Thursday, May 23, 2013

Puerto Princesa Birding, Part V - Beginning and Ending

Thanks to local bird guide, Rommel, we were able to enter Iwahig Penal Colony to bird at the famous Balsahan trail. With him was our friend, Prof. Tirso, who would be on a bird tour beginning today. 

Our day started off with a male Olive-backed Sunbird shaking off the previous night's dampness.

Not far from it a Brown-throated Sunbird was living up to its name as it basked in the morning sun.

But what got us all excited was a Spot-throated Flameback who apparently was looking for a condo.

And eventually found one.

The Balsahan trail only gave us quick glimpses - and no photos - of our last lifer of the trip: the aptly named Melodious Babbler.

The forest birds of Iwahig were giving us a hard time so Rommel suggested we take a break and have brunch at the Flavors and Spice Restaurant. After much cajoling and teasing from our friends, Cynthia and I hesitatingly partook of the local specialty: crocodile meat sisig (a delicacy cooked by first grilling, then boiling and finally frying the meat with spices). To our pleasant surprise it didn't have any strange taste at all! As they say - tastes like chicken.

We continued birding at Irawan Ecopark again but didn't see much. At least I got a better photo of the Common Hill Myna.

Noon and for my wife and myself it was time to end our birding trip. Our flight back to Manila departs that afternoon and we still had to finish packing and take a much needed shower. We said goodbye to our dear friends and returned to our hotel.

This had been a very fruitful trip for us. We notched sixteen lifers compared with four we had last year. But even better than that was we enjoyed the company of our birding friends Irene (and Prof. Tirso on our last day) and met new friends: Rommel, and Jojo, our driver and fellow birder.

As the slogan goes: It's more fun in Palawan. Indeed it was.

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