Bird News from Patrick Blake
A group of nine joined the Gwangju branch of Birds Korea on an outing to Haenam county. The weather was fairly cold, but scattered clouds and sun made for excellent viewing at three bodies of water in southern Jeollanam-do. A total of 62 species were observed throughout the day. Highlights are below.
– 5 Northern Lapwing in the agricultural fields near Gangjin Bay
– 55+ White-cheeked Starlings at Gangjin Bay
– 2 Brown-cheeked Rails heard calling in a drainage ditch at Gangjin; one was briefly seen by PB only, though everyone heard the two birds calling. A link to a short recording is available.
– c. 400 Whooper Swans at Gangjin Bay
– moderate numbers of waterfowl at Gocheonnamho Lake, though geese numbers were down dramatically from previous visits. Waterfowl observed included: Greater White-fronted Goose (c.2,500-3,000), Tundra (250) and Taiga Bean-goose(1), Common Merganser(10+), Red-breasted Merganser (5+), Smew (1), Gadwall, Common Goldeneye(10), Eurasian Wigeon, Falcated Duck (5) and Common Pochard
– variety of raptors around Gocheonnamho, including Eastern Buzzard (4) and singles of Peregrine Falcon, Common Kestrel, and Merlin
– 3 Dusky Thrush at Gocheonnamho Lake
– enormous flock of Baikal Teal at Geumhoho Lake; c. 200-250,000 individuals
– flyover of c. 35 Lapland Longspurs at Geumhoho Lake
– a single Short-eared Owl hunting over the reeds around Geumhoho Lake just after sunset