East Jeju, May 5th-8th

Bird News from Nial Moores, with Kim Kimi & Kim Yeiweon (Bijarim Ro) and members of Seongsan People who Care for the Environment group.

Outstanding highlights included single Japanese Night Heron, Steppe Eagle and Caspian Tern, all found during formal survey of the biodiverse hotspot of the Bijarim Ro, still threatened by road-widening, and rapid assessments of five areas in Seongsan, SE Jeju – currently also all  threatened by the proposed construction of the massive second Jeju airport.

On 6th and 7th, 52 bird species were found along the Bijarim Ro, including a single briefly-booming Japanese Night Heron; quelpartensis White-backed Woodpecker; seven Eurasian Whimbrel and at least two Pin-tailed Snipe; no less than six species of flycatcher (including one still-unidentified Narcissus-type); single singing Sakhalin Leaf Warbler; and a spectacular passing squadron of six Needle-tailed Swift.

Jeju-endemic subspecies of White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos quelpartensis 제주큰오색딱다구리 © Nial Moores
Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus variegatus 중부리도요 © Nial Moores
Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta 제비딱새 © Nial Moores
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia 흰눈썹황금새 © Nial Moores: last year too, there were at least two territories along one small stretch of stream here.
Unidentified Narcissus-type Flycatcher/ 황금새 type© Nial Moores

During the afternoon of the 7th at the coast, distant but still decent views of the long-staying Steppe Eagle over Hado, and rather better views of a loafing Caspian Tern – still a rare species in the ROK.

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 붉은부리큰제비갈매기© Nial Moores

On the 8th, an interesting mix of habitats was visited, with the day started by three Northern Boobooks and several singing White’s Thrushes; followed by prolonged looks at a pair of Peregrine Falcon, several Blue Rock Thrush, a glimpsed Rufous-tailed Robin and many hundreds of Streaked Shearwater passing close to shore, with the biggest miss three apparently rapidly-diving alcids (Crested Murrelets?).

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius philippensis 바다직박구리 © Nial Moores: a stunning and sometimes surprisingly numerous species in suitable habitat

Members of the local group help count passing Streaked Shearwaters © Nial Moores

We finished the rapid assessments with a quick survey of woodland and a small freshwater wetland which produced another White-backed Woodpecker and the personal first Arctic Warbler of the spring (a typical first date for this always late arriving species: often confused with Eastern Crowned or Pale Legged Leafs) in addition to good views of several full breeding-plumaged Eastern Cattle Egret…beautiful!

Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 황로 © Nial Moores

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