Friday, July 31, 2015

Rusty Birder

I had to go to work on the day of the Metro Manila Shake Drill and as I didn't want to be caught in possible traffic and be late (I hate being late!), I decided to go to work before the 10:30am city-wide earthquake drill and also sneak in an hour of birding in the UP Diliman campus.

I drove straight to the Marine Science Institute building and was greeted by a small flock of Lowland White-eyes flitting in the tall acacia tree by the parking lot. As I got my gear ready, I could already hear Black-naped Orioles and Coppersmith Barbets calling. I got a bit excited: could the balete trees be fruiting?!

I walked towards the small row of ficus trees and I was right! Dark red berries dotted two of the three trees in front of me. A Black-naped Oriole was there busy feeding on the ripe fruit.

Black-naped Oriole

I tried taking some shots and realized with some frustration that I was verrrrry rusty. I haven't been birding for more than a month and knew that I needed to "flex" my birding muscles first. It didn't help to have faulty equipment but that's another blog post.

The Oriole finished its breakfast and flew across the street. My birding eyes started focusing properly again and I saw one, then two, then three, then more Coppersmith Barbets! They were there feeding on the fruits, hopping from one branch to the next!

Of course, as I struggled with my camera, I couldn't get any decent shot...

The best shot I got of a Coppersmith Barbet that morning...

I sat on the sidewalk, like how I sat there many times before, and allowed myself to watch the Barbets feeding. After a while, they kept still, probably already full from all the fruits they ate. And then the Yellow-vented Bulbuls came. It was their turn to feed =)

An out-of-focus Yellow-vented Bulbul. Sadly, my best shot...

A Collared Kingfisher stated calling from behind the building so I stood and tried to spot it. Spot it I did but I was too rusty to get any photo, even as it stayed preening on an exposed perch for quite a while. Oh well, I got good views anyway =)

I checked the time and it was time to go. It was a quick birding trip and a not so birdy morning, but I did get great views of the birds and that was more than enough for me. For now =)