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mvecht`s Big Year


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The Summer has been very quiet due to a combination of work and not so great weather during the weekends.

I just spent a week working in Seoul, South Korea.

Korea is not high on most birders lists but actually has a lot to offer if you know where to look. The rare Black faced  spoonbill, Black Vulture, Stellars sea eagle,  Red crowned crane and many more can be found at the right time of year.

Metropolitan Seoul has a few green spots in between the sky scrapers and the river can also provide some good sightings. I was extremely limited in time and only had a good hour around lunch time one day, which was spent at the Seolleung tombs very close to the hotel.

This is a densely wooded area that is supposed to be good for woodpeckers (at least 4 species) but I did not find any.

 

# 190 Brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis) were present all over and very noisy.

 

 

Bulbul.JPG.3dd745f1d3354ea73a87515dc485615d.JPG

 

# 191 Large-billed crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) were frequently heard flying around in the area and finally I found one in a tree.

 

Crow.JPG.9a8f081ac0439beae220e3d1ea9df71a.JPG

 

# 192 Oriental magpie (Pica serica) seen in high numbers

Magpie.JPG.9337cd0238d95350f793a78381f3de3d.JPG

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Today I took a lunchwalk at Egaa Engsoe. The White-tailed eagles put on a display with several unsuccesful hunts, but too far away for pictures. #137 Icterine wrbler (Hippolais icterina)

The last pictures from the trip are from Dana Point Harbor, CA #175 Heermann`s Gull (Larus Heermanni)   #176 Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)   A few Sea lion`

#220 Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis cyanophrys)  

Posted Images

Seoul Korea 26 September continued

 

#193  Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). This is a bird I would have to be expected to be one of my first entries for the year. Very common in Denmark and in previous years a "sofa bird". However a few years ago we started seeing Raccoon dogs in thearea and they have taken a heavy toll on the local population.

To see it in the middle of a 10 million people city was quite a surprise.

 

fasan.JPG.d4db303bae8b7b2484a84e0f58bd858a.JPG

 

@194 Japanese tit (Parus minor). There were many different species of tits in the park but it was hard to get close or to get them to sit still long enough for photos

 

63966465_Japanestit.JPG.7a1694313444398a7e420cdd9f9d1f58.JPG

 

@195  Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis) were common in the park

1253169562_TurtleDove.JPG.2c02f40510e4b3c02489a5aa21e9a7a7.JPG

 

 

Edited by mvecht
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Excellent birds from South Korea (the first from this country on the Big Year thread?)

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mvecht

@TonyQ   Hi Tony, I dont think Korea is a popular birding destination. I have been going to Korea on and off for the last 25 years and never thought of it as a birding destination. Driving around I have seen various white egrets, some raptors and water fowl but always at a distance. Prior to this trip I did a little homework and realised that more than 500 species have been identified. Next time I will try to hook with one of the few local guides that speaks English.

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Galana

Good to see you are still around. Keep em coming.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Today I was sitting in the sofa trying to upgrade the firmware on my Nikon Coolpix P600.

Looking out the window I noticed a tiny bird that has been eluding me all year. They are quite common in Denmark but not always easy to approach.

#196 Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

Low light so I ended up with 1/50 and 1320 mm equivalent. The image stabililazion for the camera is good, but not that goodB)

Wren.JPG.258ed7b8968b39813ebaedce379bf83f.JPG

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Still, good enough for a decent photo of a tiny bird!

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Galana

AND good enough to count. That's what matters.

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I was trying to clean up my harddrive today when I came across the below picture.

Picture was taken on March 31st near Aarhus, Denmark.

I was busy taking pictures of two White -tailed eagles so did not pay too much attention to these two migrating birds

The proportions of the two birds look different. It could be the angle or two different species.

@Galana and others. Any one up for identifying them?

sp_8018.JPG

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PeterHG

# 2 looks like an Osprey. 

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@PeterHG   I tend to agree with you especially based on the white trails on the tail and wings, however the jizz did not seem like an Osprey and for number 2 (assuming this is the one at the bottom) I think the wings are to short/broad. At no point did I see the Gull like silhouette/flight of the birds.

Could they just be odd coloured Buzzards?

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Galana

Top one has a lot of Red Kite characteristics.

Hint of forked tail and under outer wing white with black primaries. Cranked wing. But something does not fit. Inner wings should be brown and I cannot make out the head at all. Probably looking down at the other bird.

I like the head marks, if correct of the 2nd bird for an Osprey. I can see what @PeterHG can see.

But again there are 'things' wrong. The wing plan is low aspect ratio, more like a vulture or eagle than Osprey.

Then for both there is the time of year in Scandinavia. It just seems to be a bit early.

In truth nothing really fits either 100%.

Wild card. Are we not looking at a pair of Rough-legged Buzzards?

 

Can we have a better crop even if we lose some detail?

 

Edit. Martin's reply came in as I pressed send.

I tend to agree.

Edited by Galana
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PeterHG

I tend to agree also.You're right about the wings.

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I have tried to crop as much as possible.

@Galana  the Jizz was not right for Red Kite. I would have spotted the forked tail.

sp_1.JPG.d8886577d079fb084911cf42a2ab3334.JPG

sp_2.JPG.9b97c552ad2f1375ee95fe48739e7bc3.JPG

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@Galana  I think Rough legged Buzzard would have a lot more white on the rump. Coming back to the "forked tail". Could Black kite be an option?

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I tried both birds in Merlin Photo ID.

Not much help.

 

#1   European Honey Buzzard   (way too early for this species)

 

#2  

Lesser Spotted Eagle  Would expect much more contrast in the markings

Steppe Eagle 

Golden Eagle  (wrong size)

 

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Galana

Thanks for the crops. #1. There is a hint of a forked tail but I would rule out Black Kite as they are erm 'black'.

The head can now be seen turned down and back either pecking at feet or holding prey in bill.

#2. I think the 'osprey' like head markings are illusion due lighting.

I think they are both Buzzards of the light phase. And even that is a leap of faith.

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@Galana  I tend to agree with you on the light phase Buzzards. At the time there was nothing that made me spend extra time on these birds even though I was also focused on the White-tailed eagles. Osprey and Red kite I would have picked up immediately and Rough -legged Buzzard would have a much larger white rump.

The only thing that is nagging me is what appears to be white  borders on wings and tail.

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Galana
2 hours ago, mvecht said:

what appears to be white  borders on wings and tail.

I agree but are they not just tricks of the light?  #1 has a strange whiteness on left outer.

And guess what? I have had the perspective all wrong on #1. It is actually flying away.

We are looking at the top of the wing not the underside.

Now we have the small patches of white inboard of the primaries and small band if white at the base of tail. and your white borders referred to above fall into place.  I am writing this as it comes and your choice above

On 11/1/2019 at 5:43 PM, mvecht said:

#2  

Lesser Spotted Eagle  Would expect much more contrast in the markings

becomes a distinct possibility. A bit off piste but apart from that I think that is what you have got.

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@Galana  I posted the pictures on a Danish website where many well known Ornithologists participate.

Consensus was common Buzzard.
I am quite happy to go with that as I did not see anything unusual about the birds at the time of the sighting.

 

I am now in Israel.

Nightdrive from the airport to Jerusalem gave a Caracal sighting albeith very brief as it was crossing a motorway.

Sofar I have just been doing the touristy stuff in Jerusalem so birding has been limited with some Parakeetes, Laughing doves, sparrows etc.

Tomorrow will be a full day og birding in Northern Israel starting at lake Hula. One of the higlights will be Cranes.

As of November 5th there were 56,000 of them resting by the lake.

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michael-ibk

Good luck with the Cranes - I always miss them when they come through.

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4 hours ago, mvecht said:

As of November 5th there were 56,000 of them resting by the lake.

And half of the flew there over Slovenia. And I have not got one :(.

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pedro maia

I’m hoping to get the cranes, there are already some sightings in the Alentejo, according to ebird.

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@michael-ibk @xelas  Migrating Cranes can be difficult. Their routes are very much depending on wind direction.

@pedro maia  Pedro, I hope you get to see them in Alentejo.

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@michael-ibk @xelas  Migrating Cranes can be difficult. Their routes are very much depending on wind direction.

@pedro maia  Pedro, I hope you get to see them in Alentejo.

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