Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Big weekend in Seoul

female Hazel Grouse Tetrastes bonasia
male Hazel Grouse Tetrastes bonasia
Plumbeous Water Redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus
European Robin Erithacus rubecula
Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans
Long-tailed Rosefinch Carpodacus sibiricus
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthera webbiana
Sigh. The photog scrum/noisy social club
Subhojit and some real birders - note the scopes and binos
February 22 (With Helly)
  For a ‘non-birding’ trip into Seoul, I managed to get a lot of birding done! On Saturday morning I got great long looks at Gangseo’s (in Gimpo) resident Plumbeous Water Redstart – an attractive and confiding bird. The rest of the park was buzzing with Naumann’s Thrushes, Yellow-throated and Rustic Buntings, as well as Vinous-throated Parrotbills. At the north end of the park, I encountered two Short-eared Owls, and the fifteen or so photographers that follow them around all day. Later in the day at Ilsan Lake Park I spotted a cracking male Long-tailed Rosefinch mixed in with some Yellow-throated Buntings.

February 23 (With Subhojit Chakladar)
  Early on Sunday I met up with Mr. Chakladar at Amsa, and lined up next to the photog phalanx to get a look at a long-staying European Robin – a truly stunning bird. We then headed to Namhansan, and after a lengthy stakeout we were rewarded with extremely close views of a pair of beautifully camouflaged Hazel Grouse. Also at Namhansan, we saw Eurasian Nuthatch, Brambling, Great Spotted and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Coal and Marsh Tit, and a restless group of Rustic Bunting.
  The last spot we visited was the Han River at Oksu, with its massive rafts of ducks. We eventually saw the Baer’s Pochard, as well as a hybrid Baer’s. We also met up with some lovely Korean birders there, and it was a real treat to compare notes with such knowledgeable and passionate folks.