Author Archives: Andreas Kim

The Namak Waterpark (March10 to 24)

With the development of the Namak New City (남악신도시) in the beginning of this millennium about 15 years ago the Namak Waterpark was opened. This park was built around lager patches of reed just along the bicycle track along the northern shore of the Yoengsan Lake with one-half in the city of Mokpo and one half in the area of Muan county. People for their walks use the park very well, and on weekends, many families with their little children visit the areas where the kids can play and stroll around.

Map of the complete part (small) and the Muan part in detail

The park is about 1.8 km long and about 150m at its widest. There are several boardwalks crossing the lake and some boardwalks through the reed beds along the lake.

The Part on the Mokpo side is a much-maintained area with very distinct parts for lake, reed and wildlife and the part with paths for people. On the Muan side the edges of the reed areas toward the Yoengsan Lake side have many other bushes and little trees mixed in which is a more suitable environment for passerines.

Boardwalk across the park

However, when you observe the people you notice that no one really recognizes or observes the avian variety and beauty this place offers. People concentrate on their exercise walks; focus on their conversations or their phones. One exception are now three Domestic Swan Goose, which very often get onto the footpaths and also make their presence known to the whole park with their strong voice.

We saw the geese for the first time in January 2022. Two completely white, one with a bit brown on the neck and one with the “normal” Swan Goose pattern and coloration, but with clear features of a domestic. For the second winter now, the goose that has the colored plumage is not in the park anymore but can be found in a stream with a second one just two kilometers away.

Domestic Swan Goose 개리 Anser cygnoides domesticus (images from January 2022)

Of course, one can find the species that everyone would expect in a park area: Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Grey-capped Greenfinch, Brown-eared Bulbul, Oriental Turtle Dove, but very often one can get very close to them and allow for close-up pictures.

Brown-eared Bulbul 직박구리 Hypsipetes amaurotis
Oriental Turtle Dove 멧비둘기 Streptopelia orientalis (left juvenile, right adult)

During the winter months Eastern Spot-billed Ducks, Eurasian Teal, Eurasian Coot, Little Grebe use the lake and its shores. In addition, a few Grey Heron, occasional one or two Great Egret and a Great Cormorant can be seen. However, for now many years in every winter we saw at least one Dusky Thrush.

Eastern Spot-billed Duck 흰뺨검둥오리 Anas zonorhyncha with one Mallard 청둥오리 Anas platyrhynchos
Dusky Thrush 개똥지빠귀 Turdus eunomus

Now with the arrival of spring many other species are present, and it took only little effort and time to seen them: Eastern Great Tit, Daurian Redstart, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Yellow-throated Bunting, Black-faced Bunting, Brambling and Olive-backed Pipit.

Daurian Redstart 딱새 Phoenicurus auroreus
Vinous-throated Parrotbill 찌르레기 Sinosuthora webbiana
Yellow-throated Bunting 노랑턱멧새 Emberiza elegans
Brambling 되새 Fringilla montifringilla

For many years one or two Bull-headed Shrike were seen on every visit. On the second last visit, we could see not less than seven. Some sitting on bushes or on the poles of a boardwalk and were not bothered by people passing by.

Bull-headed Shrike 때까치 Lanius bucephalus

Walking along, one can notice, that many trees that have broken branches show signs of woodpecker activity and only this early spring we could observe a Great Spotted Woodpecker while it was inspecting three trees with staying on one particular branch for a bit longer.

Great Spotted Woodpecker 오색딱다구리 Dendrocopos major

A few years ago, a single Common Moorhen was seen at the edge of a patch of reed but then thereafter the presence could only be heard from within the reed. They are very shy, because very close is a boardwalk bridge many people use and even small noises make them hide very quickly. Fortunately, last weekend with a little rain during the afternoon there was a period when they came out and we observed a family of seven for a little while.

Common Moorhen 쇠물닭 Gallinula chloropus

The biodiversity obviously had increased this year, because there are now signs placed at one area warning about the new species, but I have not seen any yet there.

Snake warning signs: left Mokpo, right Muan

One can ask: which one is more likely seen as a warning sign and which more as a description? With this so different approaches one has to wonder, how serious this warning has to be taken. Close to where the Muan sign is, people do not really do; you can see very often people sitting on the gras with their little kids and having picknick and such.

One species that raises concern is the Red-eared Slider. This turtle is an invasive species and classified as harmful for the environment. We saw the first one some years ago and since, the number has dramatically increased. On one of the last visits, we counted twenty-five in all areas of the park, which of course only represents the visible ones. On the last visit, we saw a family with several young ones. This clearly indicates that these turtles have successfully settled and are reproducing. However, the published data from the National Institute of Ecology (NIE) which conducted a national survey between 2014 and 2022 ( has not a single dataset for Mokpo. Work is in preparation to raise this issue with the local governments.

Red-eared slider 붉은귀거북 Trachemys scripta elegans