Bird News from Nial Moores and Choi Hyunah
Bird survey was again conducted between Daejin and Geojin as part of research on biodiversity conservation close to the inner border region of Goseong County from November 17th to 19th.
Dawn in the East Sea, as seen from the excellent January Pension, Daejin © Nial Moores
This is the eleventh such joint Birds Korea-Hanns Seidel Foundation (Korea) survey conducted since June 2015. As in all previous surveys, bird counting and interpretation of counts was conducted by NM (Birds Korea), with the boat’s course plotted by Dr Choi Hyunah (Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea), and the boat skippered by Captain Choi Yong-U.
Almost 17,000 individuals of 24 “Marine-preferential species” as listed in Birds Korea’s Status of Birds 2014 report were recorded on or over the sea during the present survey. The most abundant were Ancient Murrelet (10,457) and Black-legged Kittiwake (2,570), with other wintery species of note including twelve Harlequin Duck, 54 (Asiatic or Stejneger’s) White-winged Scoter but only seven American Scoter (this latter species especially appears to be declining extremely rapidly in the ROK), 420 Great Crested and eight Red-necked Grebes, a single Glaucous-winged and 12 Glaucous Gulls, a single Spectacled Guillemot and at least 129 Rhinoceros Auklet.
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus © Nial Moores. Surprisingly, several birds were paired up and in active display on the sea.
American Scoter Melanitta americana © Nial Moores
Stejneger’s or Asiatic White-winged Scoter Melanitta (deglandi) stejnegeri © Nial Moores
There were few other species of note present, with e.g. only 2-3 Long-tailed Rosefinch and Siberian Accentor logged, and 104 Greater Scaup and five Smew noted on Hwajin Po (where there is yet more construction ongoing – this time in the southern reedbed).