Bird news from Subhojit Chakladar
Unremarkable weather and rather few birds in evidence (especially compared to the wonderful rarities spotted last weekend). The highlight of the trip was a Large Hawk Cuckoo, a bird quite rare in Korea. It was first heard during a post dinner walk on the ‘temple hill’. A few seconds of sound playback later, the bird came and perched on a branch few feet over my head. The bird was seen well but poor light conditions mean no photos (well past sunset). I went back the following morning at dawn but inspite of close to an hour and half stakeout (with periodic playbacks), the bird remained invisible (occasionally calling out in response). Recording of the bird are here.
Other birds of note were:
Oriental Scops Owl – At least 3 calling on ‘temple hill’ in the evening.
presumed Japanese Leaf Warbler – Identified based on its song, once again on the ‘temple hill’ boardwalk. There were about 5 birds and responded well (with increased activity) to playbacks. One of them was seen feasting on green caterpillar.
White-shouldered Starling – One seen flying off from the ‘pass’ at dawn.
Black-capped Kingfisher – One seen perched on wires at the base of the hill. Even though it was well seen from a distance, it remained well out of the range of my lens but what a smartly attired bird!
Richard’s Pipit – 5 birds seen feeding near what used to the ‘pond’.
Forest Wagtail – 2 seen near the temple and another seen near the school.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail – Scattered around the fields in the village, mostly taivana.
There were about a dozen Brown Shrikes and 3 Tiger Shrikes. Interestingly, a Korean gentleman photographed a Chinese Grey Shrike (a winter visitor to Korea) on May 16th, making it a very late record of this species. There were about a dozen Chinese Grosbeak and a single Japanese Grosbeak feeding on the large tree near the school.