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KOREA Robert Koehler

• Comprehensive and detailed descriptions of one of Asia’s most fascinating countries • Beautiful photos bring alive Korea’s scenic charms • Helpful tips ensure you make the most of your visit

SEOUL

Robert Koehler

• In-depth travel info and history & culture notes • The most comprehensive guidebook to Seoul • Over 400 beautiful photos and detailed maps

K

orea’s birds deserve a wider audience. The country’s geographical location, topography, temperate climate, and wealth of diverse habitats combine to support an

extraordinarily attractive avifauna. Many visitors to Korea see the impressive metropolitan centers of Seoul or Busan, and others may visit Jejudo Island’s black sand beaches or hike the popular

BAEKDU-DAEGAN TRAIL

Roger Shepherd, Andrew Douch, David A. Mason

mountain trails. Fewer see the more hidden parts of the country: wetlands, the picturesque east coast fishing villages, the mountain

CAMPING IN KOREAN NATIONAL PARKS

Moreover, we can glimpse something else—hints of Korea’s

• Descriptions of Korea’s twenty national parks and their campgrounds • All the practical information on campgrounds, from facilities and fees to emergency contacts

BIRDS Windows into a World

the western offshore islands, the scattered and diminishing

• Detailed trek-by-trek descriptions of the Baekdu-daegan trail • Helpful tips to get you confident for hiking • Detailed maps and transport information

Beverlee Barnet

KOREA THROUGH HER ROBERT NEWLIN has watched birds since he was about five years old. Early experiences

hamlets and the river valleys.

included many Christmas and May counts,

We can glimpse these places through the birds that live there.

banding work, waterfowl surveys on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area, and, during university

people, culture, and history. A picture of a bird yields a narrow but

years, summer positions doing breeding bird

genuine window into a country’s identity. What a country’s arts

surveys for the Smithsonian Institute. He holds

or folklore or language says about nature—or says by means of

a BA (Wesleyan University) and PhD (Rutgers

nature—has a special authenticity.

University) in literature, specializing in medieval beast literature and natural-historical writings, especially in English, Latin, and French. Recent research has focused upon East Asian birds in nature and in culture. Professor Newlin has taught Comparative and English Literatures at various universities in the United States and Korea—most recently at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. His writings and bird photographs have

USD$ 38.00 / KRW W28,000

been published in a number of books and journals in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

by Robert Newlin www.seoulselection.com

The bird in the cover photograph is a Brambling.


KOREA THROUGH HER

BIRDS Windows into a World

by Robert Newlin


KOREA THROUGH HER BIRDS

Windows into a World

Written and photographed by Robert Newlin Copyright Š 2013 by Robert Newlin All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Published by Seoul Selection 4199 Campus Dr., Suite 550 Irvine, CA 92612, USA Phone: 949-509-6584, Fax: 949-509-6599 Email: publisher@seoulselection.com Website: www.seoulselection.com

ISBN: 978-1-62412-006-0 Library of Congress Control Number: 2013941385


For Heesun


Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 11 INTRODUCTION 13

CHAPTER 1

WINDOWS 17 Grey-headed Woodpecker 20 White’s Thrush 22 Eurasian Kestrel 24 Eurasian Sparrowhawk 26 White-throated Rock Thrush 28 Chestnut Bunting 30 Varied Tit 32 Stejneger’s Stonechat 34 Long-tailed Tit 36 Arctic Warbler 38 Alpine Accentor 40 Chestnut-flanked White-eye 42 Chinese Grosbeak 44 Bull-headed Shrike 46 Daurian Redstart 48


CHAPTER 2

CURTAINS 51 Grey Heron 54 Oriental Scops Owl 56 Brown Hawk Owl or Northern Boobook 58 Yellow-breasted Bunting 60 Eagle Owl 62 Long-tailed Shrike & Chinese Penduline Tit 64 Rhinocerous Auklet 66 Eastern Crowned Warbler 68 Brown Shrike 70 Common Pheasant 72 Oriental Reed Warbler 74 Yellow Wagtail 76 Cattle Egret 78

CHAPTER 3

MOTION 81 Little Tern 84 Hen Harrier 86 Far-eastern Oystercatcher 88 Naumann’s Thrush 90 Eurasian Bullfinch 92 Japanese White-eye & Common Rosefinch 94 Eurasian Nuthatch 96 Terek Sandpiper 98 Spectacled Guillemot 100 Common Sandpiper 102 Black-winged Stilt 104 Black-faced Spoonbill 106 Ancient Murrelet 108


CHAPTER 4

STILLNESS 111 Dunlin 114 Taiga Flycatcher 118 Red-breasted Flycatcher 120 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper & Asian Rosy Finch 122 Black-legged Kittiwake 124 Eastern Buzzard 126 Chinese Sparrowhawk 128 Marsh Sandpiper 130 Wood Sandpiper 132 Oriental Pratincole 134 Chinese Pond Heron 136 Desert Wheatear 138 Mugimaki Flycatcher 140 Blue Rock Thrush 142 Common Kingfisher 144

CHAPTER 5

MYTHOGRAPHY 147 Mandarin Duck 150 Goldcrest 152 Siberian Rubythroat 154 Grey Plover & Hazel Grouse 156 Narcissus Flycatcher 158 Red-breasted Merganser 160 Hoopoe 162 Oriental Stork & Grey-faced Buzzard 164 White-naped Crane & Red-crowned Crane 166 Streaked Shearwater 168 Whooper Swan 172 White-fronted Goose 174 Siberian Blue Robin 176


CHAPTER 6

MYUNG-AM 179 White-bellied Green Pigeon 182 Spotted Dove 184 Japanese Robin 186 Hawfinch 188 Japanese Grosbeak 190 Japanese Wagtail 192 Black Paradise Flycatcher 194 Siberian Accentor 196 Black Brant 198 Falcated Duck 200 Common Snipe 202 Short-eared Owl 204 Blue-and-white Flycatcher 206 Green Sandpiper 208

CHAPTER 7

DIMINISHING FRAMES 211 Ruddy Kingfisher 214 Curlew Sandpiper 216 Eurasian Spoonbill 218 Ruddy Crake 220 Bar-tailed Godwit 222 Brambling 224 Great Knot 226 Grey-capped Woodpecker 228 Plumbeous Redstart 230 Asian Stubtail & Oriental Cuckoo 232 White-backed Woodpecker 234 Pallas’s Reed Bunting 238 Scaly-sided Merganser 240

ENVOI 243


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many people helped with the making of this book. I would like especially to thank Pete Nebel, Dr. Kim Young Ho, Park Jong-gil, Geoff Styles, Matt Poll, Kim Hyun-Tae, and Dr. Kim Shin-Hwan for birding fellowhip and for invaluable help in visiting various prime habitats. Dr. Park Sung Joon was a cherished mentor in things Korean and beyond. My constant companions in Seoul and outward to any place with birds were Tim Edelesten, Im Kwang-Wan, and Drs. Suh Chung-Gi and Shim Kyu-Sik—the value of their friendship only begins with birding. In Mokpo, Andreas Kim and family made a second home for me. A great debt of gratitude goes to Dr. Nial Moores, director of Birds Korea. His knowledge of Korean birds and his skill in the field is surpassed only by his tenacity as a conservationist. Birds Korea does crucial, essential and effective work in the cause of East Asian environmental preservation. Quotations are from John Gower, The English Works of John Gower, (Oxford: Early English Text Society, 1900), Isidore of Seville, Isidori Hispalensis Episcopi Etymologiarum Sive Originum (Oxford, 1911), and William Butler Yeats, The Poems of W.B. Yeats (New York, Macmillan, 1983). A few other books merit particular mention. For birds: Manual of Ornithology by Noble S. Proctor and Patrick J. Lynch. A Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia by Craig Robson. The Complete Guide to the Birds of Europe by Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan ZetterstrÜm and Peter J. Grant. Birds of East Asia by Mark Brazil. Birds

11


of Korea by Woo-Shin Lee, Tae-Hoe Koo, and Jin-Young Park. Chickadees, Tits, Nuthatches and Treecreepers by Simon Harrap and David Quinn. Shrikes and Bush-Shrikes by Tony Harris and Kim Franklin. For cultural subjects: Maxims and Proverbs of Old Korea and Folk Tales of Old Korea, both by Tae Hung Ha. Les Fabulistes Latins depuis le siècle d’Auguste jusqu’à la fin du Moyen Age, edited by Léopold Hervieux. Brunetto Latini’s Li Livres dou Tresor, edited by Francis J. Carmody. G.W.F. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, translated by S.W Dyde. My publishers at Seoul Selection have been a pleasure to work with. I would like especially to thank Jin Lee, Park Hye-Young and Lee Bok-hyun for helpful advice and guidance, and for putting up with my many revisions of text and images.

12

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


INTRODUCTION

Korea’s birds deserve a wider audience. The country’s geographical location, topography, temperate climate, and wealth of diverse habitats combine to support an extraordinarily attractive avifauna. Many visitors to Korea see the impressive metropolitan centers of Seoul or Busan, and others may visit Jejudo Island’s black sand beaches or hike the popular mountain trails. Fewer see the more hidden parts of the country: the western offshore islands, the scattered and diminishing wetlands, the picturesque east coast fishing villages, the mountain hamlets and the river valleys. We can glimpse these places through the birds that live there. Moreover, we can glimpse something else—hints of Korea’s people, culture, and history. A picture of a bird yields a narrow but genuine window into a country’s identity. What a country’s arts or folklore or language says about nature—or says by means of nature—has a special authenticity. Above all, there are the birds themselves, in all their many types of beauty. This book seeks to introduce the birds: through photographs, through descriptions of their lives, and through the ways our different cultures, Western and Asian both, perceive them. If the reader then develops a new or better appreciation for these creatures, the stage will have been well set: for ultimately, looking beyond its pages, this book has another and more activist purpose. As the chapters that follow will suggest, windows 13


can open into wider worlds—but they can also close, and close quickly. Korea’s birds and their habitats face urgent threats as the country rushes to join an increasingly global economy. The swiftness of Korea’s positive gains in industrialization, modernization, and standard of living parallels an equally rapid, equally multiform, and far more permanent narrative of loss. We can manufacture conveniences and possessions time and time again. But once destroyed, most natural habitats are forever gone and impossible to replace. But at the same time, a different window, one of opportunity, swings briefly open. To know a bird is to value the bird, and that can lead to positive, protective endeavors. We clap the covers shut at book’s last page, but that sound does not say “The End”— it is instead a call to action. We yet have the means to preserve what is left. The first step is awareness. Then come changes, large and small, in the ways we choose to inhabit our world. These choices—these chances—are fleeting as well: the clap is an urgent sound. The seven chapter groupings of Windows, Curtains, Motion, Stillness, Mythography, Myung-am, and Diminishing Frames each represent a collection of different bird species brought together under the chapter’s particular rubric. As organizing themes, these intend to suggest rather than compartmentalize (even a pigeon should not be put in its hole unwillingly), and much of each entry will offer material specifics about bird, place, and time. Windows moves from the small and particular—that is, the bird within a narrow frame—to a sense of the larger surrounding landscape and larger patterns of life. Curtains uses what might at first seem like impediments to clear viewing—intervening foliage or branches, an obscuring wave, a spray of flowers—to explore the process of seeing. By working consciously through and around the parts of habitat shown in the frame, we learn better ways of looking at the bird, both in itself and as a part of the place. Once within the frame, we are positioned to see Motion, a fundamental approach in both Asian and Western philosophies for understanding the animal. By looking at how the bird moves, we better apprehend its nature. Stillness is a continuation of the theme of motion, and in many ways is inseparable

14

INTRODUCTION


from the category of movement. Birds in motion can be at rest, while birds apparently sitting still are active in ways that are at first hidden to us. In other ways, the notion of stillness lies at the heart of this collection, for stillness describes any photograph. It also indicates the type of bird photograph, perhaps less than fully fashionable these days, which focuses less on action or spectacle and more on the bird at ease in its habitat. Such photographs offer what might be called sitting studies of the birds: portraits in place, an invitation to look well and long. Mythography extends the long look: pause becomes contemplation and a double contextualization. A bird always belongs to its place—and often to our cultural consciousness. This chapter explores how birds help us write our myths: how in certain birds we recognize human stories. A comparative approach enhances understanding. Western and Asian narrative traditions or the Korean and Western etymology of bird names can each teach us more about the bird and more about ourselves. Myung-am, or chiaroscuro, or “light and shadow” continues the cultural emphasis and represents an art-historical approach, one that helps to bridge Western and Asian modes of seeing. Light and shadow can describe a photograph, the bird’s habitat, or the bird itself. Myung-am may even suggest a bird’s own perspective. Avian sight differs from ours but shares many modes as well, and comparison may reveal new analogues between our lives and the birds’ lives. Diminishing Frames, as I have already noted, brings us full circle from the opening theme of windows opening onto a wider world, and shows how quickly that world can contract. Habitat destruction is relentless. It goes on all around us, day by day and minute by minute, horribly normal in its ubiquity. We lose in tandem with the wild creatures. Because of our consciousness, we possibly lose more. But the idea of narrowing is not in all ways bad. A close focus is a good focus, for it centers upon reality. Larger programs of preservation and positive change may germinate—like good eggs—from our birdward gaze.

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I WINDOWS


CONSIDER A PICTURE IN A BOOK: a flat plane, bound by four uncompromising sides. Turn the page to see what lies behind: there’s nothing there. But when we peer within the picture, unexpected freedom follows, and vistas open up. This chapter begins an arrangement, through the course of seven chapters, of a number of birds and their portraits. The arrangement does not follow traditional ordering for ornithological works such as taxonomic order, geography, habitat, season, or chronology, even though these elements are present throughout. Rather, and as I have suggested above, the progression proposes a way of seeing that combines these scientific conventions with different cultural elements. This aims to generate different perspectives: new windows, a widening audience, and a wider appreciation for Korea’s birds.

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Grey-headed Woodpecker

Picus canus 청딱따구리

The Grey-headed Woodpecker is a bird between worlds. Found in parks, orchards, and especially the forest edge, it inhabits a transitional zone between the human and the wild. The bird pictured here feasts on berries in a flower and shrub garden on the southern outskirts of Seoul. Past the trees and garden, foothills and mountains await: a wider life beyond the city’s roofs and walls. In the foreground, the tree boughs, leaves, and berries create their own architecture, first framing the bird and then opening into that indistinct yet broader background. Woodpeckers figure in mythologies throughout the world. In Asia, for instance, widely disseminated stories associate this bird with the Buddha. Other Asian (and Native American) traditions name the woodpecker as a protective mother or father figure. In Greco-Roman mythology, the woodpecker becomes a metamorphic figure: Ovid tells of how Picus, a faithful husband who refuses a sorceress’s love, is turned into a woodpecker as both punishment and reward for his foolhardy steadfastness to a mortal wife. Deathless, forever angry at the unfairness of it all, Picus to this day roams the woods, pounding violently at tree trunks—and gives his name to the bird on the facing page. For this woodpecker, the background greenery is awash in sunlight. Poised on its intermediary perch, framed by the boughs and leaves of the tree, this woodpecker invites us to look not only at the bird but beyond, into that widening space. There, as the canvas broadens and blurs, definition recedes: easier articulations fall away and new ones arise. With our perspective altered— that is to say, influenced by seeing bird and branch—we can pass through this window and into the woodpecker’s larger world.

Place: Seoul, September Status: Common resident Habitat: Parks, orchards, forest edge Voice: A resonant keeek and a softer series of pyoop-poop-poop notes, as well as drumming

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WINDOWS


21


White’s Thrush

Zoothera dauma 호랑지빠귀

The White’s Thrush is more of a true forest bird than the Grey-Headed Woodpecker. Although widespread throughout Korea, they are shy and often difficult to see. Birders more often hear these thrushes as they hunt for prey on the forest floor, scratching and scrabbling and tossing leaves, surprisingly loud and urgent, like a little old lady behind her larder door, rummaging for that last crucial ingredient. A good glimpse of a White’s Thrush, though, is a special treat. With large eyes, crescent-moon patterning, and (in good light) golden plumage, it is an unforgettable creature, with a beauty both ancient and childlike. The Korean name, horangjippagwi or “tiger thrush,” well describes the visual effect—a fine balance of camouflage and display. Eocheongdo’s schoolyard is bordered by an old stone wall and even older shade trees. Thrushes, various buntings, finches, and grosbeaks often shelter in the trees and feed on the steep grassy bank beneath. This thrush had emerged from nearby pinewoods to harvest snails from around the foot of a big magnolia tree: stalking about in circles, picking the little escargots from the bare earth, cracking each on a stone, and making a fine breakfast. A particular feature of the village landscape allowed this thrush to reach the snail feast: that what ecologists call a “corridor” of vegetation between the forest and the spot by the school wall—some shrubs, a vegetable plot, and a weedy slope. A parallel follows: on the broader scale of our increasingly industrialized landscape, larger corridors are essential for the survival of natural creatures of all sorts, including migratory birds. In Korea, major mountain ranges perform this function well, even while tidal areas along the west coast, crucial for migrating shorebirds, suffer serious fragmentation. In recent years, ecological planners worldwide have noted the importance of corridors, large- and small-scale ones alike. Because of Korea’s geographical location and because it is a peninsula, Korea stands as an extremely important corridor for the East Asian flyway overall. Place: Eocheongdo Island, April Status: uncommon to fairly common summer visitor and migrant. Some overwinter in the southern part of the peninsula Habitat: forests, well-wooded parks, mountainsides Voice: a high, thin, wheezy whistle

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WINDOWS


23


Eurasian Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus 황조롱이

The Eurasian Kestrel’s evocative Latin name, “little bell ringer,” refers to its high chattering call. At a moderate distance especially, the notes blend into something like the trilling of a set of small bells, like the sort that people in bygone days would string about a horse’s neck—an impressive clangor for such a small bird. Although a falcon, and a particularly attractive one at that, the Kestrel is largely absent from the cynegetic literature of medieval Asia and Europe. These raptors were too light-bodied (unlike the Merlin, which is even smaller in length but much more robust) and took too small a prey to hold the interest of falconers. Kestrels subsist on small birds and especially on mice, which they hunt with a characteristic motionless-in-the-air hovering, the “windhover” action described by Gerard Manley Hopkins in his poem of that name. This Kestrel (his blue-grey cap marks him as a male) had been coursing above a series of small fields on Gageodo’s northwestern shore. Tired by an unsuccessful hunt, he flew to a tree and sat cooling in the shade of new-budding leaves. A scruffy flopeared dog emerged from the woods, crossed the field, and rummaged around at the base of the tree, quite unaware of the bird that watched her from above. Behind this tableau, the fields sloped down to thick forest, and then to the sea, still mist-shrouded despite a fervent sun.

Place: Gageodo Island, May Status: common resident Habitat: open country, farms, riversides, towns and cities Voice: a chittering chikchikchik

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WINDOWS


25


Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus 새매

The Eurasian Sparrowhawk’s Korean name—saemae, or “bird-hawk”—describes this raptor’s niche in the ecosystem, for it preys almost exclusively on smaller birds. The saemae is one of a worldwide family of hawks, the accipiters, that some birders call “limousines”—long, smooth, powerful, and quiet. Views are usually surprising and brief: a flash, a shadow, and a blink—what was that? The sparrowhawk has short, broad wings, a long tail, and a powerful chest, all ideal for hunting woodland birds and for twisting and turning at full speed through tangled groves and thickets. Once locked on to its target, the sparrowhawk is relentless in pursuit. Legs and feet—long, thick, and razor-sharp at the points—are equally well suited for the difficult work that a specialized predator performs. The sparrowhawk’s vivid yellow eyes are especially keen, good for picking up the smallest movement of distant prey. The river near Paldang, on the northeast outskirts of Seoul, is a traditional winter gathering place for swans, White-tailed and Steller’s Eagles, and many ducks. The wooded areas also attract various passerines as well as the hawks and falcons that prey on them. That afternoon, the groves of trees along the river held a good number of the sparrowhawk’s favored targets: buntings, parrotbills, pipits, a remotely trilling Siberian Accentor. Then out of nowhere, as if materializing on the branch by magic— this feathered ghost.

Place: Paldang, February Status: common migrant and winter visitor Habitat: forests, forest edge, farmland, wooded riversides Voice: usually silent away from breeding grounds

26

WINDOWS


27


White-throated Rock Thrush

Monticola gularis 꼬까직박구리

The White-throated Rock Thrush is not nearly as common in Korea as its shorehugging cousin, the Blue Rock Thrush. It is also more of a forest dweller and somewhat shy. The White-throated Rock Thrush’s Latin names break down to “mountain dweller” (generally appropriate for the genus, if not so much for this particular bird) and, for the species name, a nod to that white mesial stripe, “with a distinctly marked throat”—a feature that wears crisp and stylish like a fashionable goatee on the male shown opposite. These birds have an attractive, slightly sad song but they do not engage in the mimicry that Blue Rock Thrushes so enjoy. This bird was one of about a dozen on the island that day: a roughly equal mix of males and females. The males usually pass through first and are gradually replaced by the females, so this day may have marked the approximate middle period of the peak passage. I waited quietly, hidden by a hillside thicket, near a large and likely looking tree that overlooked a freshly cultivated field. Thrushes, pipits, and wagtails arrived to feed on the insects and worms stirred up by the plowing and fertilizing. Soon enough, this bird flew in to perch, for White-throated Rock Thrushes are fond of open, larger branches just beneath the canopy of mature trees. The boughs form a natural window, giving both shelter and a wide field of view: perspective for the bird and a relatively easy job of spotting for the birder, who will be nothing but grateful for the glimpse. Whitethroated Rock Thrushes are East Asian specialties, breeding in Siberia and northeastern China and wintering in China, Thailand, Laos, and Burma. They are similar to a Western near relative, the Blue-capped Rock Thrush, which lacks the white goatee and perhaps a measure of its Far Eastern counterpart’s style.

Place: Oeyeondo Island, May Status: scarce migrant Habitat: forests, wood edges, bamboo groves Voice: a fluting whistle: see see, see-churr

28

WINDOWS


29


ENVOI

The book shuts easily—a clap of the covers and the windows close. If we close our eyes as well, all that history—images, memories, dreams, or waking sight—moves within; at the close of day, a flock of birds wheels noisily to roost. In parting, I would propose another history to remember: that the birds have been here all along. Hoopoes nested in the walls of Troy and sang from the courtyards at Gyeongju’s royal palace. Birds may have predated dinosaurs, and they watched from the trees as we made our slow way out of Africa. Go back even farther: the early literatures of many cultures, East and West, place birds at the very beginning of creation. Korea has its own myths about the Cosmic Egg, and a pantheon of the peninsula’s early kings, heroes, and princesses boast avian forebearers as well. In parting, then, a history to remember. Bak Hyeokgeose (69 BC—4 AD), who was to become husband to a bird-dragon wife and founder of Korea’s ancient Silla dynasty, bearer of a title that itself means “bright world,” came to earth on the back of a celestial horse not as a man but in a wonderful egg, an egg not yet cracked wide into his bright world’s brief window. It seems that ancient Koreans knew a secret or two about what is truly royal in the world and its people. We are not birds, at least not these days, but something in the best part of us is.

243


Author

Robert Newlin

Publisher

Kim Hyung-geun

Editor

Park Hye-young

Copy Editor

Daisy Larios

Designer

Lee Bok-hyun


KOREA Robert Koehler

• Comprehensive and detailed descriptions of one of Asia’s most fascinating countries • Beautiful photos bring alive Korea’s scenic charms • Helpful tips ensure you make the most of your visit

SEOUL

Robert Koehler

• In-depth travel info and history & culture notes • The most comprehensive guidebook to Seoul • Over 400 beautiful photos and detailed maps

K

orea’s birds deserve a wider audience. The country’s geographical location, topography, temperate climate, and wealth of diverse habitats combine to support an

extraordinarily attractive avifauna. Many visitors to Korea see the impressive metropolitan centers of Seoul or Busan, and others may visit Jejudo Island’s black sand beaches or hike the popular

BAEKDU-DAEGAN TRAIL

Roger Shepherd, Andrew Douch, David A. Mason

mountain trails. Fewer see the more hidden parts of the country: wetlands, the picturesque east coast fishing villages, the mountain

CAMPING IN KOREAN NATIONAL PARKS

Moreover, we can glimpse something else—hints of Korea’s

• Descriptions of Korea’s twenty national parks and their campgrounds • All the practical information on campgrounds, from facilities and fees to emergency contacts

BIRDS Windows into a World

the western offshore islands, the scattered and diminishing

• Detailed trek-by-trek descriptions of the Baekdu-daegan trail • Helpful tips to get you confident for hiking • Detailed maps and transport information

Beverlee Barnet

KOREA THROUGH HER ROBERT NEWLIN has watched birds since he was about five years old. Early experiences

hamlets and the river valleys.

included many Christmas and May counts,

We can glimpse these places through the birds that live there.

banding work, waterfowl surveys on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area, and, during university

people, culture, and history. A picture of a bird yields a narrow but

years, summer positions doing breeding bird

genuine window into a country’s identity. What a country’s arts

surveys for the Smithsonian Institute. He holds

or folklore or language says about nature—or says by means of

a BA (Wesleyan University) and PhD (Rutgers

nature—has a special authenticity.

University) in literature, specializing in medieval beast literature and natural-historical writings, especially in English, Latin, and French. Recent research has focused upon East Asian birds in nature and in culture. Professor Newlin has taught Comparative and English Literatures at various universities in the United States and Korea—most recently at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. His writings and bird photographs have

USD$ 38.00 / KRW W28,000

been published in a number of books and journals in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

by Robert Newlin www.seoulselection.com

The bird in the cover photograph is a Brambling.

Profile for Seoul Selection

Korea through her birds  

Korea’s birds deserve a wider audience. The country’s geographical location, topography, temperate climate, and wealth of diverse habitats c...

Korea through her birds  

Korea’s birds deserve a wider audience. The country’s geographical location, topography, temperate climate, and wealth of diverse habitats c...