Dr. Bernhard Seliger (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Birds Korea) with Joseph Seliger
On Hangeul day, a trip along the Han and Imjin River to Yeoncheon. Unfortunately, major observation points like Odusan observatory (which grants a sometimes spectacular overview over the Han river bending West) and Taepung Observatory in Yeoncheon with the major birds areas there were closed “due to corona”. Along the Han river, hundreds of overflying geese, but inland less so, with most of the rice fields not yet harvested. A lot of buntings along the fields, but not many larger arrivals yet, with the exception of a Western Osprey.
At the first stop, at Yongwha Maul wetland, only one overflying Blackfaced Spoonbill (it was already late, around 8 a.m.), but four Common Snipes together, and – compared to a trip last week – a much increased number of Eurasian Teals. From Imjingak through small villages like Changsan-ri and Imjin-ri, as well as along the Imjin river, there are some marvelous walking ways (along the ever-busy highway), but they seem to start and stop erratically, and it is not clear how people can approach them, with no parking lots around, which is probably why they are always completely empty of people (a rare thing here!).
The biggest surprise was a group of three Light-vented bulbuls. None of the typical winter visitors yet, and temperatures around 24 degrees made it feel rather like a perfect late summer day. A lot of buntings along the fields, but not many larger arrivals like raptors yet, with the exception of an overflying Western Osprey and two Eastern buzzards.