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Scenes from Songnisan
My friends Rick and Shin and I visited Songnisan National Park on Monday, exploring famous Popchusa Temple and hiking a fairly
challenging trail to Munjeongdae peak (1,033 meters). This beautiful bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha (the Future Buddha) is an
impressive 33 meters tall.
Below: Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea; Korean name: Donggobi)
Below Two: Jungle Crows (Corvus macrorhychos; Keunburikkamagwi)
Below: A couple distant pairs of wild Mandarin Ducks (Aix galericulata; Wonang), east Asia's Wood Ducks.
Full wildlife list for the day (new birds in caps): Great Egret (1), MANDARIN DUCKs (4), Rufous Turtle Doves (~8), Brown-eared Bulbuls
(20+), BROWN DIPPER (1 along fast-flowing rocky stream), LONG-TAILED TITS (~15 in the lower foothills), Marsh Tits (2), Great Tits (~10),
EURASIAN NUTHATCH (1), YELLOW-THROATED BUNTINGs (3), Eurasian Jays (~10), Black-billed Magpies (~20), JUNGLE CROWs (~30);
Korean Chipmunks (~10), Korean Tree Squirrel (1).

While on a run through the countryside the previous evening (10/9), I spotted a flock of about 100 GRAY STARLINGs (or WHITE-CHEEKED
STARLINGs), as well as about 15 beautiful AZURE-WINGED MAGPIEs. On Tuesday (10/11), a short afternoon hike to a river near my hotel in
Anjung-ri was very productive. Feeding in and around a small estuary were 3 adult STRIATED HERONs, 5 Black-crowned Night-herons
(first of the trip), 4 Common Moorhens (ditto), and an attractive male Ring-necked Pheasant. Also present there and nearby were
100+ Spot-billed Ducks, 30+ Mallards, 5 Gray Herons, 1 Great Egret, 2 Little Egrets, 1 Little Grebe, 1 soaring (but backlit)
Accipiter sp. (probably Chinese Sparrowhawk), 1 Azure-winged Magpie, and 3 Bull-headed Shrikes.
Above: A juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax; Hae-oragi)
Above: Portrait of a Rufous Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis; Metbidulgi).
Below: Male Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus; Kkwong)
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Comments:  All but bottom three photographs taken in Songnisan National Park, South Korea (10/10/2005).