Bird news from Jason Loghry later joined by Shane and Yoli Park
Despite the rain, I had an early start on Saturday. Although it wasn’t the safest condition for a bike ride, I couldn’t resist continuing my search for crakes down at Haebancheon. Geared up in my rain jacket, I slowly followed the stream through the rice fields. There were Oriental Reed Warblers showing very well on the reeds. Just two weeks ago, I could only hear them, but now it is obvious that something has changed. The early morning brought many Great Egret, Cattle Egret, and a few Striated Heron to the sky. Every so often I came across a Common Moorhen feeding along the banks of green healthy vegetation. Most of the stream lined with some of the typical wetland plant species such as silver grass, common reeds, yellow floating hearts, and water chestnuts. It is a good place to scan the water’s edge and watch for birds flying low to the water. Making a stop near a muddy-edged garden that was next to a rice field across from the stream, I found a Moorhen with more than three chicks. Suddenly a Yellow Bittern flew by and landed on some reeds. I was surprised to see it climb up and down, looking much smaller and lighter than I had remembered. As I watched, I became even more delighted to hear what sounded very much like a Painted Snipe. There were no birds in the lone nearby tree, and this “song” was coming from the field/garden area. I failed to find it but then heard another singing from a different direction. I certainly hope to see them at different conditions.
Showers throughout the morning were consistent but there was a break in the clouds in the early part of afternoon. That is when Shane and Yoli Park joined me. Together we cruised the edge of the stream. At one spot on the stream, just before it connected with another tributary, we found three Black-crowned Night Herons, a Striated Heron, more Oriental Reed Warblers, a Spot-billed Duck, a male Eurasian Teal, some Barn Swallows, some White-cheeked Starlings, some Vinous-throated Parrotbills, and more than 5 Yellow Bitterns along these reedy banks or in flight low to the water moving upstream. In the sky, we also spotted a Eurasian Hobby feeding on insects. Although the showers didn’t let up, it turned out to be a really great morning, and excited to say that it seems like Gimhae has a lot of room for discovery.