Tag Archives: eyebrowed thrush

Spring Migration in Jeju City Parks, May 2024

Bird news and photos by Leslie Hurteau.

Spring migration continued to be visible throughout Jeju City as May begun. Some days had noticeably more migrants than others, particularly after rainy nights. The more colourful migrants were still coming through in early May, such as Mugimaki Flycatchers, and Eyebrowed Thrush. Sakhalin Leaf Warblers were still present, with their distinctive song being heard in local parks. Grey-streaked Flycatchers also began to make an appearance, particularly as the month progressed.

Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta 제비딱새, perched high in a tree. They seem to show up by early May.
Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides 사할린되솔새, more common on Jeju than the very similar Pale-legged Leaf Warbler during spring migration. Easily discernable by the distinct song and usually also by a single note call that differs in tone.
Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus 흰눈썹붉은배지빠귀, these are the last of the thrushes to move through in migration, and in past years I’ve seen them show up by early May.
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki 노랑딱새, a female perched in a tree in Shinsan Park. A male was seen in the same park in a different patch of trees.
Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans 울새 hopping around the undergrowth in Shinsan Park.
Chinese Many-tooth Snake Sibynophis chinensis 비바리뱀, Jeju is the only place where you can find this species of snake in Korea. This individual was found in Sarabong Park on a particularly slow morning of birding. Snakes are just one of many other fascinating types of animals to find while out birding.

Coastal areas in the city became a lot quieter by mid-May, with only the usual residents around: Grey Herons, Blue Rock Thrush, Pacific Reef Egrets, and the occasional Temminck’s Cormorant and Black-tailed Gull. Some shorebirds were still moving through, such as Little Ringed Plovers and Grey-tailed Tattlers.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 왜가리 trying to find a landing spot at Tapdong Plaza, downtown Jeju.
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 방울새, sipping stream water at Oedo Eco Park. Greenfinches can be found on Jeju year round, and already by mid-May young individuals were feeding with their parents.
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes 노랑발도요, a fairly common shorebird to find on Jeju’s rocky shoreline in the right season.

By mid-May, most migrant songbirds had already passed through, with some usual late migrants beginning to move through, such as Kamchatka Leaf Warblers, Black-naped Orioles, and Tiger Shrikes. Summer residents such as Grey-backed Thrush were already raising young by late May, alongside residents such as Large-billed Crows, Oriental Magpies, and Eurasian Tree Sparrows. One particularly interesting sighting was a Pacific Loon in mid-breeding plumage, seen in Jeju Harbour in late May.

Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus 솔새 in Shinsan Park, identified purely on song and call. A few Arctic Warblers dropped by the park as well, but Kamchatka seem to be more common and outnumber Arctic on Jeju during spring migration.
Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus 솔새 singing in a tree in Shinsan Park.
Pacific Loon Gavia pacifica 회색머리아비, seen late May in Jeju Harbour by Sarabong Park.
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 되지빠귀, an adult individual watching over fledglings.
A fledgling Grey-backed Thrush in Sarabong Park. A couple weeks later these short and plump young had already grown and had more adult shapes and sizes, while retaining the spotting and mottled juvenile plumage.

By the end of May, Oriental Reed Warblers were heard, and sometimes seen, in local parks. Black Paradise Flycatchers and Fairy Pittas were heard singing (moving through, or attempting to breed?), and Northern Boobooks calling late in the evening. The occasional Kamchatka Leaf Warbler was still heard singing, as well as Tiger Shrikes and Oriental Dollarbirds seen and heard moving through very late May / early June.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 제비, a common sight in Jeju in spring through to fall. By May many individuals have already started nests.
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 개개비 along the Sanji stream in downtown Jeju. This individual was seen catching insects for extra energy to continue the journey to its breeding grounds.