Trip Report: Heuksan Island, April 26 - May 9 2013
Philippe MALENFERT (
(With additional editing and layout by Birds Korea)
All observations and images by P. M.

  1. Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha. At least five individuals during my stay.

  2. Eurasian Teal Anas crecca. One pair on 07/05 at the reservoir.

  3. Arctic Loon Gavia arctica. Four on 26/04; five on 28/04; six on 30/04; and five together on 03/05.

  4. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. One adult on 26/04 and 27/04; one immature on 04/05; and one adult and one immature at the reservoir on 07/05.

  5. Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus. Up to ten seen daily. One was photographed trying to swallow a pipit (which was ringed). It finally flew away with its prey….

    Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus, © Philippe Malenfert

  6. Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus. First seen on 29/04; four at roost on 01/05; three at roost on 03/05; two on 08/05 in Ye-ri.

  7. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea. Common and seen daily, especially in the late afternoon.

  8. Great Egret Ardea alba. 4+ from 26/04 to 08/05.

  9. Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia. The most common of the Ardeidae, with up to 12 daily.

    Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia, © Philippe Malenfert

  10. Little Egret Egretta garzetta. Commonly seen, e.g. four on 26/04 and 27/04.

    Little Egret Egretta garzetta, © Philippe Malenfert

  11. Temminck’s Cormorant Phalacrocorax capillatus. One immature seen from time to time in the bay and an adult seen on 28/04 were thought at the time to be Great Cormorant P. carbo, but based on location and previous records both presumably refer to this species.

  12. Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis. One on 30/04; one male and one female on migration on 04/05. Many sparrowhawks remained unidentified from a distance, e.g. at least two pairs in what appeared to be nuptial flight on top of the mountains on 04/05 were either this species or Eurasian Sparrowhawk A. nisus.

  13. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus. See above.

  14. Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis. One was caught in a mist-net in front of me with the prey it was chasing after (a Pale Thrush); one on 03/05.

  15. White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaetus albicilla. Two flying NE on 03/05.

  16. Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus. Two migrating on 27/04; one migrating on 02/05; two migrating on 03/05; and two migrating on 04/05.

  17. Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo. One on migration on 27/04; one on migration on 01/05.

  18. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. A pair was seen almost daily. Seen at dusk trying to catch an Oriental Pratincole 20 meters away from me (it missed!).

  19. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus. One on 28/04 at Baenanggimi; one (unringed) on 07/05 at Baenanggimi.

  20. Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla. Two on 30/04 and one on 06/05 at Baenanggimi.

  21. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus. One in the village on 30/04.

  22. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus. Three on 27/04 and two on 28/04.

  23. Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. 3+ on 27/04; one on 30/04; and one on 06/05.

  24. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius. One on 27/04 and one on 07/05.

  25. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus. One male on 27/04.

  26. Mongolian Plover Charadrius mongolus. One on 26/04; three on 27/04; one on 30/04; and two on 06/05.

  27. Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii. Two adults on 26/04, and one on 27/04.

  28. Pin-tailed Snipe Gallinago stenura. Four on 28/04 at Baenanggimi; one on 01/05 in the village.

  29. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago. 1+ on 30/04, and one on 07/05.

  30. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa melanuroides. One on 28-29/04; one on 05/05; three on 06/05; and three on 07/05.

    Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa melanuroides, © Philippe Malenfert

  31. Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. One in flight on 29/04; one on 05/05, and one on 07/05.

    Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, © Philippe Malenfert

  32. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis. One on 27/04.

  33. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia. One on 26/04; one on 27/04; four on 28/04; two on 30/04; two on 02/05; two on 03/05; three on 04/05; two on 05/05; four on 06/05; and four on 07/05.

  34. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. 6+ on 26/04 and 10+ from 27/04 onwards. The number decreased from 04/05.

  35. Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes. One on 30/04 on the beach; one on 01/05; two on 05/05; one on 06/05; three on 07/05; and four on 09/05.

    Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes, © Philippe Malenfert

  36. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus. One on 01/05 on the beach; one on 04/05; two on 06/05; and two on 07/05.

  37. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. Two on 27/04; one on 01/05; three on 03/05; four on 04/05; one on 06/05; and two on 07/05.

  38. Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis. Two on 29/04; one in non-breeding plumage on 02/05; and one on 04/05.

  39. Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta. One in a channel in Jin-ri on 03/05.

    Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta, © Philippe Malenfert

  40. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata. Three on 27/04; one on 30/04; one with a broken wing on 02/05.

  41. Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum. Two roosted at night in a bare field in Jin-ri from 28/04 to 05/05. One of them broke a wing and was not seen afterwards, the other individual was seen until 07/05.

    Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum, © Philippe Malenfert

  42. Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris. Seen daily (mainly immature birds). 1+ adult on 29/04.

  43. Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus. One immature at the beach on 28/04 and 30/04, seen again on 08/05 and 09/05.

  44. Vega Gull Larus vegae. Common and seen daily.

  45. Mongolian Gull Larus mongolicus. Common and seen daily.

  46. Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus. One adult on 08/05 and 09/05.

  47. Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis.Seen daily feeding on the ground, even amongst hikers at the port!.

  48. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis. One found by the NPMBRC team on 09/05 in Jin-ri.

    Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis, © Philippe Malenfert

  49. Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus. One heard on 27/04 west of Jin-ri,.

  50. Oriental cuckoo Cuculus optatus. Heard daily from 28/04 onwards. One seen on 07/05 in Baenanggimi.

  51. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. One heard at dusk on 05/05 in Jin-ri; one seen on 09/05 in Ye-ri.

  52. Northern Boobook Ninox japonica. One heard for an hour on 05/05 at night.

  53. Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka. One heard briefly on 05/05 at dusk.

  54. Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris. One on 28/04 at dawn at Baenanggimi was still there that afternoon.

  55. Pacific Swift Apus pacificus. Five on 28/04; four on 29/04; 15 above the fields of Eupdong on 03/05; a few drinking at the reservoir on 07/05.

  56. House Swift Apus nipalensis. One on 28/04 at dawn at Baenanggimi.

  57. Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis.1 on a wire on 28/04.

  58. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis. Up to three seen daily, occasionally by the seaside.

  59. Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus. One on 06/05 in Baenanggimi.

  60. Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus. One caught a pipit on 26/04 in Jin-ri.

  61. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach. One in the village close to the old reservoir on 01/05.

  62. Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis. One on 03/05 west of Jin-ri.

  63. Japanese Waxwing Bombycilla japonica. One on 29/04; ten in Ye-ri on 02/05 (roosting in a pine tree); 20 in Jin-ri on 03/05 roosted close to the village; and seven in Ye-ri on 06/05.

  64. Eastern Great Tit Parus minor. Commonly heard or seen around the village.

  65. Varied Tit Poecile varius. One nest-feeding on 01/05 in the village; another at another nest on 04/05.

  66. Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis. Once the different calls of the species are well known, it is contacted with daily in small numbers, sometimes in pairs.

  67. Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis. Very common (and noisy!).

  68. Sand Martin Riparia riparia. One on 28/04 at Baenanggimi.

  69. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. Common on stopover or in active migration, e.g. 100 on 27/04.One individual with reddish underparts on 01/05 at roost (banded shortly before).

  70. Northern House Martin Delichon urbicum. Two on 05/05 in Ye-ri.

  71. Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica. Seen daily with a peak of 80 at morning roost in Ye-ri on 05/05. Forty there on 08/05.

  72. Korean / Japanese Bush warblerCettia canturians / diphone. Heard every day, one individual well seen on 27/04 and 01/05. I was unable to separate canturians from diphone but most observations probably referred to diphone.

  73. Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus. One on 02/05; two on 06/05; and one on 08/05 in Ye-ri.

  74. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus. One well seen on 30/04; one on 04/05; one on 05/05.

  75. Radde’s Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi. One on 29/04 west of Jin-ri.

  76. Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus. Twenty on 27/04; five on 28/04; 20 on 02/05; 20 on 04/05; and 15 on 06/05.

  77. Arctic Warbler sensu lato.Two on 27/04 and one on 08/05. If identification as Arctic Warbler sensu lato was correct then based on date and location records seem most likely to refer to Japanese Leaf Warbler P. xanthodryas..

  78. Pale-legged Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes. One on 27/04; one on 04/05; one on 06/05; and one on 07/05.

  79. Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus. Likely largely overlooked: only 2+ on 27/04, and two on 03/05 in Eupdong.

  80. Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis. One on 30/04 at Baennanggimi.

  81. Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus. One on 02/05 in Ye-ri.

  82. Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes. One on 27/04.

  83. Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus. One pair on 07/05 in Ye-ri.

  84. White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus. Three in Ye-ri on 02/05.

  85. Daurian Starling Agropsar sturninus. One female and one male on 02/05 in Ye-ri. The male was seen again on 03/05. Three in flight on 03/05 in Eupdong and one male on 06/05 on a wire.

  86. Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar philippensis. One male on 01/05 west of Jin-ri; one male on 02/05 bathing in the channel in the village.

    Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar philippensis, © Philippe Malenfert

  87. White-shouldered Starling Sturnia sinensis. One male from 05/05 to 08/05 (at least) in Ye-ri. .

  88. Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica. One (immature) male on 26/04 by the hotel.

  89. White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea. One from 02/05 to 05/05 close to the migratory birds research centre.

  90. Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum. One male by the hotel on 29/04; one female on 06/05 in Ye-ri.

  91. Grey Thrush Turdus cardis. One female on 06/05 in Baenanggimi.

  92. Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus. One male on 28/04 in Jin-ri, and one female on 03/05 in Eupdong.

  93. Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus. Very common.

  94. Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus. One female on 06/05 in Ye-ri, on a forest edge. One Second calendar-year male on 09/05 in Ye-ri.

  95. Naumann’s Thrush Turdus naumanni. One (possibly hybrid with T. eunomus) in Ye-ri on 02/05 and 05/05.

  96. Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus. Ten on 27/04; three on 30/04; three on 01/05; 25 on 02/05; three in Eupdong and two in Jin-ri on 03/05.

  97. Bluethroat Luscinia svecica. One male on 29/04; one female on 02/05; three, including a male in full breeding plumage, on 03/05.

  98. Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope. Single male and female on 01/05 in the village; one on 02/05; one singing male on 06/05 and 09/05 in Ye-ri; two males in the same garden on 08/05.

    Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope, © Philippe Malenfert

  99. Siberian Blue Robin Luscinia cyane. One male on 07/05 at the reservoir.

  100. Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans. One seen well on 06/05 in Ye-ri.

  101. Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus. One female on 26/04; three on 27/04; one on 02/05 in Ye-ri; one singing male on 05/05 in Ye-ri.

    Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus, © Philippe Malenfert

  102. Stejneger's Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri. Commonly seen with a peak of 12 on 01/05.

  103. Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta. 1+ on 27/04; one on 28/04; two on 02/05; one on 03/05; one on 05/05; two on 06/05; two on 08/05; and one on 09/05.

    Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta, © Philippe Malenfert

  104. Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris. Five on 26/04; 5+ on 27/04; five on 28/04; five on 29/04; five on 30/04; four on 01/05; five on 02/05; five on 03/05; four on 04/05; five on 05/05; 10+ on 06/05; three on 07/05; four on 08/05; and four on 09/05.

  105. Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia. One male on 04/05; three males and one female on 06/05.

    Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia, © Philippe Malenfert

  106. Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina. Three males on 28/04; two males on 30/04; three males on 01/05 including a road-killed bird that had been banded the day before; one male on 02/05; one on 03/05; one male on 06/05; and one male and one female on 07/05.

  107. Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki. Two males on 05/05; two males and one female on 06/05; one male on 08/05.

  108. Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla. One male on 02/05 in Baenanggimi, and one female on 04/05.

  109. Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana. Three males on 27/04; two males on 28/04; three males on 29/04; one male on 30/04; two males on 01/05; one male on 02/05; one female on 03/05; one male and one female on 04/05; one on 05/05; two males on 06/05 and on 07/05; two males and one female on 09/05.

    Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana, © Philippe Malenfert

  110. Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus. One (well-photographed) on 28/04 at Baenanggimi.

    Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus, © Philippe Malenfert

    Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus, © Philippe Malenfert

  111. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus. One on 06/05 and one on 09/05 in Ye-ri.

  112. Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis. Common and seen daily, including taxa identified as tschutschensis, taivana and (thunbergi) plexa / macronyx..

  113. Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola. One male on 27/04; one male on 30/04 at Baennanggimi; one male and one female in the village on 01/05.

    Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola, © Philippe Malenfert

  114. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea. Common close to water, e.g. ten on 01/05.

  115. White Wagtail Motacilla alba. Ocularis were seen daily. Single leucopsis were seen on 30/04 and on 08/05.

  116. Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi. One on 26/04; three on 06/05 (including one ringed bird); and one on 07/05.

  117. Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni. Hundreds seen daily!.

  118. Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. Thirty on 26/04; ten on 27/04; and forty on 29/04.

  119. Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens. One on 28/04.

  120. Brambling Fringilla montifringilla. One on 26/04; three on 27/04; 10+ on 28/04; 20+ on 29/04; and one on 02/05.

  121. Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes. One on 27/04; one on 29/04; one on 03/05; a pair on 04/05 close to the hotel; and one on 08/05.

  122. Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria. One pair by the hotel on 27/04; five on 29/04; nine on 07/05; six on 08/05.

  123. Japanese Grosbeak Eophona personata. Two on 02/05 (occasionally singing); 11 on 05/05 and ten on 06/05 in Ye-ri.

    Japanese Grosbeak Eophona personata, © Philippe Malenfert

  124. Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus. An adult male on 05/05 in Ye-ri.

  125. Grey-capped Greenfinch Carduelis sinica. Three on 06/05 in Ye-ri.

  126. Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus. Three on 26/04; big numbers from 27/04 onwards with hundreds on 05/05; and still a few present after this influx.

  127. Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami. One male on 26/04; 20+ on 27/04; two on 28/04; four on 01/05; one male and one female on 03/05; five on 04/05; four on 05/05; four on 06/05; one on 07/05; two on 08/05; and two on 09/05.

    Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami, © Philippe Malenfert

  128. Chestnut-eared Bunting Emberiza fucata. One male on 26/04; one male on 27/04; one male on 30/04; one female on 02/05; one pair on 04/05.

  129. Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla. Thirty on 26/04; 5+ on 27/04; 5+ on 29/04; 60 on 01/05; 30 in a single field in Jin-ri on 03/05; and still a few after this date.

  130. Yellow-browed Bunting Emberiza chrysophrys. Five plus on 27/04; 45+ on 28/04; 40+ on 29/04; 15+ on 01/05; and eight on 07/05.

    Yellow-browed Bunting Emberiza pusilla, © Philippe Malenfert

  131. Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans. One male on 03/05 in Baenanggimi; two pairs on 04/05 and 05/05.

  132. Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola. One male and one female on 28/04; one male on 29/04; two males on 01/05; four males and a female on 02/05; two on 04/05; two on 05/05; and a pair on 06/05.

  133. Chestnut bunting Emberiza rutila. One male on 26/04; one male on 28/04; two males on 29/04; two males on 01/05; and six on 03/05.

  134. Chestnut Bunting Emberiza rutila, © Philippe Malenfert

  135. Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurata. One male on 27/04; two males on 01/05; two on 02/05; one on 03/05; two on 04/05; and one female on 09/05.

    Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurata, © Philippe Malenfert

  136. Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala. About 100 seen daily until 05/05; only a few present after this date.