Jeju Island, September 28

Bird News from Matt Poll

I arrived at a field just in from the coast that featured a great mix of wet and dry habitats, and waited for the bird to show itself. After almost an hour, a small shorebird flew from the dry scrubby area to the small wetland next to the road – it was a Buff-breasted Sandpiper! I hunkered down low and got some spectacular long and close looks as it paced lazily through the mud at the edge of the water. Such a sleek and regal bird, it was a real pleasure to watch.

Also spotted in this small but productive patch of wetland were low single-digit numbers of Common Snipe, Long-toed Stint, (amorous) Green Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, and Dunlin.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper seemed to be most closely associating with two Pacific Golden Plovers. Outlandish theory time – perhaps it fell in with these birds in their overlapping summer ranges in eastern Siberia and got mixed up and followed them to the ROK instead of its normal South American wintering grounds?


Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis. Photo © Matt Poll.

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