Bird News from Jason Loghry & Ha Jung Moon
On Saturday morning the wind was strong, and there seemed to be high traces of dust in the sky. Still it was a great day to be outside with a high (record) temperature of 18 C in the afternoon. Our plan was to “gull” the coast. There was a recent report of a barrovianus-type Glaucous Gull as well as the Iceland Gull that I missed three weeks before (see here), so both became our target species for the day. Before arriving at Pohang, just outside of Gyeongju, I spotted a large flock of about 100+ Rook, which included 3 Daurian Jackdaw.
After meeting up, we visited the harbor. Mostly present were Black-tailed Gull, with some Vega and Mongolian, far fewer gulls than on the 16th.
Not seeing much, we decided to move on. Several flocks were roosting on the undisturbed portions of the rocky coastline. There were also hundreds of gulls offshore, but most were too distant to be identified and obscured by a heavy fog. There were some Taimyr Gull; a few being very interesting, Slaty-backed, Black-headed, Mew (Common) Gull, but again mostly Black-tailed Gull, with some Vega, and Mongolian.
Although we searched high and low, we were unable to find any Iceland. But we found 15 Glaucous Gulls. Almost all were pallidissimus, save one gull, fitting many of the criteria found in a barrovianus; smaller sized than pallidissimus, a shorter smaller bill, broad dark tip, short primary projection, dark markings still visible on the breast, yet having very pale eyes. An image is posted below.
Other species observed include Sanderling, Brant Goose (same as on Feb. 16), Harlequin Duck, Arctic Loon, Red-throated Loon, Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Rhinoceros Auklet, stunning views of an Ancient Murrelet, Great Cormorant, and Red-breasted Merganser.
Glaucuous Gulls Larus hyperboreus with immature Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus: how best to separate subspecies of Glaucous? Image © Jason Loghry.
Taimyr Gull Larus heuglini taimyrensis. Image © Jason Loghry.