Hwaseong, December 26 (2015)

Bird News / Highlights from Shim Kyu-Sik

Outstanding highlights at Hwaseong on December 26th were single Steppe Eagle 초원수리 (perhaps scarcely annual in the ROK, and now classified globally as Endangered) and Horned Lark 해변종다리 (<10 national records).

sks-steppe at2000-kSteppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis © Shim Kyu-Sik

lark-sks_2000_7-1Mongolian Horned LarkEremophila alpestris brandti © Shim Kyu-Sik

Although the lark image shows a weak yellowish wash on the head and fairly extensive brown on the breast sides,  this pale and streaky-above individual still seems a best-match for subspecies brandti, responsible for all but one of the previous records in the ROK   The taxonomy of the Horned Lark group is complicated and interesting, and the expert  team at the Birding Mongolia website suggest the popular English-language name of “Mongolian Horned Lark” for this potential split from “Shore Lark” (mentioned, but not yet adopted by Gill & Donsker 2015). If the split is adopted, then a new Korean name for this species will also be required…



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