Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pileated Woodpecker eating berries

male Pileated Woodpecker Hylatomus pileatus
  I have birded my last at Suncheon Bay - sold the bike today, and I shall not return to the best patch I've ever had the pleasure of birding. A patch that, like the rest of Korea, is in a state of steady degradation in the name of lucre and ignorance. So that has me a bit down, but chin up - before returning to Montreal I will be birding in and around Seoul for the next two weeks, including a few days on Deokjeok Island, a spot that I haven't birded since way back in 2008. I fear I may be rambling from exhaustion. I'll soon have some time to reflect properly on Suncheon/Korea.
  In the meantime, here's an interesting shot of a Pileated Woodpecker eating a berry in Hudson, Quebec, from late September 2008. While they favour carpenter ants and other insects, up to 20% of their diet consists of plant matter.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Korean bird stamps


(And one from Japan) Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonica
Eastern Great Tit Parus minor (Not major!)
Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha
Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia
Little Tern Sternula albifrons
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Eastern Tawny Owl Strix nivicolum (not aluco)
  (As seen taped into my ancient Birds of Korea book)
  Yup, it has been a slow bird week.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ozzie Memories 5 - Corvids/Butcherbirds

Australian Raven Corvus coronoides
juvenile Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis
Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis at Daly Waters
Torresian Crow Corvus orru
Pied Currawong Strepera graculina
  In 2008 I visited Australia for about six months. That now seems like another lifetime ago. Perhaps it was. The experience of seeing Kookaburas and Emus in the wild still ranks highly among my top birding moments. Then there was the riot of parrots. But one of my favorite Australian birds was the low-key Pied Butcherbird. Intelligent, patient, and calmly confident - the kind of bird you wish you had as a friend. I need to get back to the land of endless languid exhortations. She'll be roight! Nah worries! Fair dinkum! You're o'roight mate!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reed Bunting Mania

  Ever wondered what all three species of confusing Reed Bunting found in Korea look like in bad light? Wonder no more.
Pallas's Reed Bunting Emberiza pallasi
Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Ochre-rumped Bunting (Japanese Reed Bunting) Emberiza yessoensis