Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday Birdy Sunday

Just spent my Sunday with birder friends in two nearby sites to see some pretty amazing birds.

Birding at the tunnel entrance leading to the petroglyphs, one of the sites we visited last Sunday.

Sunday started early in La Mesa Ecopark to conduct a guided birdwatching trip. We entered the park and immediately saw some of our friends observing a pair of Ashy Ground-Thrushes, hopping on the ground. The beautifully spotted birds looked like they were gathering nesting materials!

When we all had our "fill" of the Thrushes, our group decided to proceed to the trail to try and spot the Slaty-legged Crake that has been seen there. A few meters down the road, an Emerald Dove flew in front of us to perch on a nearby tree. Some of us continued walking on while I spent some time observing the Dove with a few friends. Suddenly, the first group of birders started gesturing frantically at us! As we neared them, their news was: the Slaty-legged Crake just crossed the path in front of them! Wah! We missed it!

We waited a bit for the Crake to show itself but it didn't come out from the foliage. We proceeded towards the trail and waited. We saw more Ashy Ground-Thrushes hopping around AND I was able to see a Hooded Pitta! It was the first time I saw it there and even if it was only for a few seconds, I was really happy with the unobstructed view I got.

Jops, Jon J., Clemence and I headed back to the Drilon Orchidarium to meet up with Mike and the participants of the guided trip. It was a pretty amazing bird list for most of the first-time birders: Ashy Ground-Thrush, nesting Lowland White-Eyes, Collared Kingfisher, Philippine Coucal, Scaly-breasted Munias... not bad at all for their first set of lifers! We ended the trip birding at the old boating pavillion.

The birding group spotting an Ashy Ground-Thrush.

After packing up and grabbing a quick lunch, members of the WBCP (and a couple of very eager participants) convoyed to the Angono Petroglyphs in Rizal to see the family of Philippine Eagle Owls who have taken up residence in the site. When we arrived, we saw Vincent, fellow WBCP member who first spotted the owls. He said when he arrived a couple of hours earlier, two owls were perched on the trees but one flew away before we got there. We went up to the view deck and enjoyed the views of one Philippine Eagle Owl, peering curiously down at us from his high perch.

Digiscoped photo of the Philippine Eagle Owl.

We stayed just for a bit, also enjoying great views of a White-throated Kingfisher and a small flock of Elegant Tits which flew so close to us (thanks, Rob!)

Digiscoped photo of the very behaved White-throated Kingfisher.

When the thunder started rolling in and the sky got a bit darker, we packed up, said our goodbyes and headed back home. Great way to spend a Sunday: easy birding with great company =)

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