East Busan, April 24th, 26th and 30th

Bird News from Nial Moores.

Narcissus Flycatcher

With mostly light winds and rain overnight on 23rd and 24th and for much of the 26th on the 29th, good numbers of migrants were found during each visit to my local forested park on 24th, 26th and 30th, with an especially strong Japanese-flavour.

In addition to all of the local regulars (including stunning views of White-backed, Grey-headed and Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers and abundant Vinous-throated Parrotbills), about 50 migrant species were logged – with typically widespread (in Korea) migrants like Ashy Minivet and Olive-backed Pipit, and a South Coast-special mix of Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, Grey Thrush, Brown-headed Thrush, Japanese Robin and Narcissus Flycatcher which were all heard and / or seen each of the three visits.

The habitat: quite difficult for seeing migrants – and a real challenge for digiscoping!

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni © Nial Moores

Selected counts are as follow:

  • Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia. One on 26th.
  • White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus. Two on 26th.
  • Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis. One on 26th.
  • Japanese Bush Warbler Horornis diphone. One on 24th.
  • Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus. One on 24th.
  • Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes. Two in song on 24th and 26th.
  • Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides. At least seven on 24th and ten on 26th and 30th, with the vast majority of these singing birds.
  • Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus. Six on 24th and 26th, and 28 on 30th.
  • Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica. On 30th one cracking adult male davisoni seen well, if briefly; with another (subspecies unknown) glimpsed in flight.
Davisoni Siberian Thrush © Nial Moores. This bird perched right out in the open for a good five seconds, before using every branch and clump of leaves to stay largely hidden.
  • White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea. Five on 24th, and singles on 26th and 30th.
  • Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum. Twelve on 24th, five on 26th and six on 30th.
Male Grey-backed Thrush © Nial Moores
  • Grey Thrush Turdus cardis. Five on 24th, three on 26th and two on 30th.
  • Eye-browed Thrush Turdus obscurus. 15 on 26th and two on 30th.
Eye-browed Thrush © Nial Moores. Typically, this is a scarce species in the southeast (perhaps most likely in April) but common on offshore Yellow Sea islands, espcially from about May 5th onwards.
  • Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus. Two on 24th, 10-15 on 26th and 8 on 30th.
  • Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana. Eight on 24th, three on 26th and 16 on 30th. All males were of the Japan-breeding nominate subspecies.
Blue-and-white Flycatcher © Nial Moores
  • Siberian Blue Robin Larvivora cyane. Three on 24th, two on 26th and four on 30th.
  • Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans. Two on 30th, including one singing together with a Siberian Blue and a Japanese Robin…Has anyone else heard three robin species in song together? Was a first for me.
  • Japanese Robin Larvivora akahige. Five on 24th, four on 26th and two on 30th (with two of these singing birds apparently in the same territory from mid-April onwards).
Japanese Robins © Nial Moores. Digiscoped in mid-April and still in (temporary?) territory on April 30th
  • Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina. A minimum 29 on 24th, 26 on 26th and 34 on 30th, with strong evidence of movement through the area provided by concentrations of different birds in different areas, and a much larger proportion of Second Calendar-year males and females on 30th.
Narcissus Flycatcher © Nial Moores
  • Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki. An adult male in song on 30th.
Muigmaki © Nial Moores

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