Bird News from Nial Moores
The weather map showed a cold front crossing the ROK, bringing in winds from far to the north: usually good weather for visible migration (especially on Yellow Sea islands). The sight and sound of a flock of 140 Brown-eared Bulbul flying past the office window, followed immediately after by 15 Eurasian Jay and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, meant I had to down my morning coffee at high speed and head out to the southern end of Igidae for some “viz-migging”. Despite more ongoing construction, flocks of tits (Coal, Long-tailed, Eastern Great, Varied and Marsh) were feeding on the small headland, and several flocks of Brown-eared Bulbul could be seen undulating southward out over the bay. Between 9:00 and 11:00, a total of 1,238 Brown-eared Bulbul were counted flying either south (towards Taejongdae) or southeast (towards Japan) – with 595 in the first 30 minutes alone – with a Richard’s Pipit, two Brambling, the personal first Eurasian Siskin of the autumn and at least 60 Eastern Great Tit also logged. Numbers of passerines on the move dropped steadily from about 10:00, when the first Eurasian Sparrowhawks started to arrive in off the sea. Although some of the birds might have been local bloggers, between 10:00 and 13:30 about 45 Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 25 Eastern Buzzard (including at least one with an orangey-rufous tail, with broad dark sub-terminal band), five Northern Hobby, three Eurasian Kestrel, three Northern Goshawk, two Grey-faced Buzzard, two Black Kite, two Peregrine and two Eurasian Kestrel came in off the sea, either from the east or northeast, with most then gaining height and moving off slowly southwest over the city proper. The remaining area of open ground at the north of Igidae was also extremely birdy, with the Long-tailed Shrike still, 16 Daurian Redstart and at least 270 Eastern Great Tit. The woodland too contained several larger than usual bird-waves made up of many of the same species, with in addition five Goldcrest, five Yellow-throated Bunting, a further 30+ Eurasian Siskin and a possible Yellow-bellied Tit. Not much compared to Socheong on a good day, perhaps – but still really impressive for city-birding so close to home!