Birding in Seoul city: Baeksasil Valley, February 18, 2023

Baeksasil Valley, bordering Buam-dong and Pyeongchang-dong in Seoul, is not only famous as a summer retreat in the 19th century, with some remaining ruins, but also as a protected area, in particular due to Korean salamanders living around the clear stream in the valley. It is also quite a pleasant place for forest bird watching in the city. The combination of water, some rather old and large trees, and open garden areas more toward the top make it a great habitat for many different species.

My walk on a Saturday, which was surprisingly calm, with only a few hikers along the more popular inner part and the tail to Bugak Skyway, was in a time, when winter birds already get more nervous, preparing to leave, and in stunning breeding plumage. Among the most frequent residents are woodpeckers (12 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 8 Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers and 3 Grey-headed Woodpeckers in this rather small valley means they are everywhere). Hawfinches, Bramblings and Siberian Long-tailed Rosefinches were typical winter visitors, as were Rustic Buntings and Siberian Accentors, while Yellow-throated Buntings, Tits, Jays, Azure-winged Magpies and the Winter Wren were residents. All in all a surprisingly calm morning, with some great views of smaller winter birds.

You can see the full list at:

Siberian Accentor Prunella montanella © Bernhard Seliger
Long-tailed tit Aegithalos caudatus © Bernhard Seliger
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla © Bernhard Seliger
Siberian Long-tailed Rosefinch Carpodacus sibiricus © Bernhard Seliger
The mixture of gardens and open areas, forest edge, large trees in the forest and stream provides a great habitat for many species © Bernhard Seliger
The forested are is protected as “Baeksasil-valley Ecosystem Landscape Conservation Area”, in particular having Korean salamanders, minnows and crayfish in the small stream © Bernhard Seliger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.