Bird News from Jason Loghry, later joined by Nial Moores and Ha Jung Moon
Starting this morning at 6:44, skies were mostly cloudy, with a chilly temperature of 8° and winds from breezy to an occasional gust.
First birds of the morning were Grey-faced Buzzard (1), Peregrine Falcon (1), Ashy Minivet (3), Pacific Swift (7), and a surprising highlight, a stunning male Siberian Rubythroat (1). With only a few hours of birding because of rain, I tried to cover as much as ground as possible. Stejneger’s Stonechat (6), Blue Rock Thrush (4), and a gorgeous male Brambling (3) were showing well. Other notable species include Siskin (1), Eastern Crowned Warbler (4), Yellow-browed Warbler (6), Oriental Greenfinch (5), Black-faced Bunting (1), Red-flanked Bluetail (11), Pale Thrush (57), a flock of Dusky Thrush (12), White’s Thrush (5), Japanese Bush Warbler (3), Brown-headed Thrush (1 – personal first), White-backed Woodpecker (1), Goldcrest (16), Blue and White Flycatcher (2), female Narcissus Flycatcher (3), Asian Brown Flycatcher (1), Pale-legged Leaf Warbler (3), Asian Stubtail (2), and Winter Wren (1).
Taking a break for the heaviest of the rain, I enjoyed sharing lunch with a welcoming group of hikers. An hour and a half later, I met up with Dr. Nial Moores and Mr. Ha Jung Moon. On the way to meet up with them, the number of Red-flanked Bluetail observations grew by 31 birds. Additional highlights were eight more Blue and White Flycatchers, three more Stejneger’s Stonechats, five more Blue Rock Thrush, one Black-faced Bunting, three White’s Thrush (including great views of one singing), two male Narcissus Flycatchers (including one possibly attempting to depart to Japan!), and two Asian Stubtails; although at one point towards the late evening we also heard several Asian Stubtail making ‘congregation’ calls. Listening carefully to vocalizations, we very probably heard one or two Sakhalin Leaf Warbler although identification could not be confirmed, and definitely heard a few more Pale-legged Leaf Warblers. New species of the day include Pacific Reef Egret (1), Olive-backed Pipit (4), Grey Thrush (2), Grey-backed Thrush (2), a flock of migrating Grey Herons (13), White Wagtail (3), and a Bull-headed Shrike, in flight with prey, an unfortunate Vinous-throated Parrotbill. Near dusk, I spotted what looked very much like a Japanese Robin from a distance, but with only a brief view and unable to find it again, also could not confirm. Other species seen (NM) were Slaty-backed Gull, Mongolian Gull, and Pelagic Cormorant.