Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Coron Birding Day 2 - Change has Come

On our second day it was decided that we just stay at the Capayas Creek Bird Preserve for the whole day. Our friends wanted better pictures of the Blue-eared Kingfisher and also hoped that the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher would show up. Inasmuch as my wife and I already had good pictures of both species the last time we were here, we opted to roam around the area with Anthony guiding us.

We walked towards the La Natura Resort birding along the way. It was Anthony's keen eyesight and sharp ears that enabled us to see the forest birds. Such as the Ashy Drongo

the Black-naped Monarch

and the Blue-headed Racket-tail

We had another sumptuous "packed" lunch at Capayas Creek and after that Cynthia and I joined our friends in photographing both kingfishers (the Oriental Dwarf also showed up). 

Blue-eared Kingfisher
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
Another challenge was the hyperactive, skulking, but noisy Rufous-tailed Tailorbird.

Around 4 pm we all called it a day. In our hotel room while waiting for our dinner which will be served at six, I was thinking how much has changed since we were last here back in October of 2012. Our 5-day stay in Coron then was one of the most fruitful birding trips we had in the Philippines. Back then, by just staying in the vicinity of guide Erwin's house, we had close encounters with some of the most beautiful birds of this island. Imagine Blue Paradise Flycatchers, Ashy Drongos, Black-naped Monarchs, Palawan Flowerpeckers, Lovely Sunbirds, Ashy-fronted Bulbuls and White-vented Shamas all frolicking just a few feet away, some at eye-level! The "3 kings" (Blue-eared, Oriental Dwarf and Ruddy Kingfishers) were easy pickings. We even got the Stork-billed when we went to the mangrove area near the Maquinit Hot Springs. 

In fairness, the Palawan Flowerpeckers, Ashy-fronted Bulbuls and this time the Yellow-throated Leafbirds were still there offering great photo opportunities. And of course, so did the two kingfisher species I mentioned earlier. Still, somehow, we felt that things have already changed in a less than positive way when it came to birding. Perhaps it was because of the new structures in the area and/or maybe it was the coming and going of noisy motorcycles every 10 minutes or so. 

I am glad that progress is happening in this beautiful island. However the negative impact on wildlife, particularly the birds, is somewhat saddening.

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