Monday, November 21, 2011

Long trip anatomy

At the end of the day we had: tired eyes, sore back, rubythroat.

The first two most probably are due to our, ahem, age. The last is sheer luck. We just came from a birding trip to Subic, some 220 kilometers away from home. It was a tiring but rewarding journey. Rewarding not just because of the birds seen but more importantly because of the company. With us were good friends Doc Clemn Macasiano, who was our host when we visited Dumaguete last September, Toto Gamboa, Tonji and Sylvia Ramos and Wency and Tina Mallari.

The road leading towards Hill 394 was quite birdy that morning. So birdy that we had to be at different places so that we can get a wide coverage of the area. Joining me and Cynthia was Toto. Sylvia, Tonji and Clemn went farther up the road while Tina and Wency trailed from behind.

It was here that I got the Siberian Rubythroat (Luscinia calliope). Toto and I were walking up the trail when I spotted a brown bird perched on a branch that had fallen to the ground. Without even thinking, I immediately took a shot at it. Unfortunately it flew off before Toto could get a shot.

Siberian Rubythroat
Once again, the three of us decided to split up so we could maximize the number of birds that we would be able to photograph. Regrouping later and looking at the results of our efforts, Toto had a Greater Flameback, I had a Guiabero and Cynthia had a White-eared Brown Dove.

My Guiabero
Cynthia's White-eared Brown Dove
The road to Nabasan trail gave us really good looks at Whiskered Treeswifts and Blue-throated Bee-eaters. Surprisingly the trail itself was very quiet.

Whiskered Treeswift
Blue-throated Bee-eater
Soon it was noon and we all had a great lunch at Gusie's thanks to Clemn's generosity. The after-lunch trip to Dinalupihan turned out to be a bad idea as we just wasted an hour's travel time for nothing. From there we proceeded to Cubi Point hoping our luck would change. We were all inside our respective vehicles mulling on our next move when Cynthia said, "Is that a crow?"

"Looks like it," replied Toto who was riding with us.

"But it has some orange coloring to it" my wife argued.

"Might be a Philippine Coucal, then."

That was when we saw the rest of the gang suddenly jump out of their respective cars and rush towards a fruiting tree. We quickly followed and there in front of us were a pair of Luzon Hornbills feeeding.

female Luzon Horbill
male Luzon Hornbill
The huge billed birds eventually got their fill and so did we in taking their photographs. It was starting to get dark but we still had one more place to go - the roosting place of the Blue-naped Parrots. And we were not disappointed! We even had a bonus of about seven Ashy Minivets that came and perched on a pine tree apparently to spend the night there.

Blue-naped Parrot
Ashy Minivet
The sun slowly sank in the horizon and we still have miles to go before we sleep so we bade our goodbyes and off we went for the long trip home.


trinket said...

ruby throat!!! i've never seen one!
good job bob!

maiabird said...

Oh wow!!! So lucky!!! =)