Geoje-do, week of October 21-28

Bird News from Matt Poll

It’s starting to feel like late fall in Korea, with crisp temperatures at night. It’s also been a fruitful week of birding on Geoje, with over 60 species seen. The ducks of winter have started to trickle in, with several hundred Spot-billed Duck spotted on the island’s bodies of water, as well as small numbers of Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Greater Scaup, in addition to several Common Coot. Returning Little Grebe and Black-headed Gull add to the wintery feel.
Also of note this week were three Long-billed Plovers (which I only see in winter here), about 15 Eastern Buzzard,
a good mix of Woodpeckers (Japanese Pygmy, Great Spotted, White-backed, and Grey-headed), still high double-digit flocks of Eurasian Siskin at several mountain locations, and groups of 6-20 Yellow-browed Warbler mixed in with flocks of mostly Long-tailed Tits at the bases of two separate mountains. A nice treat on the 28th was a large and raucus parliament of at least 450 Rooks, with a dapper Daurian Jackdaw thrown in for contrast. Nearby, I also had a thrilling close encounter with an aggressive Tiger Keelback as the sun set.
Best of the week was a female Grey Bunting seen skulking near a small mountain stream relatively close to downtown Gohyeon, early on the morning of October 21st.

Grey Bunting Emberiza variabilis. Photo © Matt Poll.

Green Sandpiper (left) Tringa ochropus, Long-billed Plover Charadrius placidus. Photo © Matt Poll.

Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Photo © Matt Poll.

Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus. Photo © Matt Poll.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. Photo © Matt Poll.

White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos. Photo © Matt Poll.

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