The month of May is not the best time to go birding in the Philippines. The heat and humidity of summer are the biggest deterrents to that activity. When I thought of doing a quick sortie at the campus of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) in Diliman, my wife told me to bring only my camera as she wasn't really into a photographic mood. She will just act as my spotter, she said.
To get myself into the mood, I took an obligatory shot of the urban trash bird - the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
Unfortunately, the only good shots I got was of that bird and one other species. The rest of the local avifauna were either too busy looking for food or strangely very skittish. The Black-naped Orioles were too busy foraging the tree tops and were always hidden from view. A pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds never stopped moving and despite my many attempts I wasn't able to get even one good shot. Same thing goes for the Golden-bellied Gerygones.
The Collared Kingfisher that we saw was so uber alert that even my slow movement of getting out of the car made it leave its perch.
Thankfully, and what saved our day, was the Long-tailed Shrike that posed for me.
8:30 am and the heat was getting unbearable. We called it quits and thus ended our quick birding at U.P.
Avian and Attributes – Stephen
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