Jeju Island, June 23

Bird news from Matt Poll and Mike Balfour

It’s great to be back on Jeju, although a lot of construction/destruction has been going on over the past two years. At a site on Halla’s southern slope formerly home to Fairy Pitta, noisy construction to widen a path for ‘Olle trail’ hikers, coupled with an idiotic speaker blaring music in a once peaceful forest were the only sounds heard today. Nearby, thankfully there remains a quiet corner of habitat still productive for Black Paradise Flycatcher, with two males seen squabbling, while a female was quite confiding. It came to within 10 feet of us, calmly watching the watchers for several amazing minutes. Also seen in this area were a female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, a noisy Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-throated Bunting, plentiful Japanese White-eye and Grey-capped Greenfinch, several Lesser Cuckoo, a White Wagtail, Long-tailed Tits, and several comically-clumsy Common Pheasant chicks.
Back in Seogwipo’s harbour, a stately Pacific Reef Heron stalked prey surprisingly close to a large number of tourists. Also worth mentioning was the Fairy Pitta I heard calling from a small grove of trees right outside my window at 3:30 a.m. two weeks ago! I’m assuming it was making its way to the nearby southern slope of Mount Halla.

Habitat_MPBlack Paradise Flycatcher habitat. Photo © Matt Poll.

Japanese-Paradise-Flycatcher-m_MPmale Black Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata. Photo © Matt Poll.

Japanese-Paradise-Flycatcher-f_MPfemale Black Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata. Photo © Matt Poll.

Common-Pheasant_MPCommon Pheasant chick Phasianus colchicus. Photo © Matt Poll.

Pacific-Reef-Heron_MPPacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra. Photo © Matt Poll.

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