Bird News from Leslie Hurteau
I took early morning trip to Udo on May 25th to see what spring birds could be found. Udo, translated as “Cow Island”, is a fair sized island off the east coast of Jeju, accessible via Seongsan and Jongdal ports. The island is famous for peanuts, and like most popular parts of Jeju, it is littered with expensive cafes and tourists bumbling about in rented bikes and electric vehicles. Despite this, the island maintains a lot of its original beauty and features a diverse landscape, ranging from farmland, cliffs, forest, and of course coast.
The ferry ride was short and oddly enough had a pair of Barn Swallows on deck and what I think was their nest. I’m not sure how they can manage nesting on one of the most busiest boats on Jeju, but perhaps it works.
The most numerous bird species on the island ended up being Red-rumped Swallows, with a large group of over a hundred individuals feeding in the air and resting on wires by noon. A few Sand Martins were mixed in, along with local summer visitors Barn Swallows and Pacific Swifts.
Along the coast were resident Temminck’s Cormorants, Grey Herons, and a Pacific Reed Heron, in addition to Little Ringed Plovers and Grey Tailed Tattlers.
Through the fields and interesting discovery was 7 Rooks and a Daurian Jackdaw, incredibly late to find them in Korea in late May. Udo is known to have hundreds of wintering Rooks, so it’s possible these were stragglers that delayed their northward migration for whatever reason.
Other more expected birds included migrants and summer visitors: Oriental Reed Warblers, a Kamchatka Leaf Warbler, and Dollarbirds. As well as the regular Jeju residents: Oriental Greenfinch, Warbling White-eyes, Japanese Bush Warblers, Oriental Turtledoves, Oriental Magpies, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, and Brown-eared Bulbuls.
The boat trip back was not very birdy, but several of the resident Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins were seen in the distance.
The eBird checklist can be found here: