Bird News from Nial Moores with Cheong Hyun-Deok (KBS PD) and team
Another day in the Nakdong Estuary with the KBS documentary team, this time spent largely in heavy overcast and light rain before the arrival of clear skies heralding some extremely cold weather.
The team visiting the more natural outer part of the estuary – which can only be reached by boat
One aim of the day was to use the boat to get broadcast-worthy footage of Steller’s Sea Eagle – as a visually exciting species that can help to raise awareness of the continuing international importance of this non-Ramsar site which is increasingly being impacted by Busan’s urban sprawl. We found four in total: three immatures and one full adult. Is there any other major city in the world with annual records of Steller’s Sea Eagle, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Saunders’s Gull and Relict Gull?
Steller’s Sea Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus © Nial Moores…set against an increasingly urban background
Other expected species of note included 4-5 White-tailed Eagle, 6-8 Western Osprey, a single Hen Harrier, c. 20 Saunders’s Gull and c. 150 Falcated Duck, with additional highlights the continuing Greater Spotted Eagle and Caspian Tern and two Richard’s Pipit (perhaps still <10 mid-winter records nationally) mixed in with a loose group of Buff-bellied Pipits.
Falcated Duck Mareca falcata © Nial Moores (one of many duck species with an IOC-recommended name-change followed by the Birds Korea Checklist 2018, completed and now being formatted for posting)
Globally Vulnerable Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi © Nial Moores
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia, with Vega Gull Larus vegae, Common Gull Larus canus, and Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus © Nial Moores