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 February 2005


Cold winters mean both temperatures and birding are similar to January, while mild winters are marked by brief spells of rain or sleet, often followed by warmer sunshine, with maximum temperatures rising to 15°C in the southeast.

Many wildfowl are on the move by mid-month, including one or two Baer's Pochard. Tundra Beans, Greater White-fronted and usually Swan Geese can be found at the Han-Imjin. Most Baikal Teal start to depart and by month's end can be difficult to find in southern locations. Rooks and Daurian Jackdaws begin to move back into the Nakdong valley and near Gunsan. February sees the start of crane migration, with Hooded and White-napeds moving into South Korea from Japan. Relict and Saunders's Gull peak at several sites. In the right weather conditions large numbers of Ancient Murrelets and a few Rhinoceros Auklets move north off Guryongpo. At the end of the month the first migrants, such as Far Eastern Curlews, Hoopoes and Japanese Lesser Sparrowhawks start to arrive.

Highlights in February 2001 included a peak count of 143 Relict Gull at Song Do, in 2002, Korea's first Ferruginous Duck, and in 2003 White-crowned Sparrow in Busan, and Thayer's and American Herring Gull on the east coast.

In both 2004 and 2005 highlights included a Pallas's/Great Black-headed Gull (Korea's 3rd and 4th records). 2006 brought South Korea's first confirmed Brunnich's Guillemot, as well as records of Long-billed Dowitcher and Yellow-bellied Tit.

(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 Tim Edelsten
Songdo, A February Round-up

Unusually, a Common Sandpiper has been overwintering, seen since late January. A Goldeneye on the13th was a first for here, seemingly a scarce bird anywhere near Seoul. A Blue Rock Thrush was a colorful sight. 21 Goosanders had departed the reservoir by the 27th.

Up to 10 Slaty-backed Gull, 40 Common Gulls,100 Common Shelduck, 400 Mallard,100 Northern Shoveler, 40 Common Teal and 50 Northern Pintail range the estuary. No Dunlin, Grey Plover or Dusky Thrushes so far, unlike last winter, and 250 Black-headed Gulls are similarly less than a year ago.

143 Saunders' Gull on the 8th, just begining to moult had dwindled to 32 birds with almost complete jet black hoods by the 27th: on which day they were accompanied by a Relict Gull.

Pochard are starting to regroup, about 50 on the 27th. Typically they arrive in hundreds in late autumn before dispersing quickly and re-appearing around now in smaller numbers.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel
February 28, vicinity of Gunsan, Oh-seong Mtn. Geum and Man-gyeong Rivers

Two Red-flanked Bluetail females were on Oh-seong Mountain.

Checking small reservoirs in villages around Gunsan revealed a couple of male Falcated Teals. The fresh water side of the Geum River had a single male Red-crested Pochard in the exact place where one was seen earlier in the winter.

At Hwoe-hyun a single male Hen Harrier was seen, Dunlin and Grey Plovers seem to be building in numbers. Best birds there were four Hooded Cranes (two adults and two juveniles), initially spotted on the mud flats of the Man-gyeong. They then flew to a nearby rice field were we watched them at a respectful distance through spotting scopes.

Hooded Cranes, Hwoe-hyun © Jake MacLennan

Bird News from Nial Moores with Werner Suter, Einhard Bezzel, Rudolf Bigler, Marcel Hofsetter, Christian Zoch, Oliver Zeising, Thomas Zingg, Marianne Lenz, Gunther Helm, Eva Luksch and Ilse Wendland
Cheorwon-Gwangeung, February 28

Under clear skies with deep lying snow and overnight temperatures of -12C, 15 Red-crowned and 40 White-naped Cranes provided an excellent start to the day, while the arboretum in the afternoon held 2 Solitary Snipe and single Black and White-backed Woodpeckers. Other species of note included 10 000 Greater White-fronted Goose in roadside rice-fields, 15 Cinereous Vulture, single White-tailed Eagle, excellent views of a perched Northern Goshawk, 2 early spring Japanese Lesser Sparrowhawk, and 6 Siberian Accentor.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Werner Suter, Einhard Bezzel, Rudolf Bigler, Marcel Hofsetter, Christian Zoch, Oliver Zeising, Thomas Zingg, Marianne Lenz, Gunther Helm, Eva Luksch and Ilse Wendland
Song Do (evening), February 27

With little over an hour of daylight remaining, 200 Saunders's Gull (many in breeding plumage) and 60 osculans Eastern Oystercatcher were the obvious highlights.

Bird News from Chai Seung-hoon
Buan, February 27

Pacific Swift, Buan © Chai Seung-hoon. The first record of the year?

Bird News from Clive Minton, Australasian Wader Study Group:

Flag Sightings:

A Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris was sighted in a flock of 2500 birds by Arthur and Sheryl Keates at: Buffalo Creek Beach, Darwin, NT, Australia 12deg 20min 10sec S, 130deg 54min 40sec E on 26/02/2005 with flag(s) as follows:

LEFT leg: white flag on tibia (upper leg) above orange flag on tarsus; RIGHT leg: nothing/unknown on tibia (upper leg) above nothing/unknown on tarsus

This bird was flagged in Korean Peninsula, approximate co-ordinates 36deg min S, 126deg 40min E, which uses the flag combination White/Orange, sometime since 1998.

The resighting was a distance of approximately 5394 km, with a bearing of 174 degrees, from the marking location.

Plumage described as: 50% Breeding.

Notes from observer: The bird was in advanced breeding plumage (say 40-50%) and was with about 2500 Knots (Red and Great).

What was possibly the same bird was seen by the same observers at the same location on earlier occasions, as recently as 13/2/05.

A Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris was sighted by Catherine McFadden at: between Lee Pt. and Buffalo Ck. Beach, Darwin, NT, Australia 12deg 20min 5sec S, 130deg 54min 13sec E on 13/02/2005 with flag(s) as follows:

LEFT leg: white flag on tibia (upper leg) above orange flag on tarsus; RIGHT leg: nothing/unknown on tibia (upper leg) above nothing/unknown on tarsus

This bird was flagged in Korean Peninsula, approximate co-ordinates 36deg min S, 126deg 40min E, which uses the flag combination White/Orange, sometime since 1998.

The resighting was a distance of approximately 5394 km, with a bearing of 174 degrees, from the marking location.

A Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris was sighted by Arthur and Sheryl Keates at: Buffalo Creek Beach, Darwin, NT, Australia 12deg 20min 10sec S, 130deg 54min 40sec E on 13/02/2005 with flag(s) as follows:

LEFT leg: white flag on tibia (upper leg) above orange flag on tarsus; RIGHT leg: nothing/unknown on tibia (upper leg) above nothing/unknown on tarsus

This bird was flagged in Korean Peninsula, approximate co-ordinates 36deg min S, 126deg 40min E, which uses the flag combination White/Orange, sometime since 1998.

The resighting was a distance of approximately 5394 km, with a bearing of 174 degrees, from the marking location.

Bird News from Mike Hooper
Imjin, February 26

A morning visit to Imjinjak produced 8 White-naped Cranes, the first for me this winter.

Cinereous Vultures, Jeokseong © Mike Hooper

Further up the Imjin River at Jeokseong there were approx 400 Cinereous Vultures settled onto rice stubble. This large congregation attracted 90 Magpies and in the region of 50 Large-billed Crows. There was no carrion in evidence.

The River itself was devoid of birds as the locals were extracting water, however, in a remote section the flock of 50+ Ruddy Shelduck were still around. Along the river banks were the usual flocks of Brambling, Tree Sparrows and Rustic Buntings but this time they were joined by a colourful party (20) of Oriental Greenfinches.

Bird News from Mike Hooper
Han River, February 25

The Han river in Seoul has numerous parties of mergansers and Little Grebes and today these have been joined by approx 200 Pochard sheltering by the side of Banpo Bridge.

At the US army base at Yonsan a party of 4 Hawfinches were the first I have seen in Seoul.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Richard and Erica Klim
Song Do, February 25

A quick visit to what remains of Song Do tidal-flat in Incheon produced 223 Saunders's Gull (ca 3 % of the estimated world population), 7 or 8 Relict Gull (mostly first winters), 3 Eastern Oystercatcher (osculans), and several Monglian in amongst ca 50 Vega and ca 250 Black-tailed Gulls.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Richard and Erica Klim
NE River - Arboretum - Cheorwon basin, February 24

More long-distance driving and three more target species seen, with highlights including ca 9 plus Scaly-sided Merganser on the NE River still (where also a White-tailed Eagle and a confiding flock of Asian Azure-winged Magpie); the arboretum Solitary Snipe still (where 52 White-naped Crane were also watched flying north); and 7 Siberian Accentor, along with 150 Rustic Bunting and a good range of commoner species (including single Common Kingfisher and Mandarin Duck), at a site en route.

Last stop of the day was the Cheorwon basin, where ca 80 White-naped and 30 Red-crowned Crane were seen, as well as ca 15 Daurian Jackdaw and a flock of ca 200 Meadow Bunting (the latter the largest flock of this taxon in South Korea known to Birds Korea). In addition, photographer Jin Ik Tae reported single Common and Hooded Crane there.

Bird News from Kim Hyun Tae
Seosan and Gunsan, February 24

1 Eurasian Bittern on Seosan and 1 Water Rail on Gunsan.

Eurasian Bittern, © Kim Hyun Tae

Water Rail, © Kim Hyun Tae

Bird News from Choi Soon-Kyoo
Yeosu, February 23

Meadow Bunting (presumed subspecies ciopsis), Yeosu © Choi Soon-Kyoo

Presumed ciopsis: the second record for Korea of this distinctive subspecies. Note colour of ear coverts (black); almost broken lower edge to the white sub-moustachial; grey-washed throat; saturated colour of upperparts; and also saturated colour of underparts (Korean males show much deeper breasts offset by apricot wash on underparts).

Bird News from Nial Moores with Richard and Erica Klim
Geum and Han-Imjin, February 23

A dawn start at the Geum provided a range of 'scope-filling views of Baikal Teal, including both a lone adult male only 25 m away from us, and THE flock, today containing possibly as many as 400 000 or 450 000 individuals.

Also on the river, at least 4 Lesser White-fronted Goose (3 adult types, one first winter) in with increased numbers ( ca 3 500) of Greater White-fronts.

At the Han-Imjin, 2 White-naped Crane were likely signs of early spring, as were ca 25 Swan Goose. Incredibly, these included one neck-banded individual - R 90 - apparently the same individual that had been until recently wintering at the Geum (see e.g. news from February 06). Also there, ca 5 White-tailed Eagle and a lone first winter Steller's Sea Eagle: the latter rather late for this species in South Korea.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Richard and Erica Klim
Haenam - Suncheon - Geum River, February 22

A temporary mild spell, and obvious signs of early spring with widespread eunomus Dusky Thrush and a few Grey Starling.

At Yeongam, still 6 Oriental White Stork, and ca 200 Eastern Taiga Bean, while a brief stop at Gocheonnam produced single Eastern Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Merlin and Northern Goshawk.

At Suncheon Bay a brief look at the northern rice-fields provided good views of at least 145 Hooded Crane, and an apparent adult Common Crane, as well as a single adult Lesser White-fronted Goose in with ca 250 Greater White-fronts (mostly orange-billed birds).

The last hour of the day was spent at the Geum River, where strong winds hampered birding. However, ca 100 Saunders's Gull at the barrage and then probably ca 300 000 Baikal Teal (in 3 groups) watched lifting off the lake in the evening, at one point only 100 m away from us, provided a truly spectacular end to the day... Barry Heinrich (also there) told us of 13 Swan Geese, which we missed.

Bird News from Choi Soon Kyoo
Hwasun, February 22

Grey Bunting, Hwasoon © Choi Soon Kyoo

1 Grey Bunting: extremely skulking, this is a rare photograph.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel
Gunsan vicinity, Geum River and industrial zone, February 20

On Oh-seong Mountain numerous Pale Thrushes were heard calling. Also, there was a single Red-flanked Bluetail.

Merlin, Gunsan © Jake MacLennan

Thirteen Swan Geese were on the river side with a similar number of Whooper Swans. A little inland from the river a Grey Wagtail was seen in a canal. PN saw a Japanese Wagtail in the same place on the nineteenth.

In the industrial area a Merlin perched and was seen well from the car during a snow shower.

In Eunpa park a Northern Goshawk flew by. While walking by a swampy field, we flushed a single Eurasian Woodcock that has apparently been wintering there.

Bird News from Peter de Haas
Joonam Redervoir, February 20

The first pair of Hoopoes and Grey Starlings of this year

Hoopoe, Joonam © Peter de Haas

Bird News from Tim Edelsten
Gwangneung Arboretum, February 15

Solitary Snipe, Gwangneung © Tim Edelsten

A Solitary Snipe was first to greet me at the weir, winging away rather slowly before resuming its methodical, measured probing of the shallow river bed. On a very overcast day, a moments burst of sunshine caught its varnished chestnut plumage as it bobbed its way slowly between the rocks. A noisy Brown Dipper was feeding frantically downstream, while 4 Green Sandpipers were at the far northern end.

Nearby, a Black Woodpecker announced itself with shrill calls as it flew among the conifers.

2 Cinereous Vultures drifted high overhead. More unexpected was a typically pale Upland Buzzard which suddenly appeared roving low over the treeline: giving splendid views as it hung motionless and hovered over the forest.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel
Oh-seong Mountain, Geum River and Estuary, Gunsan vicinity, February 13

East of Na-oon Dong (Kunsan City) in a canal there were two Long-billed Plovers, several Green Sandpipers and a few Common Snipe.

Oh-seong Mountain was very active with passerines. Every bush and tree in one area seemed to have a Varied Tit or two. Several Pale Thrushes were seen or heard. The first two Red-flanked Bluetails of the day were seen, four total today. One Goldcrest was oddly seen low in the brush. Best bird on Oh-seong was a White-backed Woodpecker.

In the river the Baikal Teal are back in "Uncountable numbers" (PN). In the estuary 36 Swan Geese were counted but R90 was not seen. In the industrial area Eurasian Skylarks were seen displaying.

Bird News from Barry Heinrich
Yeongdeok, Guryongpo, Chungju and Andong, x rivers estuary, coast, harbour and forest, February 11

Yongdeok and Ganggu
I went to Yeongdeok and Guryongpo during Sol lal. On 08 Feb I walked from Yongdeok to Ganggu along the river. I saw about 45 species of birds including Mallards, Common Teals, Spot-billed Ducks, Pintails, Gadwalls, Wigeons, Tufted Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, Black-headed Gulls, a Mongolian Gull, Vega Gulls, Black-tailed Gulls, Buff-bellied Pipits, Oriental Greenfinches, Tree Sparrows, Rufous Turtle Doves, Japanese Wagtails, a White Wagtail, Yellow-throated Buntings, Tree Sparrows, Brown-eared Bulbuls, Dusky Thrushes, Grey Starlings, Black-billed Magpies, Grey Herons, Great Egrets, Little Egrets, Common Kestrels and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk along the freshwater.

Interesting species were Little Buntings and Siberian Accenters seen where the creek meets the river in Yeongdeok, 15+ Black-backed Wagtails, Long-billed Plovers and a Whooper Swan about a kilometre upstream from the estuary and Little Buntings again in the grass at the beginning of the estuary.

Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes, a Black-necked Grebe, Falcated Teals, Tufted Ducks, Spot-billed Ducks, Wigeons and Mallards were seen along the estuary and a pair of Arctic (Loons) Divers resting on rocks beside the estuary.

Homigot and Guryongpo
I spent the night at Homigot Motel and got up to see the sunrise on 09 Feb. I walked for a while towards Guryongpo and saw more Black-headed, Black-tailed and Vega Gulls and a single first year Glaucous Gull.

Other birds included Black-backed Wagtails and Japanese Wagtails, Brown-eared Bulbuls and Mallards.

I took the bus back to Guryongpo where I found more of the same gulls in and around the harbour. In the harbour I saw some Great Crested Grebes, Black-necked Grebes and Little Grebes, two Arctic Divers, a Pacific Diver (the latter with a distinctive chinstrap line around it's throat), three Ancient Murrelets and a Blue Rock-Thrush.

Last weekend, 5 February, I made a day trip to Chungju. I had time to have a quick look at the birds in Dalcheon near the Chungju sewerage treatment plant. The weather was quite mild for winter and the bird numbers were down a bit for what I expected. Of note there were 6 Whooper Swans, the species was absent two weeks before on a previous visit when I saw 3 Ruddy Shelducks. There were Gadwalls, Spot-billed Ducks, Tufted Ducks, Common Mergansers, Pochards, Mallards and Common Teals in good numbers.

In Andong over the last couple of weeks, I have seen Coots, Common Mergansers, Smew, Mallard, Spot-billed Ducks, Tufted Ducks, Common Teal, Falcated Teal, Grey Herons, Great Egrets, Little Egrets, Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe and Winter Wren along the Nakdong River. I have not seen any Scaly-sided Mergansers amongst the several hundred Common Mergansers.

Forest birds seen around Andong include Yellow-throated Bunting, Rustic Bunting, Dusky Thrush (and possibly a Pale Thrush), Brown-eared Bulbul, Ring-necked Pheasant, Great Tit, Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Varied Tit, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Daurian Redstart, Black-billed Magpie, Rufous Turtle Dove and a Red-flanked Buetail.

Bird News from Tim Edelsten with Stephen Lamb
Han-Imjin rivers, February 10

Tundra and Greater White-fronted Geese, Han River © Tim Edelsten

Bangujeong lookout (am): Around 40 Cinereous Vultures soared lazily overhead, while mixed gangs of White-fronted and serrirostris Tundra Bean Geese paraded in almost every rice paddy from Imjingak to Paju - probably about 5000 birds in total. Another naummani Dusky Thrush here continued my streak of seeing no "dusky" birds this winter in the Seoul vicinity..

Jeokseong (pm): - A beautiful stretch of frozen river, with reeds and dunes. Plentiful deer slots along the waters edge, so clearly good habitat for mammals as well as birds here. Another 50 or so Cinereous Vultures, and a loitering White-tailed Sea Eagle overhead. I was pleasantly surprised to find a single Northern Lapwing and Long-billed Plover patrolling the sands, as well as 2 Common Reed Buntings. A "murder" of 43 Large-billed Crows on the sandbar is the largest single gathering I've seen of these. Another ca 2000 mixed geese were in the vicinity and 30-40 Ruddy Shelduck.

Bird News round-up from Dave Baker
Various locations

White-tailed Sea-eagle: Gangnung River estuary - 1, Feb 9; Cheongcho Lake, Sokcho - 2, Feb 10; Hwajin Lake, Goseong-Gun - 2; 1 adult 1immature, Feb 10; Songji Lake, Goseong-Gun - 1, Feb 10

Ancient Murrelet: 3 , Samcheok Beach, Samcheok, Feb 9

Bewick's Swan: 5 - 2 adult, 3 immatures (apparently a family group), Gyeongpo Lake, Gangnung, Feb 9.

Peregrine, subspecies pealei: roosting on islet off the end on Geojin Point, Geojin, Goseong-Gun, Feb 10

Glaucous Gull: 3 (2 immatures, 1 adult) Gyoam, Goseong-Gun, Feb 10; 1 adult, Geojin Point, Feb 10

Chinese Penduline Tit: 1 female, Cheongcho Lake, Sokcho, Feb 10

Long-billed Plover: 5 in a group, on small dam on the upper Mushim River at the Danjae Teacher Training Center, near Miwon, NE of Cheongju, Jan 25 and 26, gone Jan 27. Two birds present Jan 28, not seen during the week after that.

Bird News from Mike Hooper
Namsan Park, February 8

A Red Flanked Bluetail was in Namsan park a.m.

Bird News from Sim Heon Seup
Yeongok stream to Yangyang, February 6

Steller's Sea Eagle, © Sim Heon Seup

3-4 White-tailed Eagles and 1 Steller's Sea Eagle.

Bird News from Choi Soon Kyoo
Ganghwa Island, February 6

Red-crowned Cranes © Choi Soon Kyoo

3 Red-crowned Cranes and 2 Snow Geese.

Bird News from Jake Mac Lennan and Peter Nebel
Geum Estuary, River and Gunsan Vicinity, February 6

Long-billed Plover © Jake MacLennan

Scouting a new site the previous day revealed three Long-billed Plovers as well as six Green Sandpipers. On Sunday one Long-billed Plover was seen as well as a single Green Sandpiper. Olive-backed Pipits seem wide spread: they were encountered or heard in several areas today.

At the Geum River Estuary 36 Swan Geese were seen. The goose marked R90 seems to have made the estuary her winter home. About 100 Northern Lapwings and a similar number of Eurasian Curlew were there as well. Perhaps as many Eurasian Curlews were at the Man-gyeong Estuary. Up river on the Geum only a handful of Baikal Teal remain.

At the industrial area, in a body of water soon to be reclaimed, several Falcated Teal as well as a Horned Grebe were seen well.

East of Eunpa park Grey-headed Woodpeckers were heard calling and drumming in the mild weather. Seen there also was a spodocephala Black-faced Bunting. Fifty or so Azure-winged Magpies scolded a Kestrel as they cautiously traversed the open areas making for their roost in the dense bamboo stands.

Bird News from Park Heung Sik
Misari in Han River, February 6

1 male Red-crested Pochard and 5 White-tailed Eagles.

The Red-crested Pochard is a rare winter visitor to South Korea with probably less than 10 records (all since 1998), and all pre-2004 records close to either the Han or the Nakdong Rivers - thus this record was typical in both date and location.

Male Red-crested Pochard, © Park Heung Sik

Bird News from Park Jong Gil
Heuksan Island, February 5

1 Pallas's/Great Black-headed Gull. An adult moulting into breeding plumage, this record (the 5th in South Korea) is on a notably similar date to an adult found on the Han River on Feb 07 2004.

Adult Pallas's/Great Black-headed Gull, Heuksan Island © Park Jong Gil

Bird News from Mike Hooper
Namsan Park, February 5

Namsan Park was alive with foraging parties of Vinous-throated Parrotbills and tits, predominantly Great and Marsh. Noteworthy were the number of Varied Tits (20+) and a number of Goldcrests (5+) joining the tits in the canopy.

Having never seen Winter Wren in Namsan, today three were visible. Other sightings included Dusky Thrush (14), both naumanni and eunomus, and Grey Headed (1) and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker (4).

Bird News from Mike Hooper
Imjin River, February 5

White-tailed Sea Eagle (1) remains at the Imjin River at Jeokseong, best sighting (for me,) however, were Pallas's Rosefinch (14). Other sightings included Cinereous Vulture (100+), Common Buzzard (12!), Ruddy Shelduck (82), Eurasian Skylark (1), Rustic Bunting (200+), Brambling (100) and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Ed Keeble
Cheorwon-Arboretum, February 3

Cinereous Vultures, Cheorwon © Nial Moores

With overnight temperatures down to -15C in Cheorwon, a cold start to the day, warmed by excellent flight views of ca 65 White-naped and 35 Red-crowned Cranes. Also at Cheorwon, 585 Cinereous Vulture counted in one scan, along with 2 first year Golden Eagle, ca 6 White-tailed Eagle and one possible Steller's (3 have been reported here apparently in recent days).

At the arboretum, one Solitary Snipe still, 2 or more Brown Dipper, 2 Black and one White-backed Woodpecker, and one Japanese Waxwing heard calling: the latter is the first that Birds Korea has heard of this winter.

Bird News from Gang Chang Wan
Ojori and Jongdalri beach in Jeju, February 2

Chinese Blackbird, Jeju © Gang Chang Wan

1 Chinese Blackbird: since the first record in July 1999 (of a small breeding “colony”), Chinese Blackbird (Turdus (merula) mandarinus) has been increasingly recorded, most especially as an early spring migrant on offshore islands.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Ed Keeble
Song Do, Gimpo and Han-Imjin, February 2

At Song Do, 138 Saunders's Gull were counted at high tide roost, along with a good range of Mongolian Gull types and one possible second-winter American Herring Gull.

In rice-fields in Gimpo, 2 different Rough-legged Buzzard (still very scarce, but apparently in their highest numbers in Korea for at least 5 years), ca 25 Cinereous Vulture, ca 8 000 Greater White-fronted Goose (predominantly grey, pink-billed individuals), and a Snow Goose.

On the Han-Imjin, few surprises, with best being 30-40 more Cinereous Vulture, 2 White-tailed Eagle and ca 100 Rustic Bunting.

Bird News from Nial Moores with Ed Keeble
Seosan, February 1

With temperatures down to -10 C at night (rising to -4C, with snow showers and strong northweserly winds during the day), birding was largely confined to the car...

Highlights included excellent views of the Oriental White Stork sheltering with Great Egret and Grey Heron from the snow; a close encounter with a Chinese Grey Shrike; 2 White-tailed Eagle; and a flock of 30 or so Lapland Bunting watched feeding.

Oriental White Stork, Seosan © Nial Moores