Bird News from Yoli Park
Two birders from Japan told me that they couldn’t make it this year to Busan, so I volunteered to go in their place in May. For nearly two weeks I stayed at Taejongdae, getting up at 4:30am each morning, and hiking to the watch point at the Observation Deck on the southernmost tip of the island of Yeongdo-gu. Along the way, I could hear an Oriental Turtle Dove, Eastern Great Tit and the lazy cry of a Large-billed Crow. I get to the watch point, and begin as soon as I get there to keep an eye out for Oriental Honey Buzzards, the target of my study. The mission was to record all the ones I see for those (almost) two weeks in order to gather data for the Asian Raptor Research & Conservation Network (ARRCN). Each day I would record the raptors I had seen, how many, at what time, as well as the weather conditions: temperature, wind speed, pressure, and cloud cover. My results can be seen at: http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~raptor/Korea2013spring.html.
Other birds that I would see while buzzard watching were: Black-naped Oriole, Osprey, Brown-eared Bulbul, Eurasian Magpie, Pygmy Woodpecker, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Daurian Redstart, Black-tailed Gull, Oriental Dollarbird, Blue Rock Thrush, Barn Swallow, Japanese Bush Warbler, Eurasian Jay, and Arctic Warbler. There was also a possibly mated pair of Peregrines and Black Kites.
For the final three days, while walking on the path to head back after I was finished at around 11:30am, I wondered why there were two men staring intently at the foliage scattered on a wall, with cameras. At one time, one of the men actually climbed up the slope a little and peered closely. Obviously there was something interesting going on, but I could never tell what it was. Until the last day, when they now had a camera with a telephoto lens, up on the slope, a foot away from a log (totally missing the point of what that kind of lens is for), with two more cameras that they held pointed at that fixed point. I saw now, that they had been and were photographing a two adult, three chick, Japanese White-eye family. The adults were trying to feed their chicks, but it was unfortunately and painfully obvious that they were not happy with the presence of strangers and their equipment watching them so closely. I was frustrated and helpless.
I don’t know the outcome of that bird family and those…photographers. I just hope the chicks got fed well, grew up quickly, and got out of there as soon as they could.