Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pledge 2 Fledge 2014: From The Nest to The Table

This year, the WBCP was able to conduct two guided birdwatching trips for the Pledge 2 Fledge weekend! Pledge 2 Fledge is the flagship project of Global Birding Initiative. The goal is to share and promote the joy of birdwatching to more people by taking them out birding. 

The first trip Jops and I conducted with Anna G. was in the beautiful town of  El Nido, Palawan. We were there for a bird survey and decided to fledge some new birders among some of the El Nido Resorts personnel! Birding there was awesome! We birded in three sites: El Nido Cove, Dalimatan trail, and in Lagen Island. More details on these adventures (and my 12 lifers!!) in my next post.

Sir Mesach and Sir Alex birding in El Nido Cove
I got 4 lifers here and we recorded a total 24 species!
Anna (wearing a hat) giving the introductory talk about birding
before going in the Dalimatan trail
Our group birding in the Dalimatan trail.
Hair-crested Drongos gave us good views here!
Happy birders even though it wasn't such a birdy morning that day
in the Dalimatan trail
Another group shot as we reached the end of our birding morning 

It was a lot of fun birding with the group from El Nido. Most of them were already aware and knowledgeable of the birds in their areas and it was nice exchanging stories and information with them. I also enjoyed showing new birds to them and seeing the joy of new discovery. While we were walking towards the end of the Dalimatan trail, a bright Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher darter across the path just in front of us, showing its orangey-pink color. Sir Mesach, just seeing a glimpse of the bird, has now made it a personal quest to see it again soon, with better views of course =)

One evening during our stay in El Nido Cove, we heard some Spotted Wood Owls calling loudly from the trees just beside our rooms! We went out and were joined by some of the hotel staff. The girls shared that when they hear that sound, they would run away from the scary sound. We showed them the drawing of the owl in our field guides and they were surprised that a bird was making the loud sounds at night! I asked them if they would run away from the sound next time they hear it, and they said with a smile that they wouldn't and that they are no longer afraid =)

We flew back to Manila on Saturday and scheduled another guided trip for the Pledge 2 Fledge weekend in the La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City. We had 14 participants and were able to see 24 species that morning in the park.

We began birding in the spillway and immediately saw some Barred Rails
We also birding in the trails and the Ashy Thrushes did not disappoint
as well as the Mangrove Blue Flycathers
Another group shot of happy birders!

It was an activity-filled weekend for Anna, Jops, and I but we got a lot of help from our friends who volunteered for the activity. From The Nest (El Nido) to The Table (La Mesa), we hope we were able to do our part in sharing the wonderful world of birdwatching to more people =)

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