Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Busan area - Igidae and Eulsuk-do, February 19, 2012

The cliffs of Igidae, Busan looms
Reedy Eulsuk Island
JP scanning for Reed Buntings


Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
  On Sunday I had the fortune of meeting and birding with JP, a fellow foreign birder based near Busan.  We spent the morning at Igidae, a coastal hilltop within sight of bustling modern Busan.  Criss-crossed by busy hiking trails and disturbing degradation, there were nevertheless some quiet spots there with some interesting birds.  The highlights for me were some slow passes by a pair of Black-eared Kites, and a Eurasian Kestrel hovering overhead for nearly 10 minutes.
  In the afternoon we headed to Eulsuk-do, a reedy island just west of Busan proper.  We spent many hours there hiding from dump trucks (we may have been a bit out-of-bounds), observing Whooper Swans, huge flocks of Mallards, and a few dozen Black-headed Gulls.  The bird we were really after, the Common Reed Bunting, made a late but welcome appearance just as the sun was headed down.
  On the mammal front, Amur Leopard Cats, Raccoon Dogs, and Water Deer live on Eulsuk, but sadly I only got a fleeting glimpse of a Water Deer at dusk.

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