Monday, July 22, 2013

Flashback to Baekryeong Island May 21-24

Awesome beach
Burned-out armoured vehicle on the west coast where we spotted the Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Dr. Moores: he never tires, so do try and keep up
Sunset over a massive reservoir
Bomb shelter
Mind the landmines

Endless 'unbirded' habitat in a prime location

All aboard the Democracy 5!
Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata
Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
  I fear I've left a pretty patchy record here of my April-May Yellow Sea birding jaunt. Here's a bit from the end of my awesome spring, a trip report written by the inimitable Dr. Nial Moores, a gentleman I had the pleasure of crossing paths with on several islands this spring.
  It was an incredible experience birding such a great bit of underbirded habit, which happens to lie north of the 38th parallel, within sight of the North Korean mainland. As such, it is the most heavily-fortified bit of real estate I've ever seen. Two foreigners bristling with optics and tromping around military bases attracted unwanted attention a few times. But what's a couple of accusations of espionage in the name of spring birding?
  Dr. Moores covers the highlights better than I ever could, so read away!
  Ah, and here's a pic of a tiny Lanceolated Warbler that I 'cornered' in a small depression. It just sat there, perhaps five feet away, eyeballing me. Great encounter, and one I was lucky enough to get my camera out for, as we had to keep cameras out of sight most of the time. As for the horrible quality of any other bird images I captured, I blame the dusk.

Slow few weeks on Jeju / west coast bikin n birdin

Another road to nowhere
Yongsu Reservoir, west coast
Near Yongsu
Nice-looking Jacana habitat - if it wasn't surrounded by Olle Trails
Seotal Oreum - great for migrants in spring, especially thrushes and buntings
Altreu arifield - relic Kamikaze bunkers, and a great spot for Little Whimbrel and Oriental Pratincoles in spring
Southwest coast, looking east past Sanbangsan
Typical Japanese Paradise Flycatcher habitat
  Pretty quiet around Jeju lately, although I have found three new Japanese Paradise Flycatcher spots, in muggy valleys on the southern slope of Halla Mountain (South Korea's tallest peak) over the past couple of weeks. 
  I went on a ramble round the west coast last weekend in hopes of finding the fabled breeding grounds of rare species known to breed on Jeju in the past, such as Painted Snipe and Pheasant-tailed Jacana. No luck - it's a pretty big haystack to be rambling around.
  I did find some suitable lily ponds, but unfortunately these were much too close to sources of regular disturbance, like fishing spots and the ever-expanding Olle Trails. Looks like I need to gather some more intel...