Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Late April birds...(where are they?)

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Varied Tit Sittiparus varius
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus
Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Korean Water Deer Hydropotes inermis
Korean Water Deer Hydropotes inermis
 I have come to realize that I was completely spoiled on Jeju when it came to habitat.  Usually, late April in Korea is a magical time filled with colourful and spectacular migrating passerines.  The last three Aprils on Jeju saw me knee-deep in Brown-headed, Japanese, Siberian, and Eyebrowed Thrush, Asian Brown, Blue-and-white, and Japanese Paradise Flycatchers, Ashy Minivets, Chinese Pond Heron, Oriental Pratincole, and the sexy list goes on.  And this was literally in my backyard in Seogwipo.
  Sadly, this is not the case on Geoje.  I have been searching since I got here in January, but I just can't seem to find 'the spot'.  Maybe there isn't one.  Maybe the migrants are sticking further west - they're certainly being spotted on Jeju and places like Gageo-do.  Last weekend JP and I went to Taejeongdae in Busan with high hopes, but we didn't see a whole lot, not even a Japanese Robin that he spotted there a while back.  The birding gods are not smiling on me this time round.
  Yesterday, blessed with a rare day off, I checked out another nearby island.  I found another seven Black Wood Pigeons, but not a single flycatcher or thrush (that wasn't a Pale Thrush!).
  I'm going to keep at it.

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