Bird News by Jason Loghry
Was a cold yet pleasantly sunny morning with a temperature of -2°C and a slight breeze. On the way to Junam, in Jinyoung, 5 Cinereous Vultures were soaring above a hill along the back roads. At Junam, most of the lake was frozen but a few Whooper Swans could be seen. 3 White-tailed Sea Eagle sat perched in the trees near the south end while the eastern edge was ice-free, allowing many Northern Shoveler, Falcated Duck, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal, hundreds of Common Pochard (in the late afternoon had a good look through these but no Baer’s unfortunately!), Coot, and 50+ Smew to feed. There were some Black-headed Gulls and a line of Eastern Great Egrets on the distant pipeline. On the opposite rice fields were a flock of 200+ Greater White-fronted Geese and an Eastern Buzzard.
Moving on to Dongpan, with little ice on the water, there were several Whooper Swan, some distant Eastern Taiga Bean Geese, a few Falcated Duck, a few Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, many Spot-billed Duck, a few Eurasian Teal.
I kept an extra eye on Bean Geese. You can read about Eastern Taiga Bean and Tundra Bean Geese here:
At the wooded area, many Yellow-throated Bunting, a few Rustic Bunting, some Long-tailed Tit, Eastern Great Tit, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, 20-30 Goldcrest in the pine, a small group of 10 Brambling, and most impressive was a stunning Siberian Accentor foraging in the scrub. Pale Thrush were also about, as were Dusky and Naumann’s Thrush. Paid particularly close attention to these latter thrushes in hopes of finding something out of the usual. Many Dusky and at least five Naumann’s were observed throughout the day.
In the rice fields near Dongpan, 900+ Greater White-fronted Geese, 8 White-naped Cranes, about a dozen Northern Lapwing, some Far Eastern Skylark, the occasional Bull-headed Shrike, two Eastern Buzzard, two Northern Goshawk, two Eurasian Kestrel and a Cinereous Vulture in the sky.
Before departing, had one last peak at Junam in the early afternoon. Winds picked up but the temperature was up to 2°C. There few visitors, so there were several large flocks of Greater-white Fronted Goose dispersed throughout the close-by rice fields. One of these flocks included 5 Swan Goose. Hundreds of ducks were on the unfrozen parts of the lake, mostly Mallard, Northern Pintail, and Smew. Joining the Whooper Swan on the water were some Greater White-fronted Goose, Eastern Taiga Bean Goose, and 6 more Swan Goose. A Hoopoe and at least a dozen White-cheeked Starling could be found on their usual patch. Besides the many great views of Dusky Thrush, the most exciting bird was a Japanese Quail accidentally flushed when looking through the geese for Lessers.