Birdwatching in Korea

By The Korea National Tourism Organization

Korea is a land of heron as much as Hyundai plants, offering the spectacle of waterfowl flocks, clouds of migrant shorebirds, and mountain forests alive with the songs of thrushes and warblers.

With a varied landscape, good road system (signposted in English), cheap public transport, and a rapidly expanding network of local groups interested in promoting green tourism, Korea is an easy and affordable country to explore. And the great birding spots are enough off the beaten path that you'll feel you're making your own discoveries. And you will be.

When should you go? The most popular time for birdwatchers is spring and fall, since Korea is strategically placed on the East Asian-Australian flyway. The main migration times are April to May and September to November. Think twice about winter. Because of the continental influence and relatively northern latitude, winters can be very cold (though usually dry), with the mercury reaching to -14 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. However, in mid-winter, many geese and duck are present, escaping from the even more severe temperatures to the north.

Summer is probably the least popular season for birdwatchers. June to August is monsoon season—think hard rain for several days at a time. When not pouring rain, it can be hot and humid, with temperatures typically peaking at 86 degrees in the day, and around 75 at night. However, this is also the time to find some spectacular species, including the elusive and endangered Fairy Pitta or the more widespread Blue-and-white Flycatchers, as well as Siberian Blue Robins.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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