Three day tour of ROK, Dec 11-13

Bird News from Nigel Marven and Nial Moores


December 11th, Cheorwon-Arboretum-Geum River
A cool, dry dawn (c. -7C) was followed by long sunny periods, and much greyer conditions on the west coast. The morning flight of cranes in Cheorwon included excellent views of both Red-crowned (80+) and White-napeds (50+) and one Hooded Crane, while additional birds of interest there included a male Pine Bunting, a Long-eared Owl (flushed by several Cinereous Vulture landing clumsily into a clump of pine trees) and two or more Pallas’s Rosefinch (heard only by NM). Remarkably, there were no Siberian Accentor at this or other of the stops.
Close to the arboretum, a lone Solitary Snipe was seen excellently, while a long drive down to the Geum ended successfully with a flock of c. 35,000 Baikal Teal seen lifting off the river into the evening gloom.

December 12th, Geum River-Gomso Bay-Southeast River
A milder day, with perfect conditions for watching a flock of c. 30,000 Baikal Teal at the Geum River, where there was also a very late Red-throated Pipit and small numbers of Lapland Longspur, Eurasian Skylark and Far Eastern Lark overhead. Prolonged views of two Oriental Stork at Gomso Bay (three were present on 12th: Ju Yung-Ki) were then followed by excellent long looks at two pairs of Scaly-sided Merganser on the southeast river.

December 13th, Joonam & Nakdong Estuary
A cold and clear dawn (-4C) provided excellent conditions for ‘scoping decent numbers of Taiga Bean Geese (c. 2000) and small numbers of Baikal Teal (c. 100), with further species of note including probably 350+ Rufous Turtle Dove but only one Dusky Thrush. High tide at the Nakdong Estuary meant that a brief scan from the eastern shore there found rather few birds, but these included one very distant immature Steller’s Sea Eagle.


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