Saturday, December 15, 2018

Weekend bimbles – Gangneung, December 15-16, 2018

Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia with Great Egret Ardea alba
Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana
Gadwall Anas strepera
Greater Scaup Aythya marila
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Looking north towards downtown Gangneung, from my side of the river 
Doomfinger cloud
Proudly and constantly covered in tokebis
  It has been a mercifully unsmoggy week, but I didn’t manage to get out much, so I hit it hard on the weekend. On Saturday the 15th, I woke up stupid early and walked the Namdae River, along the coast to Gyeongpo Lake, and then the fields beyond.
  Red-billed Starlings remain fixtures in my neighbourhood, with 14 seen squabbling over persimmons at dawn. The Oriental Stork lingers on the Namdaechon, and four Common Snipe were counted along various reedy streams. Common Gull numbers have swelled to over 40 on the lake, among seven species of gull. Once again I forced myself to stare into the rafts of gulls for a lot longer than I have in the past. If you ain’t tryin’ you dyin’.
  A flock of Far Eastern Skylark that conservatively numbered 90 birds rippled low over the fields near the lake. The day ended with an initially puzzling, flighty pipit that turned out to be a Buff-bellied – always worth ruling out more exotic options, innit.
  Since I hit ‘both’ spots on Saturday, I decided to explore the river and valleys west of town on Sunday. With ominous dark finger-clouds of doom looming above, an odd, living wind lashed the countryside, making for a decidedly unbirdy morning. I walked up a long valley crowded with an unsettling blend of small factories, redneck dog farms, and designer homes, before getting to a reservoir that was almost completely devoid of waterfowl. Hell, it was worth a try, anyway. A Eurasian Spoonbill with a wedge of 42 Great Egrets was the highlight on the river.

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