Sunday, June 09, 2013

Great Unexpectations

It was a trip like most of our other trips. No high expectations. As a matter of fact there were really no expectations at all. 

We were in an exclusive subdivision in Antipolo City, where thankfully, much of the area is still covered with trees. We've birded this place quite a number of times before and we were certain that we would no longer encounter any surprises.

Which actually rang true at first as morning broke and the usual species greeted the rising sun. Families (!) of Philippine Pygmy Woodpeckers, Black-naped Orioles, White-breasted Wood-swallows and Olive-backed Sunbirds made their appearance. 

I was tracking a flock of Spotted Doves leisurely walking on the cemented road when I saw something quaint. At first I thought this was an overstaying Brown Shrike but when I looked through the binoculars I couldn't believe that I'm looking at a Pied Triller on the ground! Truly unexpected behavior indeed!

a triller of the ground
The second encounter was not really "unexpected" in the fullest sense of the word. We've been hearing this bird everytime we come here but it never showed up despite our patient waiting. Today, however was different. Thanks to my wife's keen eyes we got a….glimpse! Well, actually, a partial view of the teasing Philippine Coucal.

hide and "eek!"
The Scaly-breasted Munias were quite numerous that morning. While my wife and I were photographing some of them, I noticed something out of norm. A rosy red bird among the flock! At first I thought it was a Chestnut Munia glistening in the bright sun. When I looked closer I realized it was actually another Scaly-breasted but dyed red. To which I jokingly told Cynthia, "dyed and now alive". Seriously, this individual was very likely an escapee from a bird vendor. These uncaring people would catch these drab brown birds and dip them in dyes of various colors, mostly red, to make them more "appealing" to buyers. I wonder how many birds survived such inhuman acts. I'm glad this one did.

dyed and rose again
Finally, when we were driving home, we both saw a greenish bird fly across the road and alit on an electric wire. Now there are only a few green birds that can be seen in the city and very rarely even. This could't be a Philippine Hanging Parrot because it was much lighter in hue. Defintely not a White-eye since this was bigger than that. I screeched to a halt and parked by the roadside almost beneath the bird. Good thing we haven't packed Cynthia's gear yet. So I grabbed it a took some quick shots through the windshield (the only way to view the bird) thus resulting in a very fuzzy image. A few seconds later and it flew away. I looked at the photo and was surprised to discover that it was a Budgerigar! Definitely an escaped cage bird. And completely unexpected.

hey, bud, watcha doin up there?


maiabird said...

Had a similar experience with a pink munia in PAWB and a bright yellow one in LGV! I thought I was seeing new bird species! =P

trinket said...

we'vs seen red-painted munias at the up diliman ricefields also! we were hoping it was a red avadavat!