Junam Reservoir, February 2

Birds News by Jason Loghry

Having a late start, the early afternoon sky was clear and winds seemed low. It was a typical day at Junam, with several flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese (300+) scattered about the rice fields mixed with Whooper Swan , Mallard, Spot-billed Duck, and Northern Pintail . Three groups of White-naped Cranes (18) flew over and continued on passed Junam. At the main area, our first impression was how busy it was so close to the reservoir. Hundreds of visitors filled the street and main path walking, cycling, and running. While scanning the lake, another flock of White-naped Cranes (22) flew over. Still, I wondered where most of the birds had gone. There were only a few swan feeding, some egrets, and a distant Smew. The wind had picked up, the water level seemed high, and there was a White-tailed Sea Eagle (juv.) perched at the southern edge of Junam, so perhaps that had something to do with it. But then suddenly on the main road a group of seven or so horseback riders galloped by swiftly and noisily, turning heads and bringing up the entire flock of feeding birds (close to a thousand) opposite the lake. The birds then circled frantically above, some coming down on the lake, some leaving the reservoir.

Education signs posted around the reservoir warning of the impact of disturbance on migratory birds could be really useful, especially with so many visitors.

We decided to leave and bird the surrounding areas. We then found the usual Dusky Thrush, Naumann’s Thrush, White-cheeked Starling, Bull-headed Shrike, a few Buff-bellied Pipit, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Buntings, Great Tits, and a few flocks of Far Eastern Skylark. Birds of note were 2 Eurasian Hoopoe, and a Japanese Waxwing. Navigating around the lake we found where perhaps many of the birds had gone to duck away from the crowds. There were more than a hundred White-naped Cranes, some Whooper Swan, Taiga Bean Geese, Common Pochard, some Falcated Duck, about two dozen Eurasian Spoonbill, and Smew. We observed quietly from a distance and then as the sun went down, the cranes took flight. On our way home to Gimhae, two more White-tailed Sea Eagle were observed.

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