Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, December 2009

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Baikal Teal Anas Formosa
Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 22, 2009
  There has been an 'explosion' of Olive-backed Pipits and Japanese Bush Warblers in a small Seogwipo park, with about 10 of each seen by river's edge. A lone and seemingly exhausted female Baikal Teal (a personal first for Jeju) tried to keep up with 21 Spot-billed Ducks.




Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus
Far Eastern Skylark Alauda japonica
Far Eastern Skylark Alauda japonica
Bird News from Matt Poll with Youngho Kim, Southwest coast, Jeju island, December 20, 2009
  A chilly and cloudy day on Jeju, but as is always the case when birding with Mr. Kim, the day was full of great birding and and interesting local bird knowledge. West of Jungmun, about 70 Mandarin Ducks were spotted on a quiet river, along with handfuls of Little Grebe, Spot-billed Duck, Mallard, and Green-winged Teal

  On the coast, hundreds more Spot-billed, and two Great Crested Grebes. About 50 Far Eastern Skylarks foraged in a farmer's field near Moseulpo. Near Hwasun, no luck finding a reported Asian Short-toed Lark. On a tiny hill nearby, we had similar bad luck when trying to spot Long-tailed Shrikes that I was surprised to learn live there all year. In fading light, we came upon 32 Red-billed Starlings perched on power lines. I was equally surprised when Mr. Kim told me that this species can also be found year-round on Jeju.




Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus
 Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 13, 2009
  Numbers of Mandarin Duck continue to swell on a small secluded river in Seogwipo, with about 45 seen, along with 10 Mallard, about 30 Spot-billed Ducks, several Little Grebes, and three Eurasian Teals. The male Mandarins seemed to be fighting over the females, puffing up and bumping chests, and chasing each other off noisily. An Eastern Buzzard watched the ducks from a high perch, until it flew off after being harassed first by Brown-eared Bulbuls, and then by Magpies. The harbor was quiet - the loons and grebes of winter still haven't arrived.



Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra
Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra
 Jeju west coast, December 12, 2009
  On a non-birding trip to Jeju's west coast, I spotted a Far Eastern Cisticola and a Pacific Reef Heron.



Vizzing from my roof
Striated Heron Butorides striata
 Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 5, 2009
  A second Striated Heron that doesn't seem to mind Jeju's winter weather has been seen in Seogwipo. This one is a juvenile, and was seen on a different river than the adult that over-wintered last year.



Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Striated Heron Butorides striata
Seogwipo, Jeju island, December 3, 2009
  On a chilly day in Seogwipo, a Striated Heron remains in a quiet spot on a small river. I have spotted this Heron on and off all year, skulking in riverside brush. Several Yellow-throated Buntings, Pale Thrushes, and Little Grebes were seen in local parks. A Common Kingfisher was feeding at the river's edge, and Daurian Redstarts remain plentiful and noisy. In the field where the Scaly-breasted Munias were spotted, A Northern Goshawk, several Olive-backed Pipits, and a late Hoopoe, but the munias appear to be long gone.

(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml). Many of the pictures are poor resolution, as the originals have been misplaced over the years. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, November 2009

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata (first calendar year)
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata (juvenile -> adult-type plumage)
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata (Juvenile -> adult-type plumage)
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Scootin' and birdin' at Halla's feet
Seogwipo, Jeju Island, November 14, 2009
  On a fresh day in Seogwipo, Mandarin Ducks were plentiful on several quiet rivers, with about 30 seen. Daurian Redstarts seemed to be everywhere, displaying and calling conspicuously. While trying to get a picture of a vocal Daurian Redstart in a field, I was surprised to look down into a reed-filled ditch and find a party of about six Scaly-breasted Munias (the fourth record for Korea with the first three in October 2003). They were very confiding, as they moved through the reeds feeding, with several Tree Sparrows. Most appeared to be juveniles gradually assuming adult plumage.


(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml). Many of the pictures are poor resolution, as the originals have been misplaced over the years. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, October 2009

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata
Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
Seogwipo, Jeju island, October 15, 2009
  Bird activity is picking up in a riverside park, as the October weather continues to be hot and sunny. The usual half dozen Spot-billed Ducks have been joined by three dozen more Spot-billed, and about 20 Mandarin Ducks (mostly males). 
  What originally appeared to be two Asian Brown Flycatchers fighting turned out to be an Asian Brown Flycatcher and a female Taiga Flycatcher interacting. The tail-cocking Taiga Flycatcher was quite confiding, affording me long looks.

(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml). Many of the pictures are poor resolution, as the originals have been misplaced over the years. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, September 2009

Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealislater tentatively identified as a Japanese Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus xanthodryas
juvenile Brown-eared Bulbul Microscelis amaurotis
Seogwipo, Jeju island, September 15, 2009
  Some interesting bird activity in a Seogwipo park, on an overcast day. Several Arctic Warblers flitted through trees, loosely associating with a flock of Japanese White-eyes. A decidedly scruffy Brown-eared Bulbul showed an odd silhouette, while a conspicuously quiet female Black-naped Oriole lurked in nearby tree tops. Two Oriental Cuckoos continue to gorge themselves on caterpillars in riverside trees, and a scolding Bull-headed Shrike dueled with an equally agitated Grey Wagtail for several minutes.





Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus optatus 
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Seogwipo, Jeju island, September 5, 2009
  Great sunny weather for birding in a park near downtown Seogwipo. The river was busy with regulars like Grey Wagtails, Eurasian Magpies, Spot-billed Ducks, Little and Intermediate Egrets, Common Kingfishers, Bull-headed Shrikes, Common Sandpipers, and Blue Rock Thrushes. A personal first for this park was a juvenile Oriental Cuckoo, that fed and flew back and forth across the river. 

  I almost fell off my rock when a Western Osprey dropped into the river 20 feet in front of me. It drank from the river, then stretched out its wings and drifted in the current, until it finally flew off a few minutes later, closely but briefly pursued by two agitated Grey Wagtails.

(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml). Many of the pictures are poor resolution, as the originals have been misplaced over the years. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, June 2009

female Black Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
male Black Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
male Black Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
male Black Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
Example of research area
Bird News from Matt Poll and Youngho Kim
Jeju island, June 28, 2009
  
  I had the pleasure of accompanying Youngho Kim and one of his colleagues as they did field research on nesting Black Paradise Flycatchers. This work included putting up warning signs that spelled out the harsh penalties that await anyone caught robbing the nests. The only recent nest robbing appears to have perpetrated by Large-billed Crows. We got spectacular long looks at several pairs, as well as good views of four nests, which were mostly suspended over the sides of steep valleys. Several Fairy Pittas were heard, but remained frustratingly unseen.
  About a dozen Yellow-throated Buntings, a male Blue-and-white Flycatcher and a nearby juvenile were also seen. A White’s Thrush was heard, as were many Lesser and Common Cuckoos. Several White-backed Woodpeckers noisily worked at producing a steady hail of tree debris from above.




Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata
Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha
The hills of Halla
Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus
Phasmid Stick Bug
Yongsu Reservoir and Seogwipo, Jeju Island, June 8, 2009
  A mostly overcast and warm morning at Yongsu reservoir. Fairly quiet overall on the bird front, but three massive circling Cinereous Vultures were great to watch. A Peregrine also circled over the water, but much lower. Several Little Grebes in summer plumage dove on the reservoir, while Little and Intermediate Egrets paced the shoreline. Two vocal Common Cuckoos shared a stand of pines with an elusive Lesser Cuckoo.
  While showing some friends Cheonjiyon falls in Seogwipo, I spotted two uncharacteristically bold Mandarin Ducks waiting for tourist handouts alongside Spot-billed and domestic ducks. Perhaps a liking for the easy handouts explains why they’re still here in June? One of the Mandarins was looking scruffy as it started to moult into eclipse plumage. Several Spot-billed chicks kept up with the pack.


(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml). Many of the pictures are poor resolution, as the originals have been misplaced over the years. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Historical post" - Jeju Island, May 2009

Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
Bird News from Matt Poll and Mike Balfour
Seotal Oreum, Jeju island, May 25, 2009
  Two Oriental Dollarbirds and two noisy Black-naped Orioles were Jeju firsts for me, and a familiar sign of summer in Korea. A half dozen Japanese Bush Warblers, and a similar number of Arctic Warblers actively worked the trees and bushes. Several Dark-sided Flycatchers and about a dozen Asian Brown Flycatchers fed from open perches. A Peregrine Falcon circled overhead for a while, prompting alarm calls from the passerines. In the surrounding fields, numerous singing Meadow Buntings and Far Eastern Skylarks could be heard.


Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrines
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis
East coast, Jeju island, May 18, 2009
  Along several beaches near Seongsan, two Red-necked Stints, 10 Dunlin, and a Kentish Plover were seen.
Several Grey-tailed Tattlers and Common Sandpipers associated nearby, and a Common Cuckoo was also heard.
  At Pyeoson beach, four Great Knots paced the beach, and five Whimbrels flew overhead. Nearby, a Little Ringed Plover performed broken wing displays, while about about six Oriental Reed Warblers noisily moved through a reedbed.



Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina narcissina
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Chestnut-cheeked Starling Sturnus philippensis
Seogwipo, Jeju island, May 6, 2009
  The sunny and hot south side of Jeju has been a bit quiet as far as migrants go during the past week. In the farm field where the White-shouldered Starling was spotted, two female Chestnut-cheeked Starlings have been seen regularly for about a week. A dozen Cattle Egrets and about six Intermediate Egrets regularly patrol this field. A female Bull-headed Shrike was seen feeding her three gape-mouthed and shrieking young, who were also clumsily testing out their wings. Red-rumped Swallows temporarily outnumbered Barn Swallows (25:15) over this field a few days ago, but during the past few days, only three have been seen here.
  In a nearby park, a Japanese White-eye collected spider webs for a nest, while an immature male Narcissus Flycatcher perched in a riverside tree. No sign of the Grey Bunting that was seen here two weeks ago.
  On the coast, Blue Rock Thrushes entertained with both their boldness, and their aerobatic swooping and dive-bombing courtship displays. A disheveled and lethargic fledgeling was an interesting counterpoint to the energetic displays.

(*Note: This is a “historical post.” Whereas I started birding in Korea in 2005, this blog has only been active since early 2012 - these posts are an attempt to consolidate my early birdventures from the various blogs and websites where they reside, largely from the “Archived Bird News“ section of Birds Korea’s excellent website: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Birdnews/BK-BN-Birdnews-archive.shtml). Many of the pictures are poor resolution, as the originals have been misplaced over the years. Find more historical posts by clicking on the "Historical posts" tab at the bottom of this post.
  For this post, most of images are lamentably poor-resolution screensaves, as many of the original photo files were lost in the infamous computer crash of 2011.)