Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, December 2009

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Baikal Teal Anas Formosa
Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 22, 2009
  There has been an 'explosion' of Olive-backed Pipits and Japanese Bush Warblers in a small Seogwipo park, with about 10 of each seen by river's edge. A lone and seemingly exhausted female Baikal Teal (a personal first for Jeju) tried to keep up with 21 Spot-billed Ducks.

Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus
Far Eastern Skylark Alauda japonica
Far Eastern Skylark Alauda japonica
Bird News from Matt Poll with Youngho Kim, Southwest coast, Jeju island, December 20, 2009
  A chilly and cloudy day on Jeju, but as is always the case when birding with Mr. Kim, the day was full of great birding and and interesting local bird knowledge. West of Jungmun, about 70 Mandarin Ducks were spotted on a quiet river, along with handfuls of Little Grebe, Spot-billed Duck, Mallard, and Green-winged Teal

  On the coast, hundreds more Spot-billed, and two Great Crested Grebes. About 50 Far Eastern Skylarks foraged in a farmer's field near Moseulpo. Near Hwasun, no luck finding a reported Asian Short-toed Lark. On a tiny hill nearby, we had similar bad luck when trying to spot Long-tailed Shrikes that I was surprised to learn live there all year. In fading light, we came upon 32 Red-billed Starlings perched on power lines. I was equally surprised when Mr. Kim told me that this species can also be found year-round on Jeju.

Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus
 Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 13, 2009
  Numbers of Mandarin Duck continue to swell on a small secluded river in Seogwipo, with about 45 seen, along with 10 Mallard, about 30 Spot-billed Ducks, several Little Grebes, and three Eurasian Teals. The male Mandarins seemed to be fighting over the females, puffing up and bumping chests, and chasing each other off noisily. An Eastern Buzzard watched the ducks from a high perch, until it flew off after being harassed first by Brown-eared Bulbuls, and then by Magpies. The harbour was quiet - the loons and grebes of winter still haven't arrived.

Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra
Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra
 Jeju west coast, December 12, 2009
  On a non-birding trip to Jeju's west coast, I spotted a Far Eastern Cisticola and a Pacific Reef Heron.

Vizzing from my roof
Striated Heron Butorides striata
 Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 5, 2009
  A second Striated Heron that doesn't seem to mind Jeju's winter weather has been seen in Seogwipo. This one is a juvenile, and was seen on a different river than the adult that over-wintered last year.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Striated Heron Butorides striata
Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 3, 2009
  On a chilly day in Seogwipo, a Striated Heron remains in a quiet spot on a small river. I have spotted this Heron on and off all year, skulking in riverside brush. Several Yellow-throated Buntings, Pale Thrushes, and Little Grebes were seen in local parks. A Common Kingfisher was feeding at the river's edge, and Daurian Redstarts remain plentiful and noisy. In the field where the Scaly-breasted Munias were spotted, A Northern Goshawk, several Olive-backed Pipits, and a late Hoopoe, but the munias appear to be long gone.

(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)