Wednesday, 7 March 2012

'Birders' Of A Feather Flock Together

Seosan is yet another great place that I will be reluctant to leave. Again in company with Harry we set out for a day in the field starting with getting our closest view so far of a Yellow-throated Bunting.

Similarly with Daurian Redstart

but this fine male just moving a second too soon.

Around mid-morning I was to be afforded the pleasure of meeting the core members of the Korean Wild Birds Society enjoying their hospitality for a hour or so.

There was a great deal of similarity with the Portland Bird Observatory as I met Warden Sea Hansoo, Harry (whom you have already met), Chae Seung-Hoon along with Kwak Ho-Kyong (recently returned from birding Mongolia).

Enjoying a cup of coffee I was given the KWBS self produced (photographic) Calendar, a copy of Birds of Prey in Korea and a Field Guide of the Birds of Upo Wetland.

A view from the balcony.

Generous Gifts,

and as a parting shot, Sea showed us his 'party piece' with one of the local Varied Tits.

Back to the business in hand, and what looked like another Raptor in the trees ahead.

You can say that again, it was a Rough-legged Buzzard

and the nearest I've ever been to one.

It was a little nervous, but only flew from tree to tree at which point we moved on.

Down by the sea-shore we found a few Dunlin and

more Black-headed Gulls while on the way back we spotted

the only Eurasian Wigeon of the trip so far. Just to catch up, there have been a number of additions to the Trip List, all without photographs and include:- NAUMAN'S THRUSH, OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT, PALLAS'S REED BUNTING, HEN HARRIER (a male unusual at this site) and LITTLE GREBE, MUTE SWAN (also considered rare here).

Driving back along the Express Way, I brough to Harry's attention a large flock of Teal to which he reacted immediately, deftly parking the Jeep on the central reservating of a road junction. Even from a great distance all he had to say was "you can start celibrating, it's your lucky day". The birds landed some way off in Lake A, but through the 'scope there was no doubting this was the prize I had been hoping for - Baikal Teal!

Although the flock looked closeish from the picture above, we were on the main road and it was a full 20 minute drive to get to the lakeside. Once there Harry was soon out with the 'scope and me with camera poised. The bad news was, they had all moved out to safer (distant) water.

However, searching through what must be 10,000 Wildfowl we did see a few

a little closer, and of course closer still through the optics.

Never what you would call a photo opportunity,

this was the best we could achieve - no complains from this direction - and what a bird!

I'd like to thank everyone at the Upo Wetland Site for their warm welcome, generosity and kindness during my stay. As for Lee (Harry) Hansoun, what can you say, it would be nice to think he could share my hospitality one day.

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