Daily Archives: 14/05/2023

Weiyon Island, May 12-14

Bird news from Subhojit Chakladar

To celebrate Big Bird Day, this year I decided to visit one of the islands closer to shore and with easier logistics. My last trip to Weiyon Island was 8 years ago. With limited holidays this time, I decided to keep things simple and visit this small island which can be easily covered on foot. I was accompanied by Dr Sagar Adhurya, for whom this was the first trip to Yellow Sea island (which means quite a few new birds). We arrived at around 4pm on 12th and left at 10am on 14th. The 1st 2 days were quite birdy but on 14th morning, there was a general feeling of clearing out. We recorded a total of 88 species during out stay with 74 species being recorded on 13th.

May 12

Right off the boat on 12th, buntings were in abundance in the vegetable gardens and the forested trails. Black-faced Bunting were in majority but Chestnut Bunting were surprisingly numerous. A Red-collared Dove was hanging around the village as well. Flycatchers were also quite numerous with Grey-streaked Flycatcher being the most common followed by Asian Brown Flycatcher. The call of Rufous-tailed Robin resonated everywhere but few were seen. From the boardwalk on the hill, large numbers of Tristram’s Bunting and a few Eye-browed Thrush were seen. This day, we only had 3hrs of daylight but the birding was quite productive. There were about 5 Richard’s Pipit in the open areas. As it got dark, the call of Oriental Scops Owl and Northern Boobook were heard very frequently.

The ebird checklist for the day can be found here.

May 13

Starting just before sunrise, we were determined to make the most of this day. It was quite foggy during the morning but fog cleared out by noon revealing cloudless blue skies. The number of Chestnut Bunting and Yellow-breasted Bunting seems to have grown overnight. It was good to decent number of these threatened species. New species for the day were a group of very vocal Chinese Grosbeak in the more open areas and 2 Japanese Grosbeak from the boardwalk on the hill. A small flock of Ashy Minivet was very vocal as well. A pair of Black-naped Oriole provided a flash of yellow as they fed and flew over the canopy on the hill. A pair of Richard’s Pipit were seen feeding in manicured lawns and a 3rd individual was seen around the garbage dump. At around mid-day, there was a decent sized flock of Pacific Swift which also had around 5 Northern House Martin. A Grey-faced Buzzard was seen soaring before flying off eastwards. In the afternoon, we decided to check out different trails. New birds encountered were Siberian Rubythroat, Siberian Thrush and Sand Martin (SA only), Blue-and-White Flycatcher and White-throated Rock Thrush (SC only). There was an influx of Mugimaki Flycatcher as well as Pale-legged Warbler (whose calls resonated on every trail we walked on). A Chinese Pond Heron and Eastern Yellow Wagtail was also found. Oriental Cuckoo and Common Cuckoo were vocal and a few individuals were seen flying around. A singing Radde’s Warbler also provided excellent views. Quite a few Tiger Shrike and Brown Shrike were seen including one individual hunting Warbling White-eye! Other species include Two-barred Warbler, Grey-backed Thrush, Oriental Reed Warbler, Pallas’s Warbler, Eastern-crowned Warbler, Daurian Starling, Siberian Blue Robin and Forest Wagtail. Last bird of the day was a Lesser Cuckoo calling (heard while having dinner).

The ebird checklist for the day can be found here.

May 14

General feeling of clearing out with good weather continuing. While there were some Black-faced Bunting and Little Bunting, the bulk of the buntings seem to have departed last night. A group of about a dozen Eye-browed Thrush arrived overnight. A snipe sp and White-breasted Waterhen (SA only) were also seen. A pair of Chinese Sparrowhawk were also seen passing over the hill as well as a single Oriental Greenfinch.

The ebird checklist for the day can be found here.

Chestnut Bunting, Emberiza rutila
Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Muscicapa griseisticta
Japanese Grosbeak, Eophona personata
Mugimaki Flycatcher, Ficedula mugimaki
Narcissus Flycatcher, Ficedula narcissina
Radde’s Warbler, Phylloscopus schwarzi
Red collared Dove, Streptopelia tranquebarica
Rufous-tailed Robin, Luscinia sibilans
Tiger Shrike, Lanius tigrinus
White-throated Rock Thrush, Monticola gularis
Yellow-breasted Bunting, Emberiza aureola