Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Puerto Princesa Birding, Part III - Hits and Misses

Getting a picture of the Palawan Peacock Pheasant at the Underground River was a piece of cake. The Tabon Scrubfowls (there were two of them) were more of a challenge - preferring to forage in the forest undercover. Irene and I, together with our boatmen, Enteng and Mark, had been patiently trying to get a better view of the local megapode with very little success. 

My wife, frustrated with her camera's performance on dark subjects opted to roam the shoreline. Her wanderings got her a Stork-billed Kingfisher and a Pacific Reef Heron which I first thought was a Great-billed when she showed me the image.

When Cynthia joined us an hour later we were still going after Scrubfowl. It was then that the birds strayed into a more open space and we got some passable photos at last.

Having seen our two target birds that morning, we went back to where our boat was anchored. Irene at this point was shrieking with joy as the Palawan Peaock Pheasant walked towards her with such nonchalance that she was able to photograph it with her point-and-shoot camera.

While our friend was enjoying her luck, Cynthia spotted another Reef Heron. I scrambled out of the boat and ran towards the wader. Mark who was with me told me to hurry up because another boat was coming in and it would spook the bird away. True enough once the chugging motor of the banca became audible, the Reef Heron departed from the area. Luckily I was able to get a few shots before it did.

After lunch we lingered by the cliff where we saw the Palawan Tit yesterday. It was decided that we will stay here until about 5 pm to wait for the Palawan Hornbills to show up. At three o'clock, Cynthia was getting antsy and I was getting a bit drowsy. She wandered down the road to look for some bird, any bird, to photograph. My wife hadn't gone far when she came rushing back, shouting, "Red!" "Red!" She pointed to the middle branches of a tall acacia tree. I saw something..yellow! and red! and orange!

"Fiery Minivets!" It was my turn to shout. What followed was a photographic frenzy by four excited birders. After all the minivet was a lifer for all of us.

After the colorful family left, our attention was shifted to the constant calling of a Green Imperial Pigeon. We tried as hard as we could but our efforts at locating the bird were all in vain.

Past five in the afternoon the Hornbills were still a no-show. With heavy hearts we headed back to Puerto Princesa City.

No comments: