Socheong Island, April 20-21

Bird News from Subhojit Chakladar and Bradlee Sulentic

April 20th

Light overnight rain continuing till 9am. First bird of the day was a Red Rumped Swallow right outside the pension. The Red-billed Starling was spotted on the same tree near the main village. Walking towards the lighthouse gully, there was evidence of much reduced number of birds. The species spotted were almost exactly as same as the previous day. The only new addition were a group of Eurasian Siskins, an Eurasian Jay, a couple of Naumann’s Thrush in the 2nd village and a Korean Bush Warbler. Towards the end of the day, a Little Bunting and a Red-throated Pipit were also seen. BS also saw a Black Kite and had a fleeting glimpse of a Blue and White Flycatcher.

April 21st

A Hawfinch was seen near the main village. It may or may not be the same bird seen here last Sunday by SC, on Friday by a Korean birder. North point had hardly anything worth mentioning. The resident Peregine was soaring in search of breakfast. Walking towards the lighthouse gully, a couple of Goldcrests were spotted. Right at the entrace to the gully, there was a male Bluethroat (unfortunately with the sun right behind it, most of the photos were completely washed away by the light). While returning to the main village, a Chinese Pond Heron was seen in flight. Right before leaving the island, a group of 13 Grey-faced Buzzards were seen drifting east. On the return journey, a single Ancient Murrelet was observed from the salt stained windows of the ferry.

A total of 52 species were observed, the most dominant being Dusky Thrush and Red-flanked Bluetails. Other than that, there were quite large number of Grey-backed Thrush, Stejneger’s Stonechat. Last weekend, surveying the same areas, a total of 41 species were observed. Though there was an evidence in the increase in the variety of species, the overall impression was a reduction in numbers. Its also worth noting that the facilities at the radio tower is being expanded to provide high speed connectivity on the island (specifically what seemed like expansion of the 4G/LTE infrastructure by KT), a major construction on the stream east of the main village right next to the military barracks, addition of new property on the hill just east of the main village, a sea-wall to protect the section of the road just south of the main village and a general expansion of the military defensive structures.


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