Thursday, December 1, 2011


Adjective:     Reddish brown in color.
Noun:            A reddish brown color.
Synonyms:    rubiginous - russet

I have only birded in Subic twice. The first time was with a group of friends where I saw around 30 species and got myself 3 lifers: Blue-naped Parrot (I don't think I'm fond of parrots...) and forever WOW-birds: White-bellied Woodpeckers and Sooty Woodpeckers. That was an overnight trip but was unfortunately marred by rainy weather, so we did not get to see most of what the patches of forests Subic has to offer.

That first trip was before I developed the habit of listing down birds species that have been recorded in the place I would be visiting. But I did keep my eyes out for the woodpeckers =) So, when our birder friend Adri stopped our convoy for a Rufous Coucal, I didn't really expect that it would be such a hard bird to spot and see completely! All I saw back then were flashes of orangey-brown feathers gliding from one side of the road and into the thick trees and bushes on the other side. That was it. The end. Moving on. Let it go.

After that, the Rufous Coucal became a "need-to-see" bird for me the next time I found myself in Subic.

Last weekend, we were travelling back home to Manila after a two-day birding trip in Masinloc, Zambales.  When the opportunity of a quickie side-trip to the Nabasan Trail in Subic "presented" itself to us birders in the van, I was so happy we took it. "Rufous Coucal" in hot, glowing letters immediately flashed in my head.

We had very limited time, arriving at the trail around 4:30 in the afternoon, so we didn't bother to walk and just drove through. We saw Whiskered Treeswifts, Dollarbirds and lots of Blue-throated Bee-eaters! My brain was so tired from the long roadtrip, that I was already zoning out when the van abruptly stopped and the excited whisper of "Rufous Coucal!" was heard. I don't even remember who said it! 

We stopped the van and all got out to check the rustling of leaves above us. And there it was, in all its rufous glory: a Rufous Coucal. There was more rustling in the area and we discovered there were more of them! (I actually mistook one as a squirrel, since its head was covered and it was creeping up a branch, until I saw the feathers on its tail!) We also saw a Philippine Coucal near the group of Rufous Coucals. It was a coucal party! Then, one at a time, they glided from the trees above us to the other side of the road. I think there were at least 10 of them! The scene was jaw-dropping for me. Instead of "coolness", I think the more appropriate reaction would be "rufousness!"

PS1 - Before leaving the trail (just about 30 minutes after we got there), we spotted a male Tarictic Hornbill and a White-bellied Woodpecker!

PS2 - My glowing Rufous Coucal logo courtesy of Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator  


  1. naks! lifer 192!
    eight to go before the year ends! :-)


  2. Wow, congrats on the lifer! and not just one individual at that! :)

  3. Thanks Trinket! I hope to add at least one more tomorrow ;)

    Thank you Tito Bob! Yes, it was amazing to see so many of them! =)