Daily Archives: 08/04/2024

Han River Estuary – Yudo to Siam

Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Dr. Hyun-Ah Choi (Birds Korea, Hanns Seidel Foundation), Minjae Baek (Hanns Seidel Foundation), Dr. Mimi Kessler, IUCN Bustard Group Leader, Eurasian Bustard Alliance, Co-Chair, Prof. Matthew Toomey, University of Tulsa (Arizona, USA)

We used the occasion of the visit of Dr. Kessler and Prof. Toomey to conduct our survey in the Han Estuary area while talking with our fascinating guests about international experiences in bird conservation.

In the area from Musunsanseong (close to Gangwha island) to Yudo islet, Far Eastern Curlews, and Whimbrels on the tidal flats emerging in low tides out of Han river, were on migration. Most geese already were gone, with some exemptions of small troups and later, in Siam wetland, where birds are fed, a single great group of around 250 individuals.  Yudo, one of the largest breeding colonies for Great Cormorants, plus Grey Herons, Egrets and Blackfaced Spoonbills, had all the cormorant nests (around 550-600) well occupied, plus at least three nests of Black-faced Spoonbills, who breed on trees in this area. Among the ducks on the river, a single male Falcated Duck. Among the passerines, a group of 17 Naumann´s or Dusky Thrushes in migration flew over.

The total list for this area can be found here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S167108410

The second part of the survey, “Chogangri wetland”, was a little disappointing, with few birds around, no Swan geese we hoped for and a lot of construction going on. The last part, Siam wetland and surroundings, was again better, with an Eagle Owl on the far site of Siam wetland, first seen by Dr. Kessler (maybe it was the same seen a few weeks ago, since it also was not well under cover in broad daylight, and maybe it had been some time in the Wildlife rescue center in the area), some raptors, and, in a hidden small stream, a nice collection of ducks: Mandarin ducks, Gadwalls, Eurasian Teals, Eurasian Wigeons, Northern Shoveler, Greater Scaup, Mallard and Spot-billed Ducks. Among the smaller birds some lingering winter visitors, like Hawfinches, and, as a newcomer, at least two Amur Stonechats.

The total list for this area can be found here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S167108405.

Where are all the other geese gone? Tundra Bean Goose Anser serrirostris © Bernhard Seliger

In spring mood: Meadow bunting Emberiza cioides © Bernhard Seliger

(One lucky female and two competing male) Mandarin ducks Aix galericulata © Bernhard Seliger

Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo © Bernhard Seliger

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus © Bernhard Seliger

Survey team (from left) Prof. Toomey, Dr. Seliger, Dr. Kessler, Minjae Baek, Dr. Choi © Hyun-Ah Choi