Monday, October 29, 2012

Nomura's Jellyfish wooing a plastic bag

So uh...are you from around here or what?
   These massive jellyfish have been spreading into Korean waters in greater numbers in recent years. This one was the size of a beer fridge, at least. It was floating alongside a plastic bag for about 20 minutes. No word on how that relationship turned out for the jellyfish.

Feisty Tiger Keelback, and other snakes

Tiger Keelback Rhabdophis tigrinus
Tiger Keelback Rhabdophis tigrinus

Tiger Keelback Rhabdophis tigrinus
Tiger Keelback Rhabdophis tigrinus
  Snakewatching is my second favourite outdoor activity after birdwatching. I came across this feisty Tiger Keelback at dusk yesterday at the 'tail-end' of a 10-hour birdathon. It was good to see a live one - usually I see them when they're flat on the road. This one was very aggressive, and when I approached it to get some pics it reared up at me with its hood flattened out, cobra-style. Its body raised up quite a bit and it just stood there until I backed off. Very cool.
  In other snake news, I spotted a bright green snake dash into some bushes a couple of weeks ago. It was much quicker than the snakes I normally encounter, and I've never seen a solidly-coloured bright green snake in Korea, so this one has me scratching my head.
Unfortunately this is usually how I find Tiger Keelbacks
Sadly, a freshly dead and gorgeous Dione Ratsnake Elaphe dione
Ussuri Mamushi Pitviper Gloydius blomhoffi, frogwatching
Tiny Dione Ratsnake roadkill
I thought it was a worm at first

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grey Bunting!

Grey Bunting habitat
Grey Bunting Emberiza variabilis
  This is a definitely a 'Wow!' bird, even if it looks like your average LBJ (and no, it's not a female Black-faced Bunting). These guys are very thin on the ground, found scarcely in the south of the ROK in the winter, only in the quietest of damp and dark forest habitats. They are extremely skulking, too. I spotted this female while I was staking out a quiet stream relatively close to where I live. More bird news soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weasel face

Siberian Weasel Mustela sibirica
 Siberian Weasel, that is. I almost stepped on this one as I came around a corner on a quiet path this morning. It somersaulted off and glared at me indignantly from within its hole.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Eurasian Magpie Pica pica with Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
  Here is something I haven't seen too often - a Large-billed Crow and a Eurasian Magpie hanging out together. These two had actually joined forces to keep close tabs on a cat. Interesting to compare relative sizes.
  This was taken on 'Black Wood Pigeon Island' just off Geoje, in early September. The Woodies were still there, by the way.

Life happens/Juveniles of summer

Eastern Spot-billed Duck(lings) Anas zonorhyncha
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana
Eurasian Jays Garrulus glandarius
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  Time passes in strange ways here in the ROK. Sometimes days seem like months, and sometimes half a year will slip by in a baffling hurry. I won't get into it, but it's been an interesting few months, and my birding has suffered. Ah well, time to get back into it!
  There isn't a whole lot of birding to report from the summer, but I did find a good variety of nice juvenile birds when I went out on a rare early-August birding foray.
   Feels good to shake off the rust! Right, I'm off birding.