Seoul, December 31 – January 1

Bird News from Matt Poll and Tim Edelsten

December 31, Namhansan (MP only)
On a hazy and relatively warm last day of 2013, I visited the peaceful hills around Hyeonjeolsa Temple on Namhansan, in Seoul’s southeast. It was a treat to see a variety of birds I don’t get to see on Jeju, such as confiding single-digit numbers of Marsh Tit, Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Nuthatch, as well as perhaps a dozen Naumann’sThrush, several Dusky Thrush (with an apparent Dusky x Naumann’s hybrid), and a Goldcrest. Several Great Tit, Varied Tit, Brambling, Large-billed Crow, and an Eastern Buzzard were also seen. Unfortunately I was unable to see a Hazel Grouse, in spite of hearing one.

January 1, stream near Eungbong Station, (with Tim Edelsten)
There was a nice assortment of ducks on a small stretch of river feeding into the Han, with most regular winter ducks represented. Notable were about 150 Mandarin Ducks, remarkable for this site. The star attraction was a cracking male Ferruginous Duck, looking spectacular as it swam lazily in the sun.

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Marsh Tit Poecile palustris. Photo © Matt Poll.

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Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca. Photo © Tim Edelsten.

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