Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cuckoo Surprise and a Pair of Nightjars

I promised to deliver an ornamental banana plant to Prof. Bert the day after we went for the Flame-breasted Fruit Dove. The mother plant was given to me by Trinket and Adri years ago and has since bloomed and attracted many an Olive-backed Sunbird in our small pocket garden in Quezon City.

So not-so-early Saturday morning, Djop and I drove to UP Diliman to drop off Prof. Bert's banana plant in his gym. We brought our gear because we planned to stop by the nightjars after doing the plant-drop. We left the plant in the gym and were already getting in the car when we heard an Olive-backed Sunbird call loudly from above us. We looked up at the leaves of the talisay tree beside the car to spot the sunbird when Djop suddenly called out "Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" He started to get his gear from the car while I grabbed my camera and tried my best to spot the cuckoo.

I started panicking when I couldn't find it but after some redirection, I was able to spot it: a pretty Rusty-breasted Cuckoo perched un-moving on an exposed branch.

Rusty-breasted Cuckoo

It moved to another branch and stayed still for a while, allowing us to photograph and admire it some more.

I'm amazed the photos looked like they were taken almost at eye level!
(They weren't hehe.)

The cuckoo transferred to a higher branch before it flew to a nearby mango tree, out of sight. It was such a pleasant surprise seeing the cuckoo when we were just about to leave the parking lot!

We packed up our gear and transferred to find the nightjars. We first spotted one, then the pair of Philippine Nightjars, perched beside each other on a branch, partially covered by leaves.

One Philippine Nightjar spotted...
... two Philippine Nightjars spotted!

We were in and out of the UP campus in an hour. Within that time, we were able to do our plant-drop, spotted not one, but two nightjars, and even had a bonus cuckoo! It was a good Saturday morning 😊

Here's a short video of the Philippine Nightjar looking as if it were rocking itself to sleep 😄

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