Monday, January 23, 2012

Return to Dumaguete, Day 2 - Van for the Road

While we were having breakfast at the hotel restaurant, we were keeping an eye at the tall bare tree next to the hotel grounds. Birds would come, alight on a branch, stay there for a while then fly off.  This happened in such regularity that I could not stand it any longer. I hurried back to our room, grabbed my camera and resumed my breakfast. Only to leave it every now and then to go outside and tried to take pictures of those birds whenever they stopped by (that's right - tried - because they were so small and so high up the tree). All in all my morning repast had been interrupted by Chestnut Munias, a Grey-streaked Flycatcher and (insert fanfare here) Java Sparrows! You read it right - Java Sparrows! I found it interesting, even bordering on funny, to find this species for the first time in the Philippines, here in Dumaguete, right next to a hotel.

After breakfast, Cynthia and I decided to explore the Ang Tay Golf Course grounds across the street from our hotel. We dared not explore the whole area inasmuch as we came in via the back entrance, so to speak. Nevertheless we did find some birds - most of which were perched high up, I mean way high up the only tall tree in the vicinity. With only my 300mm lens at my disposal, photographing these birds can be quite frustrating! Once again Chestnut Munias were there, along with Asian Glossy Starlings, a Collared Kingfisher and Zebra Doves. At least the Barn Swallows gave better opportunities by perching on the electric wires. 

Nine in the morning and we were in a quandary as to what to do next. Cynthia sought the assistance of the hotel concierge in renting a van. One hour later and we were on our way to Tanjay, a coastal town with lots of ponds along the highway. Just like yesterday, we informed our driver, Danny, that we would every so often ask him to stop so we could take pictures of birds along the way. And stop we did on numerous occasions. Shorebirds were simply all over the place - Common Greenshanks, Javan Pond Herons and Whiskered Terns. 

Common Greenshank
Javan Pond Heron
Whiskered Tern
The Sandpiper family was well represented with Wood, Marsh and Common species. 

Wood Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
We were even rewarded with a lifer! A lone Malaysian Plover was forlornly roaming the mudflats.

We were back at the hotel around noon. It was a satisfying couple of hours birding. 

No comments: