Daily Archives: 18/03/2024

At the onset of spring migration, Siam wetland and fields around Yudo islet in Hangang Estuary, March 12, 2024

Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Hanns Seidel Foundation and Birds Korea

In slightly raining condition, and without the possibility to enter the CCZ due to the ongoing military exercises and tense situation at the border, this survey started at Siam wetland. For the first time I was glad about the wooden shelter for birdwatching, since it helped to protect against rain. But first, there was a surprise: an eagle owl sitting directly by the small reservoir, for well over an hour not moving (from 7 to 8.30 in the morning). I wonder if this has been released from the directly adjacent wildlife rescue place or if it just found the place convenient.

There were still many geese, though obviously a large number has already left North. All in all, at Siam there were around 1500 geese, roughly two thirds of them Greater White-Fronted Geese and one third Tundra Bean Geese. No other species was detected. Only one wader (probably a Common Greenshank) was there, plus four Blackfaced Spoonbills.

In the rice fields further North, a pleasant mixture of species, including a group of more than 40 hawfinches, a common snipe, rooks, ruddy shelducks, Eurasian skylarks probably all on migration or preparing for it, and a number of raptors, including two white-tailed eagles, a hen harrier, Eastern buzzards, Eurasian sparrowhawk, and Eurasian kestrel.

A list of species can be found here:

First part (Siam wetland): https://ebird.org/checklist/S164577362

On the “Yudo side” (Munsusanseong to before the CCZ) not much activity: smaller groups of geese, an occasional great egret and gray heron, and cormorants foraging. While only a part of Yudo islet could be seen from afar, the cormorant colony seemed to be as busy as usual, and also larger groups of grey herons, equally breeding on the islet, could be seen.

Second part (around Yudo islet): https://ebird.org/checklist/S164578281

Eurasian Eagle-Owl Bubo bubo, calmy sitting for a long time in the morning at a relatively exposed place near the reservoir. © Bernhard Seliger

Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana. In winter in large flocks in the reed beds and bushes on forest edges and waysides, now they are in smaller groups and soon will be nesting. © Bernhard Seliger

Naumann´s thrush Turdus naumanni, a winter visitor soon leaving for the North © Bernhard Seliger

Small flocks of Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea in the rice paddies. © Bernhard Seliger

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla with his prey and envious Large-billed Crows Corvus Macrorhynchos © Bernhard Seliger

Great Cormorant Phalocrocorax carbo, is always the first bird to occupy nests at Yudo islet, before later Blackfaced Spoonbills, herons and egrets arrive and breed. © Bernhard Seliger