Dadaepo, January 1

First sunrise, Dadaepo. Photo © Jason Loghry.

After a fast, fun night of celebration, I headed to Dadaepo to catch our first sun. Hundreds of other folks had the same idea. Quietly up the hill to the southern side, we moved. Black-headed Gulls and Great Cormorants flew back and forth across the dark open water. The sun finally showed itself and a wave of cheers filled the sky before the mass of excited people quickly retreated.

I strayed into the woods for a walk. My peaceful walk was made even more so when a gorgeous White’s Thrush darted in and perched on a tree in front of me. Silently, it stayed for a while and then suddenly dropped down to a stream for a drink of water. Small flurries of Yellow-throated Buntings, Eastern Great Tits, Varied Tits, Brown-eared Bulbuls, and Japanese White-eyes filled the trees and bushes around me. They too seemed attracted to this small stream. Just below us was the beach. Several Eurasian Wigeons and pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers shared the water with a few lone Great Crested Grebes. Two White Wagtails, lugens, inspected the beach.

Back in the woods a couple Pygmy Woodpeckers and a White-backed Woodpecker enjoyed their breakfast. On the floor, I was pleased to hear and see Pale Thrushes. There were three. Has there been a shortage of thrushes this winter?

Curious about the gulls out at Doyodo, I left the woods. The beach has especially seen a lot of development in the past few months. Today there seemed to be a lot more dunes than I ever remembered and a growing number of reeds. On my way out, I watched an Osprey fly up and down over the water until finally dipping in and out with a fish. No sign of any eagles but did see a Black Kite. A long line of large white-headed gulls, mostly Vega and Mongolian, sat along the shore of Doyodo. Several Whooper Swans could be seen in the distance.

Having seen a White’s Thrush and even the Pale Thrushes, I was already quite pleased for having stayed up all night. And then the morning got even better. A Saunders’s Gull was feeding just opposite the shore in a shallow body of water! The new year started to feel kind of epic. With hopes it continues to and this year brings greatness to conservation everywhere, happy new year !

White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea. Photo © Jason Loghry.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator. Photo © Jason Loghry.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba lugens. Photo © Jason Loghry.

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