The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is not visited regularly by birders yet as a small country, with varied habitats and a wonderful mix of species, including large numbers of waterbirds, it offers the chance to see many rare species and regional endemics in a short space of time. In addition to several East Asian specials, many of which are globally threatened, including White-naped, Hooded & Red-crowned Cranes and the magnificent Steller’s Sea Eagle, many other species of special interest to European and North American birders are present as regular migrants, some presenting identification challenges from Pacific Loons and Slaty-backed Gulls to Dusky Thrushes, Siberian Accentors and Pallas’s Reed Buntings. This tour provides multiple chances to see and enjoy several of South Korea’s stand-out species such as Scaly-sided Merganser and Steller’s Sea Eagle, with a boat trip in order to get close-up views of several Pacific alcids and loons off the northeast coast. Although mammals are more challenging to find, species seen in recent winter tours to these sites include (Korean) Water Deer, Raccoon Dog, Eurasian River Otter and Amur Leopard Cat.
Beginning in the northeast of the country we will effectively make a full circuit of the nation and as this tour itinerary has in-built flexibility to take into account most recent bird news and weather conditions we expect to find a very high proportion of the target species. The pace of the trip gives us ample time to locate the target species and at the same time enjoy the abundance of birdlife found in South Korea, with multiple chances at all the rarest species.