On my way to the Russian Far East in early June, I had six days of birding
in South Korea. South Korea has a population about 10 times that of my
state, Victoria, living in an area less than half that of Victoria. My
guide was Dr Nial Moores, president of Birds Korea. Nial is passionate
about the fast-disappearing environment there, has ultra-sensitive hearing
and the longest list in the country. He was an ideal guide and companion.
Early June was not the best birding time but there were still plenty of
interesting migrants seen as well as the local specialities.
We had two days on Baekryong Island at the start, close enough for comfort
to North Korea and then travelled back to Incheon by ferry. We then drove
around most of the country and visited wetlands and temples in areas such as
Geoje, Hwaum, Seosan. I apologise if the transliterations of the place
names are not correct.
I saw 113 species in all including 20 which were new to me. My guide saw
more and heard many more. Black-faced Spoonbill and Saunder's Gull were
easy very near Incheon Airport, convenient for those with stop-over times.
Schrenk's and Yellow Bittern were seen at Seosan as was a beautiful Amur
Leopard Cat, unusual in the daytime. The Ruddy Kingfisher and
Ruddy-breasted Crake were ruddy difficult although we managed to get
fleeting views of the former at Howchong(?). We saw 5 species of Tit and 3
of Wagtails. There were also many LBJs, easily recognised by call by Dr
Please contact me directly for more information or a list of species seen.
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