Tag Archives: pacific golden plover

Post-Typhoon Chanthu at Alddreu Airfield and Mara-do, September 18

Bird News from Leslie Hurteau

A Saturday was spent with a visiting friend in the southwest of Jeju Island looking for migrants. While waiting for the ferry to Mara-do, we had an hour to spare and decided to check the nearby fields. This was a wise choice as we found a Whiskered Tern feeding nearby four Black-winged Stilts. A bit further on and we discovered even more Whiskered Terns, a count of up to 40 or so at the time. Shortly after we spotted approximately 35 Oriental Pratincoles flying and feeding high in the sky, which may be a record count (or close to it) for pratincoles in the ROK. 

Oriental Pratincole Glareola madivarum 제비물떼새 © Leslie Hurteau
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 구레나룻제비갈매기 © Leslie Hurteau

We ran to catch the ferry, and boarded for Mara-do. The seas were unusually quiet on both trips despite seeing hundreds of Streaked Shearwaters off the coast by Moseulpo the day prior during the immediate tail end of Typhoon Chanthu. 

Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 노랑때까치 © Leslie Hurteau

Mara-do was fairly birdy for late September, with highlights being two Brown Shrike, a female Ashy Minivet, Striated Heron, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, and three Muscicapa species (Asian Brown, Dark-sided, and Grey Streaked Flycatchers). A couple Phylloscopus leaf warblers were seen, one of which was of the Arctic Warbler complex.

Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica 솔딱새 © Leslie Hurteau
Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta 제비딱새 © Leslie Hurteau

We had planned to move up the west coast after Mara-do, but the surprises of the morning drew us in for a late-afternoon / early evening birding of the Alddreu Airfield area. We happily refound the Oriental Pratincoles resting in fields, 16 individuals which was roughly half of what we had seen flying earlier.

Oriental Pratincole Glareola madivarum 제비물떼새 © Leslie Hurteau

More surprising was the large group of marsh terns, mostly Whiskered Tern but with a few White-winged Terns mixed in. We counted up to 100, as a conservative count. We simply had no choice but to stick around and enjoy the sight of 100+ terns flying over the overgrown grassy airfield feeding on what they can find. 

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 구레나룻제비갈매기; The large group of Whiskered Tern spent a lot of the time feeding over the overgrown airfield © Leslie Hurteau
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 구레나룻제비갈매기 and some White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus 흰죽지제비갈매기; When the terns weren’t feeding, they were found resting in flooded fields © Leslie Hurteau

Other birds of note were Spotted Redshank, Common Snipe, Pacific Golden Plover, Wood Sandpiper, and plenty of resident Eurasian Skylarks and Zitting Cisticolas. Overall it was an exciting trip that showed what surprises can be found after a big late summer storm in the ROK.

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 검은가슴물떼새 © Leslie Hurteau
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 학도요 © Leslie Hurteau