Sunday, December 2, 2012

주남저수지철새축제 - Junam Reservoir Migratory Bird Festival

Although I got off to a late start this morning due to 늦잠 (neutjam/oversleeping), I still consider today to have been a full and fun one. I went with my friend 은진 to the Junam Reservoir, a wetland, nature preserve, and park located north of Changwon for the 5th annual Migratory Bird Festival.

Let's break this down: 주남저수지철새축제
주남 - Junam, the name of the reservoir and wetland
저수지 - jeosuji, a reservoir
철 - cheol, season/seasonal
새 - sae, a bird
축제 - chukje, a festival
Junam Reservoir with some egrets, some swans, some cormorants, and a lot of dead-looking reeds.
Birdwatching (들새 관찰/deulsae gwanchal) is not particularly a hobby (취미/chuimi) of mine, but my homestay parents encouraged me to go. Although they disliked the idea of the festival itself (because, as my homestay mother insisted, the masses of people that flock to the reservoir frighten and endanger the birds themselves), they said I'd be able to get pretty photos of the reservoir, and maybe even see something like this.

Well, I didn't, but that's quite all right. It was a lovely, if cold, afternoon, and there were lots of interesting things to see in addition to many beautiful birds. There were swans (고니/goni), mallards (청둥오리/cheongdong ori), egrets (백로/baengno), geese, cormorants, ducks, and many more whose names I totally do not remember. Aside from waterfowl, there was a row of tents that had more exotic birds like budgerigars, parakeets, and an African gray parrot (like Alex!)
Yo, birds are gorgeous. How is thing even an animal and not like... a work of art?
By edface.
There was one event where kids (and adults too, I guess) were allowed to catch a bunch of Barboach -- I mean, loaches (미꾸라지/mikkulaji) from a giant tank. I was under the impression that we were catching them in order to feed them to some birds, and thus I felt a little bit bad about it. As it turns out, however, we were to catch them simply to set them free in some muddy ponds... maybe the birds just weren't around? Regardless, it felt stupid but also nice to let the fish go.

Some other stray attractions: donkey-drawn carriages and solar-powered carriages (because this is Environmental Capital Changwon, of course), huge pinwheels, and about a dozen super intense bird photographers whose telephoto lenses were larger and longer than my arm.
Yup, caught a bunch of Barboach. I'm gonna teach them Earthquake. (Korean name: 미꾸라지, and I have eaten them before.)
It was cold, and more than once I registered that yes, it really is December already, how odd. But that didn't prevent us from having a great time. It was a nice part of a chill weekend, and maybe next year I'll be able to see more awesome flying bird formations? Maybe? Okay, photo dump!
A potter (도공/dogong) teaching a Korean kid (they're the cutest) his artisanry. (Yes, Blogger, that is totally a word.)
은진 하고 안성
Solar-powered rickshaw. Three cheers for green energy! (친환경 에너지원/chinhwangyeong energy-won)
Beast photographers, stealthily camouflaged (위장/wijang)
Eunjin amongst perfectly golden hour reed-ish plants.

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