Bird News from Bernhard Seliger
Bamseom is a pair of islets in the Han river. On a space of around 27 ha, birds – in particular cormorants – use the island for roosting, and in the summer breeding. Registered as a natural preservation district by Seoul Metropolitan government in 1999, it became Ramsar site no. 2050 in 2012 as the ” only remaining naturally occurring riverine islands in the Han River ecosystem that have not been altered by human settlement”, being not only a habitat for birds, but also for a number of indigenous fish including the Korean striped bitterling, the Korean spined bitterling, and the Korean oily shiner . Nevertheless, Sogang bridge leads directly across the West islet. Furthermore, dredging not far from the Western end of Bamseom these days muddies the water on the western side of the islets considerably.
On a daytime walk on February 1st in particular around 100 roosting Great cormorants could be seen, around 15 Grey herons, a single Eastern buzzards, a White-tailed sea eagle overflying as well as a group of ten Common mergansers. Along the South (Yeouido) and North shores of the Han, Little grebes, mallards, and pochards could be seen. On a tiny sandy patch near the Northern shore, among some mallards, a pair of Long-billed plovers was found.
The Eastern islet from the South – trees are whitened by bird droppings © Bernhard Seliger
View of the Western islet © Bernhard Seliger
Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) roosting in the trees © Bernhard Seliger
A pair of Long-billed plovers (Charadrius placidus) among Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) © Bernhard Seliger
Long-billed plover (Charadrius placidus) © Bernhard Seliger