A particularly rainy but very enjoyable weekend was spent in Seogwipo in early May, the southern part of Jeju Island. The morning of May 6th was spent birdwatching in Cheonjiyeon waterfalls park, Saeseom Park, and then Geolmae Park, including the upper trail linking Geolmae with Cheonjiyeon. This area is incredibly gorgeous with a variety of vegetation, to the point where it doesn’t even feel like Korea. The fact that it is in the second biggest city on Jeju Island is even more amazing. These parks are known to be very productive throughout the year, with many rarities being spotted here over the years.
The first part was spent in Cheonjiyeon, walking up and down the main trail to the waterfall. Mandarin Ducks were found in the stream, and singing Black-naped Orioles and Dollarbirds could be heard higher up in the canopy. In the harbour area, a Chinese Egret was seen briefly resting on some washed up leaves.
Further on at Saeseom Park, a small island connected via bridge, we were welcomed by a brilliant male Black Paradise Flycatcher. It’s not often you get great looks at one out in the open like this, just on the edge of the forest itself. Further in a female was seen, as well as a Mugimaki, buntings, thrushes, leaf warblers, and a calling Oriental Cuckoo.
Back up to the trails above Cheonjiyeon, some Boreal Digging Frogs were caught in the act, and several more heard. Further up the trail, in Geolmae, a gorgeous male Narcissus Flycatcher was seen well. Other birds spotted mainly included the resident species such as Warbling White-eyes, Brown-eared Bulbuls, Oriental Turtle Doves, and egrets.
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