Bird News from Nial Moores with Mike Danzenbaker, Lee Hung and Angus Wilson
The highlight of a few hours spent in much milder weather (with a morning low of +2C) in Namhansanseong was a close encounter with a group of four Hazel Grouse. One of this well-camouflaged group allowed us to watch for 30 minutes as he crept and zigzagged silently up the hill-side away from us, feeding as he went, before part-burying himself in a pile of dead leaves where he promptly went back to sleep: absolutely stunning!
Hazel Grouse Tetrastes bonasia © Nial Moores. Note the asymmetry of the black streaks on the grey upperparts and of the black on the closed wing on some feather tracts; the leaf-like pattern on the forehead and lores; and the use of fallen leaves to help further break up this bird’s outline.
Other species of note there included probably 10+ Pallas’s Rosefinch and perhaps 5-10 Eurasian Bullfinch – just two more great birds out of a total 159 species logged in 11 days of quality-packed winter birding that also included good views of globally hard-to-see species like Scaly-sided Merganser, Long-billed Murrelet, Solitary Snipe, Relict Gull and Chinese Nuthatch and national rarities like Long-billed Dowitcher and Cackling Goose.