Saturday, August 23, 2014

Birding in Caylabne Bay

Taking advantage of the Ninoy Aquino Day holiday, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines had a club trip for members in Caylabne Bay Resort in Mt. Palay-Palay, Cavite. It was nice birding with fellow members, some I haven't seen for quite some time now and some I've met for the very first time.

Jops and I carpooled with Adora and started birding along the road going up the resort. Aside from the thermalling Brahminy Kites and the occasional White-throated Kingfisher perched on the electric wires, we also saw a flock of five Sooty Woodpeckers in one area! They were joined by a noisy flock of Guaiaberos.

One of the five Sooty Woodpeckers we saw

We pushed forward to the resort but were distracted along the way buy a line of Striated  Swallows preening on electric wires along the road. A few electric posts away were a small group of White-breasted Woodswallows.

Striated Swallows
White-breasted Woodswallow

We entered the gate's resort, distracted by a low-flying Brahminy Kite just behind the guard we were talking to and a Philippine Coucal that flew across the road in front of us. As we drove down the road, we saw the rest of the group intently staring at a creek. 

Intense!
We joined the group and were able to observe a male Indigo-banded Kingfisher hunting down in the creek below. The kingfisher eventually flew away and we moved along. Adri soon spotted a pair of Whiskered Treeswifts perched on a far tree. Thankfully, a lot of members brought their spotting scopes and we were all able to enjoy scoping views of the birds.

A Red-crested Malkoha decided to make an appearance by flying across the road we were on, perched for a few seconds out in the open, and flew to hide among the trees. 

All I got was a photo of the malkoha flying away...

Trudging further along the road, we met up with Mike A. who was staking out the garbage dump site which used to be a very good birdy area. We did get to see a Blue-headed Fantail in the area and also a cute male Black-naped Monarch which stayed partially hidden in the brush, but came out into the open for Mike A. later on =)

The male Black-naped Monarch stayed behind this curtain of twigs

We left the dump site and continued birding along the road. A number of Brahminy Kites thermalled overhead and were joined by three Philippine Serpent Eagles, calling loudly while soaring. Some Hooded Pittas were also calling from both sides of the road and a skulking Scale-feathered Malkoha peeped out from some thick brambles. A Philippine Coucal made a couple of brief appearances too.

Spotting a Philippine Coucal skulking among the trees

Soon, we were in our cars and on the way to the site near the restaurant where the Philippine Ducks have previously been seen. We passed by the empty swimming pool and crossed the bridge to the residential area. We saw a flock of Pacific Swallows and a lone Striated Heron in the water's edge but sadly, no ducks.

So much green!

We birded in the residential area until it was time to head back to the restaurant for lunch. On the walk back, we saw some noisy Guaiaberos on a low tree above the path.

Spotting the Guaiabero from the leaves
Quite challenging to spot a parrot the same color as the leaves!

By the time we reached the restaurant, it was very very hot already! After a yummy lunch, we gathered the group and made the bird list for the trip. We missed seeing some of the expected Mt. Palay-Palay species --only a small group of birders saw Luzon Hornbills early in the morning and almost no pigeons seen -- but it was still a great birding trip with friends =)

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