Survey in Siam wetland and around Yudo islet in Han River Estuary, February 27, 2020

Bird News from Dr. Hyun-Ah Choi and Dr. Bernhard Seliger (both Hanns-Seidel-Foundation, Birds Korea lifetime members)

The 2nd survey of the Siam wetland/ Yudo islet area, an outcome of a 2019 project between Hanns-Seidel-Foundation Korea and Gimpo city, brought us again into this lovely area of rice fields, rivers, and riparian forest, already transitioning into the spring and migration season. On the fields, and much more dispersed than in a previous survey two weeks ago, when feeding by the local wild bird conservation society brought all geese flocks very close together, there were at least 3300 Greater White-Fronted Geese and 1300 Tundra Bean Geese. Probably, this is still a major undercount, since due to the size of the area, the inaccessibility of parts of it and constant movement many flocks must have been unaccounted for.

Other notable views include:

– Two Long-eared owls. With these comes a correction of a previous post, when one of these was misidentified as a Short-eared owl, due to the habitat (rice paddies) and diurnal activity. Thanks go to Brenna Farrell for pointing out (on i-Naturalist) from a backside shot that it was probably a Long-eared owl. This time, clearly two Long-eared owls very seen and (alas, poorly) photographed.

– Five White-tailed Sea Eagles, this time all on Yudo islet.

– Around 750 cormorants on Yudo islet, all in full breeding activity; due to the constant flight movement to and from the island probably also a big undercount; here, between 800-1100 cormorant nests can be found, plus later in the year breeding Grey Herons, Great Egrets, and probably Blackfaced Spoonbills.

–  One flock with 60 Rustic buntings, classified as a globally vulnerable species due to strong decline in numbers.

– On the flooded rice paddies (munon) various ducks start to assemble, among them Mallards, Eastern Spotbilled Ducks, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal and Common Pochard. 

Long-eared Owl Asia otus © Bernhard Seliger
A Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus kizuki feeding. © Bernhard Seliger Not in a bird feeder…
…but in a trap for wild boars, which are caught here near the border to prevent the spread of African Swine fever. At least
Rustic bunting Emberiza rustica © Bernhard Seliger
Colony of Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo on Yudo Islet © Bernhard Seliger
White-tailed Sea Eagle Halieeatus albicilla at the rocky end of Yudo islet. In the background the coast of Hwanghae Namdo in North Korea © Bernhard Seliger

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