Sightings to report?

email LogoE-mail to
Birds Korea

Birds News Archives

BN Archive Logo

Annual Reviews

Annual review Logo

For more bird news in Korea


For Bird Conservation
in the Region

OBC LogoThe Oriental
Bird Club
BLI LogoBirdLife International (Asia)
Birds Korea's Bird News May 2004


Like April, a great birding month. Temperatures begin to climb with day maxima often reaching 25°C by the end of the month, though feeling cooler on offshore islands due to low sea temperatures and wind. Fog can temporarily limit birding, while also causing spectacular falls of migrants.

Migration continues, and guided tours to estuaries or offshore islands can expect many spectacular days. Especially in the first week, diversity can be exceptional. Lesser Sandplovers, Red-necked Stints, Broad-billed and Spoon-billed Sandpipers peak at Saemangeum and other key areas, while Chestnut and Little Buntings begin to outnumber Yellow-throated and the very common Black-faced Bunting. Mugimakis, Dark-sided and Grey-streaked Flycatchers also start to arrive, peaking in the second and third weeks of the month. Brown and Tiger Shrikes, Siberian Rubythroats and Broad-billed Rollers add colour and quality to the birding mix. By late May locustella warblers (Gray's, Pallas's, Middendorf's, Styann's Grasshopper and Lanceolated) arrive on western islands. In forests Ruddy Kingfisher and Fairy Pitta are in territory and vocal, though still elusive and easily disturbed. Korean breeding Chinese Egrets and Black-faced Spoonbills remain widespread at the best sites, and Saunders's Gull also sometimes nest.

May is a prime month for finding national rarities. Korean firsts in May have included: in 2000, Ortolan Bunting and Northern Wheatear; in 2001, Himalayan Swiftlet and Asian Koel on Gageo Island, and Black Tern at Seosan; in 2002, Long-tailed Skua; in 2003, Isabelline Wheatear and Chinese Song Thrush; in 2004, an Orange-headed Thrush on Hong Island; and in 2005 three Tickell's Leaf Warblers on Socheong.

(The following records are a compilation of our own sightings and records sent in by other observers. As well as being posted on the Birds Korea website(s), selected records are also forwarded to other Korean-language birding websites; records of threatened species are arranged and forwarded to Birdlife International and national authorities when appropriate; flag images and records are passed to bodies responsible for their coordination throughout the flyway; and all records sent to us are used to compile annual reports and to support the evolving understanding of the status of many of Korea’s birds.)

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Socheong Island, May 31

Clear skies and light northwesterlies produced some minor movement and some departure.

Unseasonal species included a formerly tail-less Common Buzzard present since April (now regrowing its tail), the presumed Upland Buzzard still, single Swinhoe's Snipe, Brambling and Eurasian Siskin, while more expected were single singing Middendorff's and Gray's Grasshopper Warblers, 25 Black-browed and 2 Thick-billed Warblers. Other birds of note included a single Pechora Pipit, 18 Brown Shrike still (comprising 15 lucionensis and 3 confusus/cristatus types), at least 60 Chinese Sparrowhawk through (most of which were 2 calendar year birds, lacking much black in the primaries), and highlight of the day again, now 3 Chinese/Light-vented Bulbul.

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Ferry and Socheong Island, May 30

With heavy rain, fog and westerlies on 27th and 28th, a heavy fall of late spring migrants on Socheong was very probable (a view made even more credible by the description of an islander who said "thousands of birds" had been present those days). However, the ferry was cancelled - only departing Incheon at lunchtime on the 30th.

In patchy dense fog, few birds noted, but 9 loons were seen (3 each of breeding-plumaged Red-throated, Pacific and Arctic), as were 10 Ancient Murrelet and, most surprising of all, yet another Grey Nightjar: a female and most likely the last of this spring's pelagic records.

On Socheong itself, rather few migrants noted in 4 hours of light available, but these included 3 Two-barred Greenish, 10 Black-browed and a single Thick-billed Warbler, a Black Drongo and best of all 2 Chinese/Light-vented Bulbul, the latter found in a slightly different part of the island to those last seen on May 18.

Bird News from Chung-Yu Chiang of the Taiwan Wader Study Group

Korean-flagged Red-necked Stint photographed in Taiwan.
© "Cheer" (TWSG).

Chung-Yu Chiang has kindly alerted us to the following five records of Korean-flagged shorebirds seen in Taiwan:

  1. Dunlin, Han-Pao (Changhua), 08 March 2004 - TWSG.

  2. Terek Sandpiper, Han-Pao (Changhua), 01 April 2004 - Chung-Yu Chiang
  3. Ruddy Turnstone, Han-Pao (Changhua), 20 April 2004 - TOV & TWSG
  4. Red-necked Stint, Szu-tsao, Tainan City, 23 April 2004 - Cheer
  5. Ruddy Turnstone, Han-Pao (Changhua), 06 May 2003 - Chung-Yu Chiang

Bird News from Dr. George Ledec.
Yeongjong Island, May 26

One non-breeding plumaged Nordmann's Greenshank, 2 Common Redshank and a single Forest Wagtail.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel.
Geum and Mangyeong Rivers, May 23

Quite a few migrants have all but passed through. Dunlin have disappeared as well as the Great Knots. Gulls have thinned out considerably, however a group of twelve White-winged Black Terns cruised up and down the shore line in the morning. In the afternoon we traveled to the south side of the Mangyeong. In a rather mature copse of mixed trees we were happy to note Asian Brown, Sooty and a Grey-streaked Flycatcher as well as a female Ashy Minivet. Numerous species remained active here during midday despite a number of people enjoying the green space and a pair of Chinese Sparrowhawk working the area.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Dr. George Ledec
Socheong Island - Yeongjong, May 21

Clear skies and an early ferry journey to the mainland produced few birds of note beyond excellent views of a perched Pechora Pipit on the island, and most unexpected of all, a Lanceolated Warbler flying behind the ship (even trying to land a few metres away from us!).

On Yeongjong the southern tidal-flats, threatened by a proposed major new road-bridge, still held ca 8 Chinese Egret, a single Black-faced Spoonbill, three Saunders's Gull, and best of all a single Nordmann's Greenshank, along with a wide range of other shorebird species (including a single osculans Oystercatcher, 2 Grey-tailed Tattler, 4 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, 500 Great Knot, 200 Far Eastern Curlew and a presumed Long-billed Dowitcher).

Bird News from Nial Moores with Dr. George Ledec
Socheong Island, May 20

The winds decreased to a light northerly then southwesterly, with fog and heavy overcast, and birds started to increase rapidly after midday.

Of the 82 species logged, best included single fly-through Osprey and Oriental Pratincole (the latter heard only), 4 Asian House Martin and 5 Pechora Pipit, while grounded migrants included 100+ Arctic (including at least one xanthodryas), 50 Pale-legged Leaf, 10 Black-browed and 2 more Thick-billed Warblers.

Further highlights included the Japanese Night Heron again, at least 2 more Black Drongo, and most unexpected of all, a different female Rufous-bellied Woodpecker at the top end of "Black Goat Meadow": poor digital images taken in very heavy overcast and fog reveal that this second individual lacked the few red-fringed crown feathers shown by the individual of the 17th, and also showed a slightly different facial pattern.

Second female Rufous-bellied Woodpecker (see below, May 17, for first), © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Bird News from Nial Moores with Dr. George Ledec
Socheong Island, May 19

Southwest winds increased during the day, becoming force 7 or 8 in the late afternoon, greatly limiting bird activity. As a result only 72 species were logged, with outstanding highlight being a Spotted Bush Warbler Bradypterus (thoracius) davidi/suschkini heard singing in the early morning (NM only). There are very few records of this presumed migrant in South Korea, with one of the most recent records apparently involving 5 together landing exhausted on a ship in the Yellow Sea several springs ago (per Park Jin Young pers comm). In addition, Grey-streaked Flycatcher increased to 25, and Forest Wagtail to 4, while a single Japanese Grosbeak was a personal first of the spring.

Forest Wagtail, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Dusky Warbler, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Socheong Island, May 18

With the wind swinging round to the southeast, diversity and numbers were much reduced, despite several thundery showers.

Warblers comprised 6 Korean Bush, 3 Lanceolated, 3 Pallas's Grasshopper / Rusty-rumped, 1 Oriental Reed, 5 Black-browed Reed, 3 Thick-billed, 15 Dusky, 20 Radde's, 3 Pallas's Leaf, 60 Yellow-browed, 40 Arctic (almost all nominate subspecies), 3 Two-barred Greenish, 10 Pale-legged Leaf and 3 Eastern Crowned; while Grey-streaked (15) were the most numerous of the 6 flycatcher species logged.

Other birds of note included 3 Pechora Pipit, 2 Thick-billed Shrike, 30 Chestnut-flanked White-eye and 2 Common Rosefinch, while highlights included the Japanese Night Heron and 2 Chinese/Light-vented Bulbul still and at least 3 (probably 4) Black Drongo.

Thick-billed Shrike, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Socheong Island, May 17

Grey-headed Lapwing, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

In thick fog a tremendous fall of birds included a Grey-headed Lapwing on the beach, up to 16 Daurian Starling, a White-throated Rock Thrush, 5 Thick-billed Warbler (including one singing), 45 Pallas Grasshopper, 20 Lanceolated, 50 Radde's, 100 Arctic, 2 Two-barred Greenish, and 150 Yellow-browed Warblers.

Perhaps the bird of the day, though, was a Rufous-bellied Woodpecker watched coming in off the sea and then feeding in the gathering gloom: this is perhaps only the second South Korean record in recent times since one on Eocheong, Sept 14th 2002.

Male Daurian Starling, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Socheong
© Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Socheong Island, May 16

Chinese/Light-vented Bulbul, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Dense fog kept visibility below 100 m for most of the day. The weather, combined with the presence of numerous Chinese Sparrowhawk, kept many birds out of sight. Although diversity was comparatively low (with only 63 species logged), these included 2 Black Drongo still and 2 Chinese/Light-vented Bulbul: the latter the third record of the species in South Korea (the first coming from Eocheong Island on Oct 29th 2002 (NM), and the second just last week from Hong Island (KSH - see below)).

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan with Kim Young-mi
Geum Estuary, May 16

A brief visit to the Geum River revealed a Ruff seen among the assortment of shore birds. It appeared black from the upper breast to the head with a medium bill and mixed grey and brown wings and back with white under parts, so presumably a male.

Bird News from Peter Nebel
Gunsan, May 15

A particularly good week around the Gunsan Airport. (Most of the birds listed below I saw on lunch break.)

The bird I liked the most was a male Black Paradise Flycatcher working a hedgerow for 15-20 minutes. A Chestnut-flanked White-eye was also impressive. Other sightings were a male White-throated Rock Thrush, Rufous-tailed Robin, female Eye-browed Thrush, a pair of Ashy Minivets, and Asian Brown, Grey-spotted, and female Mugimaki Flycatchers. A Chestnut Bunting showed up, and the Broad-billed Rollers, Red-rumped Swallows, and Eurasian Hobbies are back. I also heard ,Black-naped Orioles, Eurasian Scops Owls, and Common and Oriental Cuckoos.

Yesterday I saw 1 Eurasian and 4 Black-faced Spoonbills, a male Gadwall, and 3 male Eurasian Wigeon in the Mangyeong estuary.

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Socheong Island, May 15

Chinese Sparrowhawk, Socheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

An excellent day, and, with ideal weather conditions, the promise of more to come tomorrow.

Highlights included 750 Chestnut Bunting (interestingly, Mike Yough on the Japanese Kantori list group stated that on Hegura-jima there were "a flock of approximately 20 Chestnut Bunting on the 14th and reported by others on the 15th - a Japanese birder informed me that it's been three years since they've been seen on Japanese soil"), 2 Black Drongo (note the similarity in timing with the records of this former "vagrant" in 2003, go to Drongos in Spring 2003), 4 White-throated Rock Thrush, 70 Chinese Sparrowhawk, 5 Pechora Pipit, the personal first Yellow-legged Buttonquail and singing Lanceolated Warbler of the spring, and - perhaps most exciting - a brief sighting of the Japanese Night Heron first seen on April 27th.

Bird News from Nial Moores.
Ferry and Socheong Island, May 14

An excellent day's birding, with 96 species logged. Most surprising bird from the ferry was a Moorhen, swimming well out to sea, while 99 Ancient Murrelet was also a rather high count.

From the island itself, 88 Ancient Murrelet were counted in one scan, along with 1300 Streaked Shearwater (gathering in one raft). On the island itself, a White-breasted Waterhen and 4 Chinese Pond Heron, male nominate Siberian Thrush, ca 8 Two-barred Greenish, 10 Arctic, 20 Pallas's Leaf and 1 presumed Hume's Leaf Warbler, while flycatchers included 42 Yellow-rumped and the personal first Dark-sided of the spring. Other spring arrivals included 3 Thick-billed Shrike, 2 Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, and 2 White-throated Rock Thrush, while by contrast late migrants included 1 Red-flanked Bluetail, 3 Dusky Thrush, 2 Eurasian Siskin and 2 Japanese Waxwing.

Bird News from KIM Sung Hyun
Hong Island, May 1 - 12

Male Orange-headed Thrush Zoothera citrina. Hong Island.
© KIM Sung Hyun (thanks to KSH for permission to reproduce this photograph)

Amongst a number of excellent records comes news of a White-breasted Waterhen, South Korea's second record of Chinese/Light-vented Bulbul (from 5th - 10th), and most exciting of all Korea's first - and long sought for - Orange-headed Thrush Zoothera citrina on the 8th.

(The somewhat ill-defined facial pattern and brown flecking possibly point towards this bird being aurimacula, which, according to "Thrushes" (Clement and Hathaway, 2000), ranges from Hainan, E Tonkin, and central Annam, to Vietnam, and possibly northern Laos.)

Bird News from Nial Moores with the "German team"
Yeongjong, May 13

Following heavy overnight rain, drizzle and fog, a good range of birds were found within 10 km of the airport, with 85 species logged. Best for the day included 7 Forest Wagtail (first individuals found in the concrete and planted green of the hotel "garden"), single Siberian Rubythroat and Latham's Snipe, 2 Arctic Warbler and another 50 plus Chestnut-flanked White-eye. In addition, 10 Chinese Egret, 15 Saunders's Gulls, 400 Far Eastern Curlew, and ca 4 000 Great Knot, supported by 8 000 Dunlin and lesser numbers of other typical shorebird species.

Bird News from Nial Moores with the "German team"
Namhansan and river near national arboretum, May 12

A half-day, with heavy rain falling from lunchtime onwards.

At Namhansan, 1 Brown Hawk Owl, 6 Indian and 4 Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo, 2 adults and 2 juvenile Brown Dipper, and ca 30 (more) Chestnut-flanked White-eye.

Near the arboretum, 2 adult Japanese Wagtail were feeding one recently-fledged and begging juvenile, and also there were 5 Mandarin and 3 Long-billed Plover.

Bird News from Nial Moores with the "German team"
Eocheong Island and ferry, May 11

Yellow-browed (left) and Yellow-breasted Buntings, Eocheong.
© Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Around 95 species logged for the day in dense fog, which only started to break at midday. Best for the day were the first White-throated Rock Thrush of the spring (Klemens Steiof), a male Amur Falcon, a Hodgon's Hawk Cuckoo and a Thick-billed Shrike heard.

Bird News from Nial Moores with the "German team"
Eocheong Island, May 10

Fog and drizzle cleared by late afternoon, followed by a significant and rapid departure of migrants.

Surprisingly "only" 82 species were logged, with a stray Eurasian/brandti Jay being the most unexpected find of the day, followed by an extremely late Bohemian Waxwing. Best birds of the day included an Amur Falcon, 1 Blyth's and 3 Pechora Pipit (2 seen extremely well), 3 Forest Wagtail, 10+ Rufous-tailed Robin, 110 Eye-browed Thrush and several large flocks of White-eye, totalling at least 150 individuals. As all those seen well were Chestnut-flanked, it can be stated that the vast majority were this species: very likely a new national high count.

Bird News from Nial Moores with the "German team"
Eocheong Island, May 9

In heavy rain and fog, 84 species logged, including the first personal Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo of the spring, 3 Chinese Pond Heron, 2 White-breasted Waterhen, single Pechora Pipit and Two-barred Greenish Warbler, still 2 male White-shouldered and a female Daurian Starling.

New spring high counts included 5 Black-naped Oriole, 12 Mugimaki and 15 Grey-streaked Flycatchers.

Bird News from Nial Moores with the "German team"
Ferry and Eocheong Island, May 8

About 86 species logged during the day, including 11 Murrelet sp from the ferry (with 35 Ancient Murrelet seen on May 7th by Robert, Manfred and Joachim, along with yet another pelgagic Grey Nightjar!).

On Eocheong in overcast conditions, single Chinese Egret, Greater Short-toed Lark, Blyth's Pipit, Chinese Blackbird, Arctic and Black-browed Reed Warblers (with the first 2 of the spring there on 7th). Other species of note included 200 Yellow-browed Warbler, 7 Red-throated Flycatcher, 25 Chestnut-flanked White-eye (a record count for the island) and 2 male White-shouldered Starling.

Red-throated Flycatcher, Eocheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Bird News from Kim Hyuntae
Eocheong Island

1 Hair-crested Drongo, and possibly 4 White-shouldered Starling.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel
South West Chungcheongnam-do and Gunsan area, May 9

Traveling a little north we noted a good assortment of shore birds. The first Grey-tailed Tattlers of the year were also later located at the Keum and Man-gyeong river. A pair of Black-capped Kingfishers were seen over a river near Biin Chung Chong Province. Also there, a single Hoopoe and a late Rustic Bunting were seen.

Back at the Keum River a Common Redshank and numerous Red-necked Stints were observed. New arrivals this week for the year also included the Black-naped Oriole, Indian Cuckoo and Common Cuckoo.

Near the village of Okku a small group of Azure-winged Magpie were seen.

Bird News from Dave Baker
Danyang, Chungbuk-do, May 9

White Wagtail (leucopsis) carrying food to a nest, but the nest not seen. Newly fledged juvenile Daurian Redstarts from two different nests. Grey-headed Greenfinch and Great Tit feeding slightly old juvenile birds. The first Black-naped Oriole of the spring heard singing in Danyang and the first Common Kingfisher seen on the Namhan River in Sangjin-ri.

Bird News from Dave Baker
Danyang, Chungbuk-do, May 8

One Eastern Crowned Warbler was found on Daeseong Hill. 4 male and 1 female Mandarin Duck at Danyang bridge on the Namhan River. The ducks were still there the next day. Also of note, though not a bird was a Korean Skink found on Daeseong Hill.

Bird News from Dave Baker
Danyang, Chungbuk-do, May 7

A pair of Mandarin Ducks E of Yeongwol in south Gangwon-do.

A Black-naped Oriole singing at the Lee Hyo Seok Memorial in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, the first that I have heard this spring.

In Gyeongpo Lake there were 5 Spotted Redshank in the sloughs near the river and 2 male Mandarin Ducks on the islet.

About 2 kilometers west of Eoseongcheon village a pair of Mandarin Ducks were seen in a flooded rice paddy.

Bird News from Dave Baker
Danyang, Chungbuk-do, May 6

At least one and maybe two male Siberian Stonechats found on the river banks in Danyang.

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Namhansan - river near arboretum - Yeongjong, May 7

The final day of the Birds Korea tour, and a chance to look for some of the more typical forest and woodland species before revisiting the Yeongjong high tide roost and the flights home.

Amongst 68 species logged for the day, most appreciated were Japanese Pygmy and White-backed Woodpeckers, Varied Tit, Brown Dipper, Long-billed Plover, Mandarin Duck, Japanese Wagtail, Chinese Egret (3), Saunders's Gull (ca10), Great Knot and a single Nordmann's Greenshank.

12 days of great birding, and approximately 230 species logged..., and we have been promised a number of "great" images (including some close-up Japanese Night Heron photos) to supplement the text reports which we will be posting as soon as possible.

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Mangyeung (Saemangeum) and Geum estuaries, May 6

Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Saemangeum, © Mike TODD.

Excellent views of many shorebirds in the early morning included the highlight of the trip for some: 3 Spoonbilled Sandpiper, and probably 3 Nordmann's Greenshank; while lunchtime at the Geum produced a breeding-plumaged Long-billed Dowitcher, and a distant Nordmann's.

The afternoon high tide roost on the Mangyeung held many fewer birds than the previous day, but still a single Saunders's Gull added much interest, along with ca 8 Azure-winged Magpie, 2 Brown Hawk Owl/Northern Boobook, 2 Mugimaki and 4 Rufous-tailed Robin in nearby woodland.

Bird News from Klemens Steiof
Socheong Island, May 1 - 5, (Highlights)

On May 4, 3 Greater Short-toed Lark were found near the lighthouse (possibly including 2 seen in the same location in late April).

On May 3, a single Two-barred Greenish Warbler was seen, along with an exceptionally high count for the far northwest of 12 male Narcissus Flycatcher. 5 Narcissus were also seen on 4th with none logged there on the 5th.

On May 2, outstanding highlight was the successful twitching (after prolonged telephone calls for directions!) of the Japanese Night Heron, still present, and now somewhat "fitter-looking" and loosely associating with 2 Chinese Pond Heron. Also present was a single female Siberian Thrush.

On May 1 the ferry to Socheong produced both a single Swinhoe's Storm Petrel and also a breeding-plumaged Yellow-billed Loon (the latest in a series of records of this evidently greatly under-recorded species), while on the island itself there were single Black Drongo (first national record of the year) and Brown-headed Thrush.

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Eocheong am - ferry and Saemangeum evening, May 5

Blyth's Pipit, Eocheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Comparing this Blyth's Pipit with the Richard's Pipit below, note Blyth's slighter build, saturated buffy underparts, clear lines on crown (and mantle), and the shape and patterning of the median coverts - more diamond-shaped dark centres.

A record-breaking 123 species logged during the day. Many species had departed with the continuing clear conditions, but single Blyth's and Pechora Pipits both proved very obliging for many in the group.

Other birds of note on the island included 5 species of flycatcher, the White-shouldered Starling still and 5 very late Bohemian Waxwing, while the ferry trip produced 80 Streaked Shearwater and at least 9 more Grey Nightjar.

A couple of hours in the evening on the Mangyeung River ended the day, with distant views of 7 Spoonbill sp (presumably Black-faced), 30 000 Great Knot and a flyby Nordmann's Greenshank.

Bird News from Dave Baker
Danyang, Chungbuk-do, May 4

A surprise find was a male Siberian Rubythroat in the riverside park in Danyang (later attempts the same day did not find the bird). 2 Dollarbirds were seen in Danyang for the first time this spring with at least five in the area the next day. Late in the evening a female Mandarin Duck was seen on the Namhan River.

Additionally, Vinous-throated Parrotbills are feeding young and a juvenile Yellow-throated Bunting (prob female) was observed on it's own away from parents. Mallards are consistently seen on both the smaller marshy streams in the area and occasionally visiting the Namhan River, and I suspect that they will, or are, breeding in the area. I also believe I found an Olive-backed Pipit nest in Gagok - a village about 5 km east of Danyang. There seems to be some question as to whether or not this species nests in South Korea. I flushed a bird from about a meter away from my feet in the grass of a small slope and photographed the bird as is sat in a tree nearby not leaving the area as you would have expected it would. The behavior seemed to indicate a nest. I did not search for the nest at that time fearing to disturb the nesting, but I know where it is and can find it in the future.

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Eocheong Island, May 4

Male davisoni Siberian Thrush, Eocheong, © Mike TODD.

An excellent day, with clear skies, light northwesterlies and a record-tying 122 species logged.
Although no major rarities were discovered, birds were both abundant and approachable (providing plenty of opportunity for digiscoping!). Amongst a long list of species, highlights included a Chinese Egret in the harbor, a male Amur Falcon, now 2 White-breasted Waterhen, good views of both Pintail and Swinhoe's Snipe, 9 Brown Shrike, Greater Short-toed Lark (1), 1000 + Olive-backed, 15 Richard's and a single Blyth's Pipit, 2 Siberian Thrush still, single Grey Thrush and Chinese Blackbird, an estimated 350 Eye-browed Thrush, a very early Thick-billed Warbler, a single Two-barred Greenish, 2 Hume's Leaf and 300 Yellow-browed Warblers, 300 Little, 50 Yellow-browed and 100 Black-faced Buntings, and the personal first Chestnut-cheeked Starling of the year (3), joining single Daurian and White-shouldered Starling.

Mike has posted a gallery of birds he photographed on the Birds Korea Spring Tour which give a great taste of what was seen. Go to

Eye-browed Thrush, Eocheong, © Birds Korea/Nial Moores

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Eocheong Island, May 3

Richard's Pipit, Eocheong, © KIM Su Kyung.

Heavy rain throughout the day and winds swinging from SE round to W produced the expected fall...arrivals seemed to peak at 1300 hrs, just before a heavy pulse of rain, with ca 950 Olive-backed Pipit counted coming in off the sea in less than 40 minutes.

Best birds of the day (out of 109 species logged, including 9 species of bunting and 19 species of shorebird!) included the White-shouldered Starling and Little Whimbrel still, a single Little Swift, 1500 Olive-backed, 1 Blyth's and ca 15 Richard's Pipits, 5 Brown-headed Thrush in one group, outdone by a flock of 125+ Eye-broweds, a male Paradise Flycatcher (presumed to be Black), 2 Hume's Leaf Warbler, probably 2 Citrine Wagtail, and the personal first Forest Wagtail (5) of the spring.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel
Gunsan Area, May 2

We noted our first Broad-billed Roller today over farm land east of Eunpa Park. Also Cattle Egrets were seen in multiple locations. Viewing off a point near the Kunsan Airport where Great Knot, Red Knot and a few Ruddy Turnstones were seen, a Peregrine Falcon tried to catch a meal.

At the Hanguk Saltpans seven White Spoonbills seemed out of place on the mud of a pond that had just been dredged. I suspect some of the area will initially be used for rice production. Nonetheless that will mean the destruction of the important shallow ponds that served as roosts and high tide feeding areas for many different kinds of shorebirds and waterfowl. In the remaining ponds a single Black-winged Stilt was seen as well as 2 Marsh Sandpiper.

In Hwoe-hyun a single Curlew Sandpiper was spotted among the thousands of Dunlin there.

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Ferry and Eocheong Island, May 2

The ferry journey produced some excellent views of Streaked Shearwater (46), and a good range of migrants. On the island itself, overcast conditions soon followed by rain seemed to drop a few migrants, with species logged including a White-breasted Waterhen, a Little Whimbrel, 2 Black-winged Stilt, 9 White-throated Needletailed Swift, a Wryneck, 2 Rufous-tailed Robin, 1 davisoni Siberian Thrush, an early Arctic Warbler, and no less than 30 Narcissus Flycatcher: an amazing count away from the far southwestern islands. In addition, there was a male White-shouldered Starling, apparently first found on the 29th.

Bird News from Nial Moores and Kim Su-Kyung, with Birds Korea group.
Seosan, May 1

Red-billed Starling, Soesan, © KIM Hyun-tae.

In warm sunshine 68 species were logged, including a single Oriental Pratincole, and breeding-plumaged Curlew Sandpiper (1), Red Knot (1), Black-tailed Godwit (700), Red-necked (150), Temminck's (1) and Long-toed Stints (8). In addition, 70 Tundra and 5 Eastern Taiga Bean were found feeding well away from the main lake in amongst 350 Greater White-fronts, perhaps largely due to the extremely odd (and potentially suicidal) decision taken by some local (Hyundai?) employees to purposefully fly at flocks of roosting waterbirds in small aircraft...

Apart from shorebirds, best birds of the day included 3 Eurasian Spoonbill still, 7 Falcated Duck (with 3 pairs watched displaying, and one pair even copulating), and a lone female Baikal Teal.

Kim Hyun-tae the same day reported finding Purple Heron, followed by Red-billed Starling there on May 2