Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Epic birding weekend part 1: The Blizzard Dip

Snowy Kyong-po Lake
Tim scans the Pochards in his least favourite weather
Greater Scaup Aythya marila
Smew Mergellus albellus
Distant raft of Pochard Aythya ferina
  On Saturday, my good birding bud Tim and I made our separate ways to Gangneung, a small city on Korea's northeast coast.  We were there to find a Canvasback, a duck that, in spite of sketchy previous reports, has most likely never been seen in Korea before.  The birding gods were not smiling on us on this day, however, as constricting transportation logistics and unprecedented blizzard conditions conspired against us.  We ended up with only a few hours to scan a lake (that looked a whole lot smaller on the map!) for a Pochard...that wasn't a Pochard.  When we got to the far bank, the raft of Pochards seemed to be frustratingly close to the opposite bank.  This happened a few times, and I'm wondering if it was a perverse illusion, or if the ducks were actually screwing with us.  Long story short, we didn't see the Canvasback, but it sure was an 'adventure'.

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