A trip to Hado Wetland on the east coast of Jeju. Nearly perfect weather for birdwatching, clear skies, very little wind, and slightly warm temperature for late winter. There were lots of Pallas’ Reed Bunting, with a surprise Rustic mixed in, and some Black-faced and one Masked Bunting. A Greater Spotted Eagle put on a great show, first dealing with an Osprey, and then soaring overhead for a good while, clearly visible.
The biggest highlight was a Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis) feeding in the pines. Apparently this is the second record for Jeju, the first being ten years ago (Feb 2013!). It was confusing at first, but the black legs and small black bill, bright underparts, and faint supercilum and wing bar seem to fit the ID.
Otherwise plenty of overwintering ducks, and one Swan Goose still present. Maybe about 20 Black-faced Spoonbills as well, some in breeding plumage.
The eBird checklist can be found here: Hado-ri Wetland.
A trip to Gwangchigi Beach and the northeast edges of Seongsan wetlands. Gwangchigi beach is a great place in winter for gulls, loons, cormorants, and grebes. It’s a very reliable spot for large rafts of Great Crested Grebes, and March 3rd was no exception. No loons spotted from the beach on this visit but on previous visits species such as Arctic and Red-throated have been spotted by myself, with records of other species. Some of the first Barn Swallows of the year were spotted, about a week after my first one of the year in the southwest of the island. Gulls were still present, mainly Vega and Black-tailed, with some Taimyr and Slaty-backed mixed in.
The edge of the wetland was fairly quiet, with not many birds present aside from a Common Goldeneye, cormorants, and various gulls. In nearby Seongsan harbour, a last minute surprise pair of Arctic Loons were found to be quite close allowing for very nice views.