Monday, August 26, 2013

Dr. Wilder Penfield's field giude

(Image via

  Montrealers should all know who Dr. Penfield is, but if you're unfamiliar with him, check out this Wikipedia article:
  A few weeks ago my friend Dan was staying at a country house near Montreal, and found this old bird guide among the books. It turns out it was Dr. Penfield's bird guide (published in 1928)! Exciting. He took some pictures and returned it to its place. I wonder if the song notes are Dr. Penfield's? Good eye, Dan!
  Very interesting/poignant to see The Ivory-billed Woodpecker (possibly some left in 'Indian Territory'!?) and 'Carolina Paroquet' among the pages.
  Anyway, enjoy - history is awesome.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Birds from a long hot summer pt.II

Chuja Island
Chuja Island
Snipe sp. 
Snipe sp.
Snipe sp.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopus leucotos
Far Eastern Skylark Alauda japonica
Far Eastern Cisticola (Zitting Cisticola) Cisticola juncidis
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Eastern Great Tit Parus minor
  Last week saw me re-visit Chuja-do, an island roughly halfway between Jeju and the mainland (and relatively close to Gageo!). I didn't see much from the ferry other than about a dozen Streaked Shearwater. Chuja-do itself was fairly quiet, with a handful of Pacific Swifts seen from atop a hill, and a confusing dead snipe found nearby.
  If I'm honest, I'm pretty awful when it comes to IDing snipes on sight - I rely more on flushing behaviour when it comes to snipes. I took some images of the wing and tail in an attempt to better familiarize myself with the key features to look for, but I fear I'd need a month-long intensive snipe course to fully be comfortable with IDing snipes in the field.
  On a trip out to the west coast I spotted a Far Eastern Cisticola, a Little Ringed Plover, and several Far Eastern Skylarks in a productive patch of farm fields.
  Closer to home, I've recently found a nice quiet spot with at least three confiding White-back Woodpeckers (the official bird of Jeju), and I've been hearing both Lesser and Oriental Cuckoos relatively close to downtown Seogwipo.
  Birds Korea have recently updated their amazing gallery, with quite a few new images and videos. Do yourself a favour and check it out:

Birds from a long hot summer

Black Wood Pigeon town
A reliable spot for Greater Spotted Eagles...
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Young Brown-eared Bulbuls Hypsipetes amaurotis waiting for food
Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra
Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis parent with food
Me first!
Japanese Bush Warbler Horornis diphone
Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha
  It has been record-breakingly hot and humid here on Jeju over the past month. Water levels are at dangerously low levels across the island, and farmers are suffering. As for birds, I've seen a decent array of young birds in different stages of fledging, when I'm not blinded by sweat. Young Pheasants are bigger than pigeons already, and I've been watching juvenile Brown-eared Bulbuls grow at an impressive rate.
  A few weeks ago I spotted two Black Wood Pigeons clacking through a nice-looking stretch of coastal forest, but they've remained elusive since then.
  In my ramblings around my old stomping grounds, I've been disturbed by some of the habitat loss that has occurred over the past two years, more on this soon.