Geoje-do, November 6-11

Bird news from Matt Poll

Tuesday 6th
The Winter Wrens have arrived in force on Geoje! I saw nine noisy and scrappy examples on one small stream, and it seemed like they were scuffling over prime habitat. A single female Greater Scaup has been seen on a saltwater canal near my apartment for about a week. Nearby, several hundred Spot-billed Duck and a dozen Eurasian Teal were feeding busily.

Thursday 8th
After a chilly ride out to the west coast I spotted a lone Eurasian Spoonbill resting in a reedy lagoon in the company of two dozen Grey Heron. I found yet more Winter Wrens at three mountain stream sites, with 3-6 noisy individuals seen at each.

Sunday 11th
After having a planned Saturday trip to a nearby offshore island scrapped by extremely high winds, it was good to get out and get a full day’s birding in at ‘Grey Bunting Mountain’. On the way, I heard several Chinese Penduline Tits calling from a reedbed. Aside from the expected forest mix of tits and woodpeckers, with several Goldcrest mixed in, I spied my first Red-flanked Bluetail of the winter near the peak, a shy female tail-flicking near the trail. I noticed the Winter Wrens have spaced themselves a bit more sensibly along the stream. Soon after this, I heard a few thrushes calling from deeper in the woods, and their calls sounded a bit thin and different from the Pale Thrushes I encounter there regularly. I made my way to a remote gravesite fringed with fruiting berry trees and hunkered down. About 45 minutes later, six Eyebrowed Thrush returned and fed casually on the berries for about ten minutes. A special birding moment, and a real treat to watch!

Greater Scaup Aythya marila Photo © Matt Poll.

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes. Photo © Matt Poll.

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia. Photo © Matt Poll.

Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus. Photo © Matt Poll.

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