순천만습지에서 겨울을 보내고 있는 흑두루미가 25일 무리를 지어 날아오르고 있다. 순천만습지에 날아온 1천4백여 마리의 흑두루미는 3월 중순까지 순천만습지에 머문 뒤, 시베리아로 돌아간다.

On Feb. 25, a flock of hooded cranes flies over the wetlands at Suncheonman Bay. Some 1,400 birds spend the winter in Suncheon until the middle of March when they fly back to Siberia.

“A city of a thousand cranes” is an epithet for Suncheon city in Jeollanam-do Province.

Here, more than a thousand endangered hooded cranes spend each winter in the Suncheonman Bay wetlands.

In 1996, a quarry excavation was underway in the Suncheonman Bay wetlands. However, when it was discovered that over 70 hooded cranes spend the winter months there, the development project was cancelled and a conservation movement sprung up in its place. Telephone poles that could potentially cause harm to the birds were removed. In the already harvested fields, rice was scattered as bird feed. Suncheon residents avoided driving through the birds’ habitat, and non-residents were prohibited from entering the area without special permission. Today, some twenty years after the first discovery, over 1,400 hooded cranes can be seen flocking to the wetlands and neighboring rice paddies to take shelter during the winter.

순천만습지에서 월동하고 있는 흑두루미 3마리가 순천만자연생태관 앞 논에서 볍씨를 주워먹고 있다.

Three hooded cranes taking shelter in the Suncheonman Bay wetlands feed in the rice paddies in front of the Suncheonman Bay Eco-Museum.

 

강나루 순천만자연생태해설사는 “순천만을 자연 그대로 보존하려는 순천시와 주민들의 노력으로 매년 순천만을 찾는 흑두루미의 숫자가 늘어나 이제는 1천4백여 마리가 관찰되고 있다”고 밝혔다.

Kang Na Ru, a tour guide from the Suncheonman Bay Eco-Museum, says that, ‘Conservation efforts made by Suncheon City and its residents have increased the number of hooded cranes that visit the Suncheonman Bay wetlands to around 1,400 birds.’

Kang Na Ru, a tour guide at the Suncheonman Bay Eco-Museum, said that, “Of the 15 species of cranes found around the world, the hooded crane (Grus monacha), the common crane (Grus grus) and the white-naped crane (Grus vipio) all take shelter in the Suncheonman Bay wetlands. Of the 500 species of birds found around Korea, over 250 species can be spotted in these wetlands, as well.” He said, “Suncheon received a big gift for Christmas in 2014 when it was confirmed that more than 1,000 hooded cranes inhabit the area,” and added that, “Suncheon has since been renamed ‘a city of a thousand cranes.'”

Just as Kang explained, it’s easy to spot a variety of migratory birds in the estuary of Suncheonman Bay. A blackfaced spoonbill dips its beak into the mudflats looking for food, while a red-backed sandpiper (Erolia alpina) stages a dance in mid-flight as if to greet the bird watchers gazing up from the deck of a sightseeing boat. In the near distance, a pair of mallards flutters its wings in tandem and a heron glides along the curve of the marsh in the winter sun. In a riverbed not too far from the wetlands, an eagle observes the winter scenery with utmost leisure.

순천만 갈대숲탐방로를 따라가면 오를 수 있는 용산전망대에서는 순천만의 전경을 볼 수 있다.

If you follow the Reed Deck, a raised walkway through the reed beds, up to the Yongsan Observatory, you can see all of Suncheonman Bay.

 

생태체험선을 타면 더 다양한 철새들을 관찰 할 수 있다. 25일 생태체험선 옆으로 민물도요가 군무를 펼치고 있다.

A variety of migratory birds can be observed from the sightseeing boat. On Feb. 25, a flock of red-backed sandpipers perform a group dance for the bird watchers on the boat.

The Suncheonman Bay wetlands were protected under the RAMSAR Convention in 2006. In addition to being able to observe migratory birds in the wintertime, such as the hooded crane, the region also boasts scenic views year-round in every season. In the autumn, the vast wetlands fill up with reeds that rustle in the wind. This expanse of reeds stretches over 5.4 square kilometers, forming the biggest reed field in all of Korea. The spectacle can be best appreciated from the raised Reed Deck walkways or by taking a Suncheonman Bay boat tour.

한국의 첫 국가정원인 ‘순천만국가정원’에서는 총 57개의 테마별 정원을 만날 수 있다.

At Korea’s first national garden, the Suncheon Bay National Garden, you can look around 57 differently themed arboretums and climactic zones.

While visiting the ecofriendly city of Suncheon, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to the Suncheon Bay National Garden.

The garden was opened following the 2013 Suncheon Bay National Garden Exposition and covers an area of 112 square meters. It’s located between Suncheon City and Suncheonman Bay, making it a geographic buffer for the wetlands. The garden takes visitors through 57 themed gardens, 11 of which are based on national themes for countries such as China, Thailand, the U.S. and the U.K.

김종백 순천만국가정원 해설사가 25일 LED 조명을 활용해 식물을 재배하는 기술에 대해 설명하고 있다.

On Feb. 25, Kim Jong-baek, a tour guide at the Suncheon Bay National Garden, explains how plants are cultivated using LED lights.

Kim Jong Baek, a tour guide at the Suncheon Bay National Garden, said that, “Most of the flowers in the garden are in full bloom between April and May. Up to 110,000 people visit the gardens during the peak season, but unlike an amusement park the gardens never feel overcrowded. At Suncheon Bay National Garden, you can enjoy the flowers and the trees in each of the gardens at your own pace.” Adding that he personally thinks that the gardens are most beautiful on a rainy day in the summertime, Kim said that, “The garden has a different charm in every season, so it’s impossible to experience all of its magic in one day.”

By Jeon Han, Lee Hana
Korea.net Staff Writers
Photos: Jeon Han
[email protected]

순천만습지 갈대숲탐방로에서도 다양한 종류의 철새들을 쉽게 관찰 할 수 있다.

A wide variety of bird species can be easily spotted from the raised Reed Deck walkways that wind through the Suncheonman Bay wetlands.

 

순천만습지 인근의 하천에도 다양한 종류의 새들이 목격된다. 순천동천 옆 하천에서는 독수리들이 한가롭게 볕을 쬐며 쉬는 모습을 관찰 할 수 있다.

Eagles enjoy the sun by the riverside as the waters flow into the Suncheonman Bay wetlands.

 

수령이 600년이 넘은 것으로 추정되는 팽나무. 제주도 암반 지역에 뿌리를 내리고 있던 이 팽나무는 순천만국가정원 조성 당시 기증되어 순천만에 터를 잡았다.

A nettle tree, originally from Jeju Island and estimated to be over 600 years old, takes root in the Suncheon Bay National Garden. It was donated to the garden to celebrate its grand opening.

 

순천만국가정원에서는 각 국가별 정원의 유사점과 차이를 알 수 있다. 사진은 중국 국가정원 입구의 모습.

It’s easy to spot the difference between the various gardens at the Suncheon Bay National Garden. The entrance to the Chinese national garden flies that country’s red flag.