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[Weekender] Best places for winter bird-watching – The Korea Herald – The Korea Herald

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Migratory birds visit South Korea from around October as the air begins to grow cool, heralding the change in season.

These winged guests come annually from Russia, China and Mongolia, flying without rest for 15 hours per day to spend a “warmer” winter on the peninsula and nurture new life.

Their arrival here makes winter prime time for bird-watching, with several spots that are especially popular. These sites are usually near river basins and deltas, where rivers meet the sea. 

A flock of migratory birds flies over the Geum River. (Geumgang Migratory Bird Observatory)

However, bird-watchers should be careful not to disturb the sensitive migratory creatures. The Environment Ministry advises observers to keep a distance of at least 30 meters and not disturb nature.

Field glasses or binoculars are commonly used to watch birds, while sudden movements are also discouraged as it can drive them away.

Birds have a wide field of vision, with eyes that can see at least eight to 40 times better than humans, according to the ministry. Therefore, bird-watchers should avoid brightly colored outfits and choose instead to wear green or brown to blend in with their surroundings. Littering and damaging trees or grass in bird-watching areas is also prohibited. 

Seocheon County, South Chungcheong Province

One of the biggest sanctuaries is located on the edges of one of the nation’s biggest rivers, the Geumgang, where over 50,000 migratory birds spanning 40 species flock every…



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