Baekryeong Island, May 15-22

Bird News from Nial Moores

Below follows a short summary of some of the more notable records made by NM from the ROK’s premier migration island for the period May 15th-22nd. Some of the observations were made with Tim Edelsten, and others benefitted greatly from information kindly shared by visiting birder Hervé Darmandieu. A much fuller report (with e.g. details of numbers of all species and weather with additional images) will be posted later.

May 15: 95 species logged. Five Amur Falcon, at least 17 Chinese Pond Heron and 14 Black Drongo were in Jincheon and Yeonhwa alone and a Red Turtle Dove (on very brief views thought likely to be a male) was in Jincheon.

FemAmur_May16_RS2Amur Falcon Falco amurensis © Nial Moores

ChinesePondHeron_May15_RS1Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus © Nial Moores

 May 16: 112 species logged. A possible Claudia’s Leaf Warbler was heard in Jincheon; a visit to a “new” wetland birded by HD produced views of a male Cinammon Bittern (first found there by HD on 14th) and Ruddy-breasted and Baillon’s Crakes feeding together; and an evening pre-roost of Black Drongo included 24 birds (with eight also in Yeonhwa Ri, meaning a minimum total of 32 in the north of the island).

Baillons'_May16_RS2_Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla © Nial Moores

May 17: 78 species logged in the afternoon. The same (or possibly a different?) Red Turtle Dove (a female) was re-found in Jincheon, where an evening flock of 240 Pacific Swift contained two or perhaps three presumed Common Swift (views by TE and NM were against the light but one bird showed e.g. a dark eye patch as well as an absence of a white rump band).


REDTURTLEDOVE_mAY17RS2Red Turtle Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica © Nial Moores

May 18: 66 species logged in a foggy Junghwadong only, including a coucal sp (three “hoo” notes heard only, and what was presumed to be a coucal in flight against the light); a “Barking Cuckoo” heard (giving its garbled chuckled intro followed by a series of “bray-ho” notes); and an unknown song heard.

May 19: 92 species logged. Certain highlights included a Large Hawk-Cuckoo heard (and poorly sound-recorded and even seen by TE); a distant Greater Coucal heard once (!); and a group of four Purple Heron seen in the evening. A large grey-brown warbler seen in the evening was seen too poorly to name…

May 20: 98 species logged. At least 20 Chinese Pond Heron were counted in only a small part of the island; single Purple Heron; 101 Brown Shrike (counted), including one apparent superciliosus; and a female Orange-headed Thrush was seen well at dusk (after being found earlier in the day by HD, who watched incredulously as the Orange-headed Thrush chased off a feeding Fairy Pitta!).


purpleheron_May20_RS2Purple Heron Ardea purpurea © Nial Moores

May 21: 91 species logged. The Orange-headed Thrush was seen again (with possibly a second heard calling, but remaining out of sight: NM and HD independently); and a Baikal Bush Warbler was seen well.


OHthrush4_May21_RS1_Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina © Nial Moores

May 22: 119 species logged, by covering four of the best areas in one day. Multiple highlights included a female White-bellied Green Pigeon; at least 21 Thick-billed Warbler and 120 Brown Shrike (both counted); and an evening flock of 3,100 Pacific Swift that contained at least one Common Swift (this time seen in good light, though impossible to digiscope). Other species of special note included a Fairy Pitta glimpsed in flight, three Purple Heron and a Watercock seen, a Japanese Leaf Warbler and anothert “Barking Cuckoo” heard, along with two Baikal Bush Warbler (one seen) and the personal first Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler of the spring.

wbgreenpigeon_may22_RS_White-bellied Green Pigeon Treron sieboldii © Nial Moores

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