Deokjeok Island, October 28

Bird News from Subhojit Chakladar

A quick day-trip to Deokjeok-do, one of the onshore islands, an hours ferry ride from Incheon, provided an ideal way to make most of a wonderful and sunny Sunday. Even though not as good as Seochong and often teeming with tourists, Doekjeok-do, in my opinion can still surprise at times. This coupled with its ease of accessibility makes it an ideal place for “weekend birders”.

Though it lacked in the number of species that I’d encountered there in spring, one thing that was present in plenty on the island were Buntings. Within minutes of my arrival, I encountered a flock of Yellow-throated Buntings numbering more than a hundred birds. During my 5hr stay on the island, I found 3 more flocks of similar (and perhaps larger) size. Other species included Yellow-browed Bunting (~120), Black-faced Bunting (~300), Rustic Bunting (~70), a couple dozen Tristram’s Bunting and a single Little Bunting. Owing to a wide range of habitats and the relative ease of accessing them, birding on this island is quite easy. Other birds of note were significant numbers of Goldcrests and Eurasian Siskins.

Walking along the rice fields on the southern part of the island, I had a close encounter with a Common Buzzard and a particularly rotund bird, whose plumage looked rather interesting. Inspite of the initial excitement, upon closer observation and photographic records, it turned out to be a Siberian Stonechat (a total of 5 spotted that day). The highlight of the day (at least for me) came minutes before boarding the return ferry, in form of a Common Crossbill.

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