Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Historical post" - Jeju Island and Seoul area, March 2011

Sanbangsan viewed from Hwasun cliffs
Looking slightly east of the same view, my white bathtub scooter visible
Yongsu reservoir
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Baikal Teal Anas formosa
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Seogwipo riverside park, March 31, 2011
  Hoopoe - the ultimate rock n roll bird. I've run into these pretty rarely over the years, and have never been able to get a decent picture. I secured this shot by doing a ridiculous special forces power roll onto my belly to get a clear view. I am strange. This Hoopoe made my day (easily amused), and it's another good sign that spring migration is under way. Hoops!

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arqata
Hwasun Beach, March 21, 2011
  Spotted this Eurasian Curlew at Hwasun Beach. First lifer of spring for me, super-cool. I still need that Far Eastern Curlew that my buddy Matt French spotted without me last year. I'll get it. Hwasun Beach, by the way, has been thrashed by bullshit construction. I'll rant about it soon. I'm gonna bird every day of the week this spring. Birdwatching is the new punk rock.

'funny' Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans
Seogwipo riverside park, March 10, 2011  
  The Grey Wagtail with 'funny' partial leucism on the wings hung around for a few days. This park always hosted great birds, especially on migration, due to the relatively natural riverbanks - unfortunately a rarity in Korea.

Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides
Yongsu reservoir, March 5, 2011
  Unfortunately I can't find my notes for this day, but I think I drove out there on my scoot and froze my fingers off in the hopes of seeing a Mute Swan, but dipped hard.

Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitaria 
Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans
Pallas's Rosefinch Carpodacus roseus
Eurasian bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Gwangneung Arboretum, Seoul, March 1, 2011
  On a brush-covered hill I encountered about six griseiventris Eurasian Bullfinch, and twice as many Pallas's Rosefinch. Also found along the paths were handfuls of Yellow-throated Bunting
Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Marsh, Great, Coal, Varied, and magnus Long-tailed Tits. Later in the day I found a dead Hawfinch that had collided with a massive greenhouse. A half-dozen Rustic Buntings moved through the brush nearby.   
  Behind this same greenhouse, I heard the strangest loud sounds coming from the woods. From a distance I thought it was crows mobbing another bird, but as I got closer it sounded like a pack of 30 agitated monkeys, turkeys, and/or Kookaburras! I tried to locate the source of the racket, but it moved quickly through the woods before suddenly stopping. My best guess is a pack of mobbing Eurasian Jays. A Black Woodpecker was heard but not seen.
  Just before leaving I finally got some great views of a stationary Solitary Snipe in a quiet spot on a stream.

(*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.)