Red-billed Starling: April 16th 2000, Ganghwa Island
Kim Jin-Man

Red-billed Starling Sturnus sericeus

Photo ©Nial Moores, November 2001

First recorded on Ganghwa island, Gyeongii Province, by KIM Jin Man, April 16 2000. Second record by Nial Moores (April 30, 2000); first photographed in November 2000.

Although only first recorded on the Korean Peninsula in April 2000 (by KIM Jin-Man at Ganghwa Island, Gyeonggi Province), the Red-billed (or Silky) Starling appears to be a regular though uncommon migrant to the west coast of South Korea. It has been recorded two more times on Ganghwa (19/9/2000 and 21/4/2001) and in addition there is also apparently a recent record in the summer months from Pyongyang, North Korea (e.g. W. Duckworth in lit). Most intriguingly, there was also apparently a large flock (ca 100) recorded on the east coast of South Korea in autumn 2001. Additionally, 2-3 records on the Hebei coast over the last 2-3 years suggests range expansion (J. Hornskov pers com).

The species is distinctive in all plumages, looking more heavily-built than White-cheeked Starling Sturnus cineraceus, with an overall paler gray plumage, a white patch on the primary coverts and primary bases, and either a yellowy (juvenile) or bright red bill, with reddish legs.

The table below lists the sightings of Red-billed Starling made by Nial Moores on Gageo and Eocheong Islands, Busan, and latterly in Guryongpo.

Immature Red-billed Starling, Busan, Nov 6 2002,
Photo © Nial Moores
DateNumber: Age and SexLocation
Apr 30 20002: 1 male,1 femaleGageo Is
Nov 1-2 20002: 1 male; 1 1st winter/female?Gageo Is
Nov 4-5 20001 maleGageo Is
Nov 7 20002: 1 juvenile/1st winter; 1 maleGageo Is
Nov 8-10 20001 adult femaleGageo Is
Nov 1 20011 femaleGageo Is
Apr 18-19 20021 singing maleEocheong Is
Apr 22 20021 femaleEocheong Is
Nov 6 20021 immature (pictured above)Busan
Nov 23 20022 immaturesGuryongpo