Best time to travel to South Korea

Birdwatching during Spring and Autumn Migrations

South Korea offers rich birding grounds to observe a variety of species, some of which are hard to see anywhere else in the world

Birdwatching during Spring and Autumn Migrations in South Korea - Best Time
Photo by

Francis C. Franklin

Spring offers great chances to spot thousands of shorebirds on the west coast of Saemankeum. The area becomes a gathering spot for up to 50,000 great knots, as well as other rare birds including world-endangered species like nordmann's greenshanks, spoonbilled sandpipers, Chinese egrets, and black-faced spoonbills. The latter are extremely rare with a global population of only about 850 birds.

Great Knots (Calidris tenuirostris) feeding on the former Saemangeum flats, South Korea
Great Knots (Calidris tenuirostris) feeding on the former Saemangeum flats, South Korea

Other species that are likely to be found around include asserines, warblers, various flycatchers, and buntings. The far southeast and southwest areas of Korea offer great chances to spot Japanese migrants, namely Japanese robins and brown thrush. Besides Saemankeum, fine birdwatching locations include Eocheong and the Gageo Islands. Besides, nice birdwatching may be experienced around Ganseo Wetlands near Seoul, and Suncheon Wetlands.

Pale thrush (Turdus pallidus)
Pale thrush (Turdus pallidus)
Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush

The best time to see birds in Korea is either spring or autumn when flocks congregate arriving or leaving these lands. The two most active birding months when migrations are in full swing are April and October.

Birdwatching during Spring and Autumn Migrations Map & Location

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