Bird News by Jason Loghry with Nial Moores and Ha Jung Moon
Conditions were Spring-like with a clear sky, a moderate breeze in the morning, and a temperature reaching 18 °C. Our first stop was a location of previously recorded Scaly-sided Merganser. Instead of finding Scalies in their natural habitat, we found river banks being destroyed and turned into a construction site. It’s always devastating to see this kind of loss. The only birds to be seen here were a few Japanese Wagtail.
Moving on, we visited near Imha Dam, where we found a pair of loafing Scaly-sided Mergansers. This type of habitat is atypical for the species. We also found Common Merganser, an Arctic Loon (NM & HJM), Mandarin Duck, Smew, Mallard, and Spot-billed Duck. Raptors seen include White-tailed Eagle and Eurasian Sparrowhawk.
We were able to get great views of a few Eurasian Bullfinches (rosacea), Naumann’s Thrush, and Dusky Thrush. Grey-capped Greenfinches were numerous and actively singing. Siskins, Bramblings, Long-tailed Tit, Eastern Great Tit, and Marsh Tit were foraging in a patch of tall pine trees. And then the morning quickly took an exciting turn when we heard what sounded very much like a Chinese Nuthatch. Seconds later, a remarkable find (first by Dr. Moores), a Yellow-bellied Tit (+1).
Other birds include Long-tailed Rosefinch, Pallas’s Rosefinch, Hawfinch, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, and Siberian Accentor.
In the afternoon, at the national forest museum, we were able to observe another interesting find, an adult male griseiventris Eurasian Bullfinch, foraging with three other males and a female (rosacea). Hoping for more, we explored the park thoroughly. Unfortunately, the rest of the park turned out to be rather quiet, bird-wise. There were two raptors, a Northern Goshawk and an Eastern Buzzard, a few Pallas’s Rosefinch, some Brambling, Siskin, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Varied Tit, Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, but all in low numbers.