Seoul Birding (I) Bongeunsa Temple

Seoul Birding (I) Bongeunsa Temple

When:  October 2018               Weather:  Cold at 10C at 8am

Nikon P900


Was at the Coex Intercontinental Hotel for a meeting and only had 24 hours in Seoul.   My plan was to visit the Dongjak National Cemetery which was a short subway ride away from the Bongeunsa Subway Station just outside the COEX building. But as I had an hour to kill before my morning session started, I grabbed my P900 and headed across the road to the Bongeunsa Temple which the subway station is named after.   It’s an ancient temple undergoing major reconstruction works and I wasn’t expecting much bird action…


the entrance to Bongeunsa Temple, right opposite the Coex Intercontinental Hotel


a lone bulbul sang to welcome me in



beautiful architecture



looking back to the Intercontinental Hotel, the ancient is juxtaposed with the modern



walking into the temple grounds, there is a little building at the back…behind it was a forested area where I spent a happy hour’s birding



a great tit appeared…interesting how the same bird species can appear in distant continents…I’d seen the great tit in Vienna just a couple of weeks ago…



and he caught something for breakfast



a fat Eurasian tree sparrow


?female Mugimaki Flycatcher


Mugimaki flycatcher


a number of these loud raucous Azure winged magpies appeared


and then in the bright background morning sun, I saw a brilliant flash of orange..


a beautiful silver headed Daurian redstart!



He was so friendly that he kept buzzing me, often landing just 5-10 feet away….how delightful it is to have a close encounter like this of a lifer….star bird of the morning!




the ubiquitous brown eared bulbul which I had also seen a month ago in Tokyo…



Turtle dove



the pretty paths behind the main temple


and final bird of the morning was the common magpie



lovely setting of the Bongeunsa temple

This excellent birding hour in the Bongeunsa temple was totally unexpected …but all the more delightful because it was so.  The Bongeunsa subway station is nearby and if you are at a meeting in the COEX or staying at the COEX Intercontinental, what a bonus to have this temple/birding location on your doorstep.  Highly recommended.






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