Friday, 29 April 2011

Manu Chao - Welcome to Tijuana

If everyone drank bottled Manu Chao every day, the world would be fine.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


I get a real kick out of the wind imp, I dig it the most.

Too much garbage? Burn it!

I like turtles

Red-eared Sliders are not native to this part of the world, but I've seen a few around.  I'm guessing they're released pets, and Jeju seems to be treating them well.  This one reminded me of George, a turtle I know.  I had a deep talk with him once, he helped me out quite a bit.

Same park, more post-picnic garbageddon

Now, it should be said that public garbage cans are almost nonexistent in Korea.  But, should that really give folks a green light to make their own country look like a shit-heap?  Nope, but take my opinion with a grain of salt, as I'm just an ignorant outsider who 'doesn't understand Korean culture'.


Who knew that flies were filled with ranch?
My prowess with a BB gun vis-a-vis blood-filled mosquitoes is not in doubt.  As of today, neither is my prowess with a rubber band vis-a-vis a big fat fly.  Don't worry, it was the reincarnation of Elvis, and I sent it stright back to hell.  Vtttttttt!  Sputtt!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Some migrants and a woodpecker

Chinese Pond Heron

Black-winged Stilt


White-backed Woodpecker (resident, not a migrant)

White-Shouldered Starling (rare)

Wood Sandpiper
This spring is shaping up a bit differently than the past two springs, bird-wise.  By this time last year, the local parks were full of rare migrating Thrushes and Flycatchers, but they're late this year.  Could also be a population dip due to a problem with food in their summer range.  I've still seen some good stuff lately.  Tons of super-rare Japanese Thrushes on the west coast, but the damn things are the shyest birds I've seen since the vaunted Grey Bunting.  Yes, I desperately need to get my sensor cleaned.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Hang 'em high

Hey let's put a sign around their necks, too!

The Stupid Tree
More nonsense from Korean farmers.  String up those Magpies, because birds definitely grasp the concepts of warning and vengeance.  Idiotic.
  The stupidnificent story of Magpies on Jeju is that they first reached our fair isle from mainland Korea in 1989.  They didn't get to Jeju by natural range expansion, rather they were imported by some bright sparks in the tourism industry.  The idea was that the iconic mainland birds would look 'pretty' on Jeju.  Of course, the few Magpies they imported stopped posing for pictures long enough to breed prodigiously, and spread across Jeju in a hurry.  The hardy and intelligent Magpies, technically an 'invasive alien species' on Jeju, became a perceived 'agricultural harm' for Jeju farmers.  I'm not sure how true that is.  I do know that as of right now, Jeju's farmers and hunters are allowed to kill 5,000 a year (according to my Korean birding buddy).
  Ha.  Maybe they could import some Harpy Eagles to tackle the Magpie madness.  Then, when the eagles get out of hand and start mauling shrieking toddlers with their large talons, Jeju could import disgruntled Spider Monkeys with slingshots to keep the eagles in check.  If those Spider Monkeys decide to get crazy, the next logical step is of course to import Cane Toads, Zebra Mussels, Walking Catfish, Dutch Elm Disease, Oompa-Loompas, and Fire Ants.  Teach those damn Spider Monkeys a lesson in pain.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Little silly flippy fish

I amused myself way too much watching these little idiotic fish trying to jump up a mini waterfall.  Keep at it fellas, whoops!  Ho ho!  Good luck with that!  Hee hee!

Too slow

Red-billed Starling (I think)

Siberian Weasel (graphic!)

In the mooooood

So uh,  I haven't seen you around here before.  You have long hair.  I like that.
Wow, that's lame.  Yeah, so I parked my scoot in a good birding spot, and out came a cow.  It was looking at my scoot like it wanted to cow-rape it for a while, but it didn't.  As I left, I mooed at it loudly and agressively, because that's MY scoot, punk!  Ugh, I'm falling apart.  Phlegm.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Common Kingfisher

The first time I saw one of these guys a few years ago, I thought I was hallucinating.  It was hovering over a misty pond at dawn, and all I saw was the sun lighting up the metallic turquoise back strip.  For a few seconds, I actually thought I was looking at a magical fairy creature of some kind, and it seemed like something I was ready to accept.
  Saw some Black-winged Stilts and Yellow Buntings this morning, both fairly rare.  This weekend is looking promising for birds, with southerly winds and rain blowing through.  Hoping to explore some nearby 'unbirded' islets.  We'll see about that.
  I just ate some pizza, and it wasn't as good as my mouth's eye was fantasizing about all day.  What the fuck did I just write?
  P.S. I just realized that I already told this same kingfisher story almost a year ago.  Congratulations, me.  I even said 'misty' again.


The work of a hateful, hydrocephalic hoarder?
...this is kinda creepy.  A big pile of shoes and slippers in the middle of the woods, mostly unpaired.  I was expecting a Korean hillbilly Jason Voorhees to be standing behind me, with an axe handle and a semi.  I betcha there's a big pile of feet somewhere.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hell's Soudtrack

Some old crone was blaring this ancient juma frizz-bop out of massive woofers where the Mara-do ferry disembarks.  At first I thought it was the worst song ever, but now I'm not so sure.  It is a toe-tapper.  Oh shit, I can't get it out of my head, I may explode.  Unnnnnnggghhhhhh!   Fuu-uu-cckk, BLAAOW!  Drip, drip.

Too fast

Siberian Weasel (mostly)
Dione Ratsnake (almost)

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Middle East - Blood

I don't normally go in for bands that feature xylophones and label themselves as 'musical collectives', but these Ozzies are worth a try.  I bet they don't wash their hair though.  Siiiiiick!

I smell patchouli...

Thank you China, for the yellow dust




Here's a disgusting illustration of the effects of heavy-metal-laden yellow dust from China.  You look out the window, and if you can't see Mount Halla, you're gonna be chewing on the shit all day.  Time to leave Korea, I'd say.

Mara-do birds

Red-throated Pipit
Narcissus Flycatcher

Blue-and-white Flycatcher

Grey-backed Thrush

Little Bunting

Eurasian Siskin (with a broken lower bill)

Birdcatching on Mara-do

Japanese Thrush getting leg-ringed

The boys in the woods

Blue-and-white Flycatcher getting leg-ringed

Yellow dust = no Mount Halla

Like spilling a box of noisy, rude crayons

Badly in need of some high-rise apartments

I took my first trip to Mara-do of the spring on Saturday.  Mara Island is South Korea's southernmost bit of real estate, and as such, large numbers of Koreans drive around it in big, enclosed golf carts.  Super.  It's also the best place in town to find exhausted/rare migrating birds.  I bumped into some Korean bird research guys I know hiding in the woods there. They were catching birds in nets, and ringing and measuring them.  I got to help them free a couple from the nets, and they even let me release a few when they were done.  That was fairly awesome.  The guys looked confused as I bid a little high-pitched farewell to each bird I released.  You can't tell me what to do!  Anyhow, I picked up a sexy lifer (Japanese Thrush), and got a few decent pics of some other stuff.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Someone else can do it, I'm drunk.

Good luck with that.
I'll try to take pictures every time I see examples of Koreans littering, but I'm not sure if my 4GB memory card is big enough for that purpose.  Litter-police, on patrol!  Haha, I'm such a smart ass.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Staying classy, one day at a time

I've seen this charming scene regularly at my favorite park.  Koreans have a big drunken picnic, then leave a lovely pile of garbage and smashed soju bottles behind for the barefoot kids to play in the next day.  Koreans fanatically love their country, and claim it's the best country in the world, so why most Koreans consistently treat Korea like their own personal shit-heap eludes me.  Do they secretly think  Korea is garbage?  A real head-scratcher.  I'm forced to say it yet again - you stay classy, Korea!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Roger Miller - Do Wacka Do

I own this LP.  I think I picked it up because of the awesome cover, which, incidentally, I've modeled my whole life after.  He's an unstoppable one-man party-machine!  He kinda looks like Phil Hartman in this picture.  I found myself singing this song all week for some reason.  It's a badass song, gonna try it out on the mando.
  The cold is gone, thank fuck.
  Some spring birds have trickled in, but nothing too crazy yet.  Details soon.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The good ol' hockey game

I played some street hockey on the northside on Sunday, but I shouldn't have.  I woke up with a crazy cold on Saturday, that had gotten downright shitty by Sunday, with a fever, shivers, and lung/throat fire.   I said I'd be there though, couldn't let Jeppuh down.  Some northside guys had some sweet hockey gear going on, complete with nets made of plumbing pipe and fishing nets.
  When it came time to run around and give'er, it felt like I was breathing through a straw filled with glass chips - I literally couldn't move two steps.  I didn't want to bitch and moan, and quitting was out, so I made up for my lack of mobility/skill by swinging my stick high and wild, and hacking at shins.  Not my finest hour.  I did slightly better as goalie.  That's a Jeju United shirt tucked into the front of my shorts, to protect my precious fire eggs.  Ah, I later found out that yellow dust levels were at orange ('dangerous to be outside') levels by the time we played.  That helped.
  By yesterday, my cold was the shittiest cold ever, it was not a fun day.  I slept for 14 hours last night, and feel slightly more human today.  My eyeballs hurt.  Birds in the morning!

It's the best game you can name!

Monday, 11 April 2011

White man

You can barely see its horns!