Bird News from Nial Moores and Park Meena
With funding support from our wonderful colleagues SBS in China, we surveyed five areas on the west coast of the Republic of Korea (ROK): (1) Hwaseong / Namyang during the afternoon high tide of 18th; (2) Boryeong during the morning high tide of 19th; (3) the Geum Estuary on the afternoon high tide of the 19th; and both high tides of the 20th; (4) Gomso Bay (afternoon high tide of the 21st); and (5) Baeksu (morning high tide of the 22nd – in heavy rain).
We also counted shorebirds on the only remaining area of tidal-flat immediately outside of the Saemangeum seawall, soon after the morning high tide of the 21st – the 12th anniversary of the dreadful closure of the Saemangeum outer seawall.
We recorded a total of 29 shorebird species and between 126,000 and 143,000 individual shorebirds. The most important site was the Geum Estuary, with between 73,437 and 89,497 shorebirds.
The five most numerous species were:
- Globally Endangered Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris (51,748-52,248)
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris © Nial Moores
2. Least Concern Dunlin Calidris alpina (43,459-46,459)
Dunlin Calidris alpina © Nial Moores
3. Globally Near Threatened Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (17,555-30,055)
4. Globally Endangered Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis (3,003)
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis © Nial Moores
5. Least Concern Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola (2,527).
We also found a single globally Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmea (on Yubu Island in the Geum Estuary); four to six globally Endangered Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer; four Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii (three in the Geum Estuary, one at Baeksu); large numbers of Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (including 913 at Gomso Bay); and a total of 81 globally Endangered Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, 13 globally Vulnerable Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes and 15 globally Vulnerable Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmea © Nial Moores
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii © Nial Moores
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus © Nial Moores
A rather more detailed analysis of the counts will be undertaken for SBS in China – including a species-level comparison of these counts with counts made at several of the same sites in other years. As always, if Birds Korea members wish to receive more detailed count data, please contact us. Thank you.