Bird News from Robin Newlin and Marco Della Seta.
Our Saturday morning visit to the Han River at Paldang came a couple of days after the season’s first freeze, and the weather and the birds were winter quality: snow throughout the morning and the following avian highlights:
An adult Steller’s Sea Eagle, which, as soon as we arrived, flew right past us then up to roost out of sight on the wooded mountainside. We saw (presumably) this same bird later in the morning, about a kilometre down-river. We also saw two White-tailed Sea Eagles.
Steller’s Sea Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus ©Robin Newlin
White-tailed Sea Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla ©Robin Newlin
Other birds included c. 40 Whooper Swans; a few Great Crested and Little Grebes; a sitting (but hardly relaxing) Far Eastern Buzzard first mobbed by a Common Magpie and then a Eurasian Kestrel; a sizable (c.23) flock of Azure-winged Magpies; a small flock of Long-tailed Tits very pretty in the snow; some Vinous-throated Parrotbills; several Yellow-throated Buntings; a couple of White and one Japanese Wagtail; and scattered Common Goldeneyes, Tufted Ducks, Smews, Common Pochards, Spot-billed Ducks, Mallards, Goosanders, and Common Teal. Highlight was a pair of (amorous!) Scaly-sided Mergansers, a personal first for this site.
Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus ©Robin Newlin
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus ©Robin Newlin