Monday, 5 March 2012

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Q. What do 40,000 hectres look like? Personally, I wouldn't be able to describe what 1 hectre looks like but now I am able to answer this question. A. the Surface of the Moon! This adequately describes the 'Reclaimation Project' here at Seosan which is split into 2 parts one known as Reclaimation Lake A, the other not surprisingly Reclaimation Lake B. It is what has been reclaimed that presents the problem as it amounts to miles and miles of foreshore, valuable to migratory birds and a VAST area of sea, esturine habitat and reed beds. I can empethise to some extent as we all have to live and make a living, but the bulldozers, diggers and heavy trucks (the WoMD) continue their damaging work seemingly day and night. In the middle of each of these land grabs is a huge lake, the water supply to irregate the crops (mostly rice), which is what all of this is about. The question only relates to A as area B is somewhat larger, but on the up side many other birds, especially Wildfowl, thrive on this.

Along with yet another new found mate, eminant Korean ornithologist Lee (Harry) Haesoun, we started our day on a passerine theme and 2 new additions to the Trip List

White-cheeked Starling (here and above)

and a small flock of a more familiar (to us anyway) Common Starling, they are 'rare' here.

Further along at the first reedbed better still, a 'Lifer' (dependant on which authority you follow) in the shape of a


A note before we continue about the Water Birds which all share 2 common denomiators, one they are all nervous as hell, and 2 they are usually only observed at great distance.

First up was a fine looking Mongolian Gull

which some still consider a 'sub species' within the Herring Gull complex,

while the Birds of East Asia (Mark Brazil) regard it as 'single species status'. Either way I'm prepared so won't have to go bombing off to Mongolia again!

There then followed a succession of what may be considered British Birds, including Common Goldeneye, this being a timely remainder as to just how far afield the world distribution is in many cases.

Next up somewhere in the region of 2 dozen Whooper Swans

including a couple of juveniles.

Great Cormorant, hopefully to be followed tomorrow by Temminck's Cormorant when we visit the sea-side.

Great Crested Grebe was followed by

Tufted Duck,

Common Pochard and

Common Coot that's when the mobile went off and Harry's mate informed us that he had just re-located a difficult bird indeed. High on any wants list to this part of the world the


is not only 'scarce' but also 'wander' never seeming to be in the same place from one day to the next. We were lucky to connect with these 2 birds! If that were not enough (there can never be ENOUGH of this)

We found our own 3

Hooded Cranes

To access another part of the lake we had to drive part way along the sea-shore where we found a small party of what Harry considered to be

Eastern Oystercater, a sub-species (Haematopus ostralegus osculans), given the amount of white on the wing and bill structure - all a bit beyond me!

Great to see again was another Mongolian Gull,

familiar Shoveler,

not so familiar sleeping

Ruddy Shelduck

along with lots of their close cousins Common Shelduck. By now it was getting late and there was still a Motel to find, so we decided to call it a day

and as if to end it on an especially 'high note' the 2 Oriental Cranes flew almost directly over our heads. Thanks to Harry and the birds for a spectacular day, and it should be more of the same tomorrow - HERE'S HOPING!