Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, May 2011

Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha
Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha
Seogwipo area, Jeju, May 31, 2011
  I finally managed to spot a Fairy Pitta today, in a narrow and quiet valley. It was calling loudly, moving unseen through the treetops for well over an hour before it dropped down onto a lower branch for a few minutes of excellent views. Heard, but not seen in this valley were several vocal Japanese Paradise Flycatchers, as well as Common and Lesser Cuckoos.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes
Black Paradise Flycatcher (Japanese Paradise Flycatcher) Terpsiphone atrocaudata
White-cheeked Starling Sturnus cineraceus
Bird News from Matt Poll, Youngho Kim, with David and Heather McDowell, Northeast Jeju, May 21, 2011
  A nice mix of fog and sun, for a full day of showing visiting birders around the island. In an evergreen forest near the northeast coast, we got good looks at a Eurasian Jay, and great close views of a Japanese Paradise Flycatcher. Nearby, a Common Cuckoo was seen, while several Lesser Cuckoos were heard only, while three late Upland Buzzards were a surprise circling overhead.
  At Hado, a single Eurasian Wigeon and Black-faced Spoonbill were reminders of the winter. At least two dozen Black-winged Stilts, and two Black-tailed Godwits were also notable at Hado. Nearby, a Chinese Egret was a great treat to watch, as it stalked fish close to the coastal road.
  At the Arboretum it looks like the female White-bellied Green Pigeon has not returned this year, although Youngho spotted a male near the northeast coast about a month ago.

Striated Heron Butorides striata
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola
Mara-do and southwest coast, Jeju Island, May 14, 2011
A great day of birding on the Southwest coast of Jeju, on a sunny and warm day, with close to 70 species seen.
  On Mara-do, a dozen Little Buntings, as well as male Yellow-breasted, and Chestnut Buntings were hopping around at the top of a grassy cliff. A small cluster of pine trees at the centre of the island was teeming with Asian Brown Flycatchers, Yellow-browed, and Eastern Crowned Warblers. Single examples of Dusky Warbler, Common Cuckoo, Oriental Reed Warbler, Black-naped Oriole, Richard’s Pipit, and Long-tailed Shrike were seen, as well as two Brown Shrikes, and clouds of Pacific Swifts.
  On the ferry ride back, two unmistakable Japanese Murrelets bobbed past the ferry at a distance of about 20 feet. Of course, my camera was safely (and hopelessly) stuffed inside my windbreaker so as to protect it from spray from the bow, and I couldn’t get it out in time to snap a picture.
  I happily lost my way in the farm roads of Mureung, and ended up driving past a Black Drongo that had dropped down from a power line to feed next to the road. On a small wooded hill on the southwest coast I spotted a Mugimaki Flycatcher, several Eye-browed Thrush, and two impressive Broad-billed Rollers. At least two dozen Black-winged Stilts and several Mongolian Plovers were seen at various points along the west coast, and I saw a Red-billed Starling perched on a balcony on a rooftop on the way back.
  Back in Seogwipo, a pair of Striated Herons seemed to be engaging in a courtship chase in a riverside park, while in another nearby park, the lone resident Striated was intently hunting on a small stream, where I photographed it earlier in the week.

(*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.)