Bird Sightings

Birds and interesting talks in Gimpo, Han river estuary, September 18, 2023

Dr. Bernhard Seliger and Dr. Hyun-Ah Choi, Hanns Seidel Foundation and Birds Korea, with John MacKinnon, Jennifer George and Yoonjae Bae, both EAAFP.

The late summer period along the Han River Estuary is a not so easy time to observe birds. The colonies of Great Cormorants, egrets and Black-Faced Spoonbills on Yudo islet are long abandoned, and birds are mostly still secretive. Still, in our trip in the last – and still very hot – summer days we managed to have some beautiful views of some of the more common birds. A highlight was a Grey-Faced Buzzard starting to circle low over the Han River, and later almost disappearing in the high skies. Others included good views of Eurasian Hobby, Black-Faced Spoonbills, egrets and herons, hundreds of swallows (mostly Barn Swallows with some Red-rumped Swallows in between), Bull-headed Shrikes etc.  

Besides the nice outing, the trip was made worthwhile through great conversations with our co-birders: Dr John MacKinnon, author of the first bird guide of China, as well as Jennifer George, CEO of the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership and her colleague Yoonjae Bae. The trip gave us a great opportunity to discuss options of better protection of birds on the Korean Peninsula and possibilities to support the development of bird specialists in North Korea, for example through a comprehensive bird guide for the country.

You can find the full lists of birds at ebird:

(Yudo area)


(Siam wetland)

Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 물까치, which often can be seen in great flocks in rural villages. © Bernhard Seliger

Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus 때까치 at the fence facing North Korea © Bernhard Seliger

A juvenile Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor 저어새 © Bernhard Seliger

Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo 새호리기 – this elegant raptor hunts dragonflies and other insects and will be gone with the cold days of autumn approaching © Bernhard Seliger

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 황조롱이 © Bernhard Seliger

Little Egret Egretta garzetta 쇠백로 and his meal © Bernhard Seliger

Striated Heron Butorides striata 댕기해오라기 © Bernhard Seliger

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