Belated bird news from Jason Loghry with Matt Poll
Although wary about holiday traffic, I was overcome and motivated to get outside and birding by those Autumn migration reports; Pechora Pipits in Suncheon, Little Owl in Suwon, and of course reports of Amur Falcon on the move. Having an early morning start, Matt Poll gave me a short tour of some of his favorites patches at Suncheon. At his pipit spot, there were Pechora and Red-throated; but both skulky this morning. There were two man-made ponds that we also visited, which hosted an array of roosting shorebirds. These included Far Eastern Curlew, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Dunlin, Mongolian Plover, Kentish Plover, and Little Ringed Plover.
At Seosan, we arrived in the afternoon and checked the rice fields. There were several hundred geese (White-fronted and Bean Geese) both in flight and at the bay, and Common Snipes as well as a few Pacific Golden Plovers in the rice fields. We searched for Little Owl near the silos, but only found some very vocal Common Kestrels.
Further down a nearby road we found small noisy clouds of Eurasian Tree Sparrow passing from bush to tree, totaling between 350 – 400. On the same road, there was a Peregrine Falcon feasting on what appeared to be the remnants of an unfortunate Cattle Egret.
For the remainder of the evening we searched for Watercock, but unfortunately could not find. The evening brought on the sunset light across the bay, a lovely peaceful landscape of rice fields and a seemingly enormous, beautiful full moon.
The next morning we had a great views of Black-browed Reed Warbler, and spent some time watching them in the reeds. We also found Black-faced Spoonbill, one Eurasian Spoonbill, Common Shelduck at the bay, some Dunlin, Greenshank, several hundred Bean and Greater White-fronted Geese, a skulking Grey-backed Thrush, and for me the most impressive find of the trip, a personal first Pied Avocet.
All in all, we saw a total of 82 species.
*Of special note for record, in the week following this trip, a Caspian Tern was reported and photographed at the bay. More recently there has been a report of one or two Snow Geese at Seosan as well.