April 30-May 4, Eocheong Island


Bird News from Robin Newlin and (4’30-5’1) Im Kwang Wan, Jo Seong Sik, Kang Ji Hye and Park Im Ja


Saturday 4’30.

After a very early start from various points in Seoul and a good vegetarian breakfast near the Gunsan ferry,we took the 7:20 boat and arrived on the island in the late morning. Overall impression of “birdiness” was of reasonable variety although fairly small numbers. The variety, however, was classic Eocheong quality; it felt like meeting one old friend after another when visiting a favorite watering hole. Highlights included a Little Whimbrel, a Yellow-breasted Bunting, a Chestnut Bunting, a Tristram’s Bunting, a Yellow Bunting, a dozen Yellow-browed Buntings, and a bit more of Little and Black-faced Buntings. Also in the single theme: a Brown Thrush, an Eye-browed Thrush, a Taiga Flycatcher, a Narcissus Flycatcher, a Tricoloured Flycatcher, a Streaked Flycatcher, and a Mugimaki Flycatcher. A singularly attractive single was the male Citrine Wagtail at the reservoir, accompanied by several Yellow and White Wagtails. A half-dozen of Chinese Grosbeaks and some Bramblings near the school. Pipits were represented by Richard’s (one heard), Red-throated (one or two), Buff-bellied (three) and Olive-backed (several). The boardwalk was especially good for warblers, although again in somewhat small numbers: Yellow-browed, Pale-legged Leaf, Eastern Crowned, Pallas’ Leaf, Dusky and Korean Bush. Adding to the colour near the harbor: several Common Kingfishers, Grey Wagtails and Blue Rock Thrushes. Inland: Blue and White Flycatchers around every other corner, a couple of Chinese Pond Herons and a few Stejneger’s Stonechats. 2 Brown Shrikes. A White-shouldered Starling. Invisibly-persistently from the hills: a calling Northern Hawk Cuckoo.

bk brown shrike AP9F1136

Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus ©Robin Newlin


bk white shouldered starling AP9F0917

White-shouldered Starling Sturnus sinensis ©Robin Newlin


bk common kingfisher AP9F1650

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis ©Robin Newlin


bk narcfly AP9F1558

Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina ©Robin Newlin

Sunday May 1.

High winds, especially in the in the afternoon: many birds stayed under cover. Species and numbers much as the day before. A group of Japanese White-eyes at the boardwalk along with small numbers of Yellow-browed and Dusky Warblers. I heard a Hoopoe. Saw or heard few Asian Brown and Streaked Flycatchers.  Also along the boardwalk: a Wryneck and a few Brown, Eyebrowed and Pale Thrushes. I spent most of the afternoon waiting for the Citrine to wander close. The reservoir shrubs also held a Grey-backed Thrush, and a Chinese Pond Heron blew in with the wind.

bk citrine AP9F1405



Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola ©Robin Newlin


bk chinese pondAP9F1253

Chinese Pond heron Ardeola bacchus ©Robin Newlin


bk brown flycatcher AP9F1722


Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica ©Robin Newlin


bk tricolourfly AP9F1626

Tricoloured Flycatcher  Ficedua zanthopygia ©Robin Newlin


bk blue n white fly AP9F0945

Blue and White Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelania ©Robin Newlin

Monday May 2.

Heavy clouds. A poor glimpse of a probable Siberian Thrush. A pair of Red-necked Stints and two Terek Sandpipers. A Pacific Golden Plover. A seeming increase in Asian Brown Flycatchers. Rain from late morning on.

bk y wag AP9F1304

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschtschensis ©Robin Newlin

Tuesday May 3.

Rain and high winds through the morning. The afternoon had gradual clearing and some new shorebirds: a Black-winged Stilt and a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. The Chinese Grosbeak flock seems to be slowly increasing: about a dozen birds now. In the evening, a glimpsed Pintail Snipe and a heron heard very close by, perhaps a Japanese Night Heron. Several more Richard’s Pipits and a Blyth’s Pipit. More White-eyes: this time Chestnut Flanked, and the first Siskins of the trip.

bk ob pipit AP9F0771

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni ©Robin Newlin


bk chinese grosbeak AP9F1935

Chinese Grosbeak  Euphona migratoria ©Robin Newlin


Wednesday May 4.

Few new species. A Green Sandpiper. A small flock of Ashy Minivets. In the late afternoon, a sudden arrival of warblers (mostly Yellow-brows) and wagtails (Yellow, Grey and White). A female Paradise Flycatcher at the end of the boardwalk.

Thursday May 5.

I spent most of the morning with the bunting group: 2 Yellow, several Little and Yellow-browed and one each of Yellow-breasted and Chestnut. A little apart from this group appeared the trip’s highlight: a Red-headed Bunting, which eventually joined the main band. Also in the area, a Forest Wagtail, a Chinese Blackbird, a Tiger Shrike, and my season’s first (heard) Eurasian Cuckoo. The afternoon brought the boat from Gunsan and many birders, all of whom, after some anxious searching, were able to see the rare bunting, now loosely associating with 3 Yellow-breasted Buntings. Nearby, 5 Black Drongos seemed newly in.

bk rh bunting AP9F2069

Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps ©Robin Newlin


bk  redhead AP9F2191

Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps ©Robin Newlin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.