Geoje-do, December 2-3

Bird News from Matt Poll

I had a weekend filled with interesting birds in my own patch, as the weather started to finally get frosty. On Saturday I went back to the Light-vented Bulbul spot and saw a pair of Light-vented Bulbuls being mercilessly harassed by a large pack of Brown-eared Bulbuls for the better part of an hour. One of the LVB was missing its tail. Nearby, I finally caught up with a Long-tailed Shrike that was first spotted a few weeks ago.
On Sunday I stuck closer to home, and I spotted several Geoje firsts. A first winter female Naumann’s Thrush perched in a scrubby area of a farm field before flying off. I used to see these birds quite often up in Ilsan (near Seoul), but I’ve never run into one this far south. Shortly after that, a Red-billed Starling rocketed into some brush at my feet, hotly pursued, once again, by Brown-eared Bulbuls. Apparently they migrate south through nearby Tsushima Island, and winter further south. It made me wonder if this individual was a late migrant or a potential winter visitor. Whatever the case, it felt like it was fresh in, given its disheveled/lethargic behaviour.
On the nearby saltwater canal I’ve noted at least a dozen active Little Grebes, where last year I only saw a handful.

Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis. Photo © Matt Poll.

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach. Photo © Matt Poll.

Naumann’s Thrush Turdus naumanni. Photo © Matt Poll.

Red-billed Starling Sturnus sericeus. Photo © Matt Poll.

3 comments on “Geoje-do, December 2-3

  1. I’ve noticed the same thing- Brown-eared Bulbuls bullying the light-vented. . I’ll be surprised if they actually manage to colonise the peninsula.

  2. It was amazing to watch! The tailless LVB would flop into a thicket of bushes and hide and the ‘healthy’ one perched above, on lookout, while the BEB circled and harassed. This was repeated a few times over an hour. I’m hoping I’ll be able to go back this weekend to see how the LVB are doing.

  3. Wow…I wonder if the BE Bulbuls actually pulled the tail feathers out of it. I saw something similar to what you describe on Socheong, there were two BE Bulbuls bullying a LVB until it managed to escape into a thick shrub.

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