Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Seogwipo, Jeju, March 1-2, 2014

Japanese Bush Warbler Horornis diphone
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Tristram's Bunting Emberiza tristrami
  There were some unsolved avian riddles, as well as early signs of spring, on a rainy then sunny weekend. On the same hill where a Common Redpoll was seen two weeks ago, I encountered at least six Tristram’s Buntings skulking in the scrub. I’ve never seen Tristram’s in the winter - could they be outlandishly early migrants? Also of note were Japanese Bush Warblers in full song, and almost a dozen Long-tailed Tits (I’m still unsure how to separate trivirgatus and magnus Long-tailed Tits) in a nearby gully. Small groups of Olive-backed Pipits and Grey-capped Greenfinch moved through the woods and forest edge in several spots. 
  In the city, I’ve noticed a group of about a dozen White Wagtails noisily moving from the rooftops to one particular large roadside tree, daily just before dusk over the past week. Do White Wagtails communally roost?
  In a park in town it seems like Mandarin Duck and Spot-billed Duck (small numbers of Spot-billed do spend the summer on Jeju) numbers have thinned out considerably. Another sign of an early spring? Grey Wagtails and Red-flanked Bluetails can also be found in Seogwipo’s parks.

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