Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Coron Birding Day 1 - Change is Coming

It was totally unexpected. Our friend, Chin Fernandez, who is from here told us that there was an uncommon raptor seen by the road near the airport. So far only three people had photographed this species he said since the time it was first spotted in the area.

After having just arrived at Coron and while we were in the van that the Darayonan Lodge provided to pick us up that I saw some birds. Rodel, our driver, stopped the van and we all (me, Cynthia, our friend, Peter, and the Taiwanese couple) unpacked our gears. Our first official bird of the trip was the Pacific Golden Plover - about 12 of them strangely spending the early morning in a meadow.


Further down the road we encountered our first raptor: the Crested Goshawk. 


Both the plover and the goshawk were not lifers for me and Cynthia but this was the first time we saw them in the Philippines.

It was Rodel's sharp eyes that gave me and my wife our only lifer for this trip - the Changeable Hawk-Eagle! Together with our birding companions, there are now eight people who had successfully photographed this migrant here in Coron. Change indeed has come.


After a quick check in into our hotel - thanks to Iza Barcelona, the OIC of Darayonan Lodge - we all proceeded to the Capayas Creek Bird Preserve. With us was our guide, Anthony. At Capayas we were met by our old friend and local guide, Erwin Edonga. While Peter and Mr. & Mrs. Lee were at the tree house to await the Blue-eared Kingfisher, Cynthia and I went to Erwin's front yard were the banana and papaya trees were fruiting. Here we got some fantastic shots of the endemics such as the plentiful Palawan Flowerpecker.


the colorful Yellow-throated Leafbird


the Ashy-fronted Bulbul


and the Palawan Bulbul


Having our fill of these birds we rejoined our companions and was rewarded with getting shots at the tiny Blue-eared Kingfisher.


That afternoon, before heading back to our hotel, we decided to visit the area near Maquinit Hot Springs to hopefully see the Stork-billed Kingfisher. Unfortunately, we dipped on that and only got the very common Collared kind.


After a sumptuous dinner at the hotel we all retired to our respective rooms and got a very much needed sleep (we all have been awake since 3 am).