Bird News by Jason Loghry
It’s been another marvellous week for birding, but this time in my own neighbourhood. I was tipped off a few months back that Bunsungsan is a reliable spot for migrating flycatchers, great for raptor watching, and if I remember correctly, is possible to find wintering rosefinches (Pallas’s? can’t wait to find out). Skies were clear on Tuesday afternoon, so I headed up to investigate. In total, 5 Eurasian Hobbies were moving swiftly through the sky feeding mid-flight. They could also be heard calling. I learned that Eurasian Hobby are mainly insectivorous and their migratory movements often correspond with dragonfly migration. Interestingly, there were several dragonflies in the sky. On Wednesday and Thursday, I saw no Hobbies but a couple of unidentified Accipiters (sparrowhawks) and some Barn Swallows. Near the temple, there were great numbers of passerines feeding in a dense area, notably flycatchers and some Long-tailed Tits. There were more than 25 Grey-streaked Flycatchers, two Asian Brown Flycatchers, two Dark-sided Flycatchers, two Blue and White Flycatchers, two Yellow-browed Warblers, a dozen Arctic Warblers (sensu lato – more likely Kamchatka Leaf Warbler based on a sound recording), but most significant were Daurian Redstarts, with up to 38. Eurasian Jays, a few Varied Tits, Coal Tits, Marsh Tits, Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers, 3 Grey-headed Woodpeckers, 4 White-backed Woodpeckers (with three in the same tree), 3 Bull-headed Shrikes, and even a Chinese Grosbeak (personal first on the mainland).