Birds News from Nial Moores and Prof. Aaron Dollar
On the 8th, a trip across to Yubu in very poor conditions (neap tides and heavy rain, followed by strong winds…) was nonetheless very successful, with five or six Spoon-billed Sandpiper (including one with a reddish-orange leg flag) and 2-3 Nordmann’s Greenshank the obvious highlights, with a wonderful supporting cast of c. 1,300 Far Eastern Oystercatcher, 250+ Far Eastern Curlew, 250 Great Knot, 30+ Black-faced Spoonbill, 8+ Chinese Egret and 95 Saunders’s Gull. In woodland, we then enjoyed close encounters with two Northern Boobook and an Oriental Scops Owl, as well as brief looks at a White’s Thrush and a Rufous-tailed Robin. The last unexpected bird of the day was a Blyth’s Pipit, seen well, if only in flight.
The morning of the 9th started with 2-3 Mugimaki and several Asian Brown Flycatchers next to the motel, followed by 1-2 Yellow-bellied Tit heard and best of all a loose group of six Amur Falcon hawking dragonflies over riverside rice-fields. Because of yet more road and bridge construction the afternoon at Seosan was much less productive, however. Highlights included a very roughly estimated 8,000 Tundra Beans and a massive concentration of Barn Swallow at dusk, with repeat counts suggesting that there were at least 20,000 birds present (with the flock also containing one house martin sp.). The biggest miss was a grey shrike sp. seen in flight (NM only). Although views were brief, the bird did not appear to show the expected wing-stripe of Chinese Grey, and also seemed to have pale lores and a pinkish-tone to the bill (all suggesting Steppe Grey).
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus © Nial Moores
Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer © Nial Moores
Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia © Nial Moores
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki © Nial Moores
(all images taken with a handheld Sony Compact digital camera through a truly superb Swavorski scope)