Monday, December 27, 2010

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, December 2010

Blizzard in Seogwipo 
Moments before I tripped over my first Eurasian Woodcock

Seogwipo, December 27, 2011
  After being dreadfully bed-ridden for a few days, I ventured out a few days after Christmas, to test out my rubberlegs. I wandered through some of Seogwipo’s lovely coastal parks, and ended up almost tripping over a bedraggled Eurasian Woodcock, my first, in the blizzard.
  Here were my thoughts at the time, as they were:
  Snowing everywhere in the world it seems. Yesterday I woke up a human again, and not a wretched creature that lives on the toilet, and groans and grunts to itself all day. Yuk. Lost a few pounds though, always makin' lemonade. So I ventured out of my stuffy hovel and into an awesome little Seogwipo blizzard along my favourite backroads. My lips numbed. It was good. Still not 100%. I had a revelation while fevered and sweaty under my blankets for three days - when you're hallucinating heavily, anything that's on TV seems pretty good.

Waterfowl assemblage at Ojori
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus
Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens
Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Bird News from Matt Poll and Youngho Kim, Jeju island, December 12, 2010
  A crisp but pleasant day for coastal birding on Jeju. Along the coast near Sehwa, several Red-breasted Merganser, two dozen Temminck's Cormorant, and eight Buff-bellied Pipits. At Hado, 12 Black-faced Spoonbill grouped with about twice as many Great Egrets. The winter ducks have arrived in force - 12 Common Shelduck, 70 Mallard, several hundred Spot-billed Duck, about 200 Gadwall, a similar number of Eurasian Wigeon, and about a hundred Tufted Duck. Also at Hado were perhaps 60 Coot and 16 Northern Lapwing.
  At Ojori Lake a similar numbers of ducks, with the addition of a dozen or so Pintail, a half-dozen Pochard, 15 Shoveler, and nine Falcated Teal. Near Seongsan, the sky was darkened by two massive clamours of Rooks, the two totaling probably 3,000 birds! At one point hundreds of Rooks mobbed an Eastern Buzzard mercilessly, and it was definitely a spectacle. Three more Eastern Buzzards were seen during the day, as were three Common Kestrel, three Western Osprey, and a Peregrine Falcon. At Ojori, 16 more Black-faced Spoonbill huddled. One of them had a white ring on its left leg, and Youngho suspects it was ringed in Siberia.
  Earlier in the week, a Seogwipo park held a half dozen Pale Thrush, a similar number of Dusky Thrush, about two dozen Eurasian Siskins, and a Common Snipe. In a nearby park, I saw a Naumann's Thrush - the first time I've seen one on Jeju. About two dozen Mandarin Ducks were spotted on a quiet stretch of river.

Hanon crater
Seogwipo's harbour
Further east in the harbour
One of Jeju's ubiquitous citrus orchards

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
(*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.)