Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, April 2009

Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum
Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Birds News from Matt Poll, with Youngho Kim, and other ‘Birds in Jeju’ members
Southwest and west coast, Jeju Island, April 26, 2009
  A great day of birding, thanks to Youngho Kim of ‘Birds in Jeju’, who showed me a dozen secluded freshwater wetland areas that aren’t readily visible from the main road. At a former Japanese airfield now used for farming, great close views of two Oriental Pratincoles, and a Little Whimbrel got the day started well. Two Common Snipes and a Latham's Snipe, eight Far Eastern Skylarks, a Far Eastern Cisticola, and two Japanese Quails were also found in these fields.
  At a nearby wetland, 12 Cattle Egrets, two stunning Chinese Pond Herons, six Black-tailed Godwits, and 20 Wood Sandpipers were seen feeding close to a small road.
  A small beach on the west coast held two Pacific Golden Plovers, as well as 20 Red-necked Stints, three Long-toed Stints, two Temminck’s Stints, and a Little-ringed Plover. A Dunlin and a Marsh Sandpiper were seen in a nearby wetland. On a rocky part of the coast, about 25 Whimbrels, and a Common Greenshank.
A wetland near Gosan held four Black-winged Stilts, while a single Red-rumped Swallow flew low over the water in the company of clouds of Barn Swallows.

Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurata
Jungmun, Jeju island, April 25, 2009
  Thick undergrowth in front of an abandoned hotel held two Yellow Buntings

Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus
Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus
Yellow-browed Bunting Emberiza chrysophrys
Seogwipo, Jeju island, April 23, 2009
  Plenty of bird action in a gorgeous and quiet riverside park. Three Ashy Minivets (two males, one female - possibly the same trio from a few days ago) were spotted flying back and forth between tall trees on either side of the small valley. A half dozen White-cheeked Starlings lazily walked on grass next to a small stream, while four Yellow-browed Buntings moved nervously through riverside bushes. Best of the day was the nonchalant foraging of three Brown-headed Thrush in the grass next to the river. They reminded me a lot of American Robins in appearance and behaviour! The trees along the river were teeming with at least a dozen Asian Brown Flycatchers busily feeding. Two male Blue-and-white Flycatchers were seen along a nearby path.  

White-shouldered Starling Sturnus sinensis
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola & Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata

Seogwipo, Jeju island, April 21, 2009
  An agricultural field on the outskirts of town initially didn’t look promising for birds, due to the extensive netting placed over the fields. However, a small flooded area without netting held six Wood Sandpipers and a single Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. A previously spotted whitish starling reappeared nearby, and turned out to be a White-shouldered Starling. A Cattle Egret perched in a nearby tree. 

Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina narcissina
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina narcissina
Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
Mara-do, Jeju, April 19, 2009
  Sunny and windy on Mara-do, the southernmost point in South Korea. The small island is mostly covered with grass, except for a small stand of pines at the centre of the island. At least six Far Eastern Cisticolas were seen noisily swooping up and down from grassy fields. Some Korean bird researchers I re-met on the island told me that at least ten pairs breed on Marado. Six male Narcissus Flycatchers were seen, two of which were immature.
  Two Peregrine Falcons hovered menacingly nearby. One Brown-headed Thrush was seen skulking among the low pines. Three Eastern Crowned Warblers were seen in the same stand of pines. Three Pacific Reef Herons were spotted on cliffs. About two dozen Barn Swallows and Pacific Swifts flew deftly over the island. Several small groups of Buff-bellied Pipits were seen at the cliff’s edge, and single examples of Eurasian Hoopoe, Black-faced Bunting, Stejneger's Stonechat, and Pale Thrush were also seen. Five Streaked Shearwaters were seen from the ferry. 

Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana
Seogwipo, Jeju island, April 18, 2009
  A sunny stroll around a valley near Jeongbang waterfalls revealed some new arrivals to the area. Notable birds spotted included three Ashy Minivets (two males, one female), two stunning male Blue-and-white Flycatchers, and an Asian Brown Flycatcher. Many active and vocal Blue Rock Thrush were also seen.

(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)