Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Historical post" - Jeju Island and Seoul area, February 2011

Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago at the top of Jeongbang Waterfall, which flows into the Pacific
White’s Thrush (Scaly ThrushZoothera aurea
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Seogwipo riverside park, February 23, 2011
  Strolls through my fave Seogwipo park always grounded me - my happy place. I picked up quite a few interesting sightings there over the years, including, off the top of my head, a Zappey’s Flycatcher, a group of Scaly-breasted Munias, a White-shouldered Starling, and all manner of sexy Emberiza buntings and Turdus thrushes on migration. Here’s what I flippantly wrote at the time on my non-birding blog:

These well-camouflaged fellas/felletes are only found on Jeju in the winter, and not on the mainland. That makes them my special little friends.

Surreal Shiwa

Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Tundra Bean Goose Anser serrirostris and Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
  I always managed to sneak in some birding on my mainland trips, and my early February foray was no exception. Here’s what Tim wrote for the Birds Korea website:

Bird News from Tim Edelsten and Matt Poll, Shiwa, February 4, 2011
  Very overcast, dull and largely frozen. Of most interest among 44 species were large numbers of waterfowl, including conservative counts of 1300 Goldeneye, 1100+ Greater Scaup, 1030 Mallard, 950 Common Pochard, 820 Spot-billed Duck, and 300+ Tufted Duck.
  Birds of the shallower water were however in very small numbers however, presumably due to the many fishermen that have recently begun to use this area- for example only 2 Pintail, 20 Falcated Duck, c.10 Teal.
  Some 300+ Bean and Greater White-fronted Geese were likewise regularly put to flight by disturbance from microlights, hang-gliders and kite-flyers.
  Other enjoyable sights today were e.g. 3 White-tailed Eagle, an Upland Buzzard, 13 Whooper Swan, a Hen Harrier, a Northern Goshawk, 31 Coot, a handful of Common & Pallas's Reed Bunting, and most encouragingly a flock of 52 (predominantly Naumann's) and Dusky Thrushes.

  And, embarrassingly, here’s what I wrote at the time:
  Did some birding at Shiwa (a surreal wasteland) with a bird buddy when I was up in Seoul. Took almost two bloody hours on the subway (aka shittyway) to get there, then another eternity to find/lie to the rental car dealer. The yellow dust was shitty. The birds were all being scared off by shitty paragliders and shitty recreational fishermen. That's birding though, and it was still cool. The weather today was shitty.

(*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: Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.