla ©Robin Newlin
May 30. Rain early morning until about noon. In light rain in the late morning, avian highlight was a single Grey-headed Lapwing. A Crested Honey-buzzard sailed by. A Dark-sided Flycatcher sat on a distant snag. Several Far-Eastern Oystercatchers hurried by; behind them, another highlight: 18 Leopard Seals bobbing in the glassy rain-pocked water off the northeast shore.
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus ©Robin Newlin
In the afternoon, a visit to Dumujin: much thanks to Kim Namhee for driving me there. Sunshine had returned, conditions were hot, and few birds sang and fewer showed. Highlights were a few Black-naped Orioles, a very brief snatch of what sounded like a Middendorf’s Warbler’s song, an even briefer call (a single burp!) from an Arctic Warbler, a single chip from what sounded like a Yellow-throated Bunting, and an extremely close but very quick view of a Baikal Bush Warbler as it walked by, staying determinedly on the ground and usually behind cover. A Tiger Shrike and a Brown Shrike occupied adjacent scrubby areas. About 4 Azure-winged Magpies announced themselves before showing. On the way back to Jincheon, a stop at Dragon Rock yielded several nesting Pelagic Cormorants.
Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus ©Robin Newlin
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus ©Robin Newlin
May 31. Cool at dawn but quickly warmer: by 7am it already felt like high summer noontime. Highlight was a Purple Heron.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea ©Robin Newlin