Thursday, December 08, 2016

Coron Birding Day 3 - Change of Luck

Since we have birded Capayas Creek the past two days we agreed that a change of venue would be practical and beneficial. So off to Villa Khadine Grande Vista Resort we went. My wife and I were fortunate to photograph the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha and Spot-throated Flamebacks here four years ago. 

While having breakfast there a large flock of Asian Glossy Starlings settled in the nearby trees. They were joined by about 4 Ashy Minivets. It was still early morning so the birds we saw were practically just silhouettes and we weren't able to get really good pictures of them. After breakfast we roamed around the place but dipped on our target birds. Our companions suggested we just return to Capayas Creek. As we were about to leave we were met our friend Gigi Velasquez who owns the place. She said the birds usually appear around 8 am. It was only 7 but the Taiwanese couple still preferred to go back to Capayas Creek. 

Before returning to their desired birding spot, our driver, Rodel, suggested we do a quick visit to the Fernvale Subdivision. It is a fairly new housing area and most of the place still had trees and greeneries. Once again the birds were a no show. When we approached the gate on our way out Cynthia suddenly yelled "Woodpecker!" and pointed to a red spot on a tree across the street. We all jumped out of the van and ran towards that tree only to see the woodpecker fly. Luckily for us it landed on another tree that was even closer to where we were! We can't believe such a change of luck as we had our fill in photographing a very cooperative Spot-throated Flameback.

Back at Capayas Creek our friends continued taking pictures of the friendly Blue-eared Kingfishers (there were now two of them). My wife and I, on the other hand, went to Erwin's backyard and got more shots of the Yellow-throated Leafbird and a female Olive-backed sunbird.

A quick walk along the road gave us a closer look at a Crested Goshawk.

At 10:30 we packed up. Time to head to the airport. Although our flight schedule is at 1:30 pm, we thought it be would be a good idea to continue birding along the way. Although we encountered only the common birds such as the Paddyfield Pipit and the Long-tailed Shrike, our friends from Taiwan wanted so much to take photos of the shrike since it was a lifer for them.

Paddyfield Pipit
Long-tailed Shrike
With still enough time to spare, Rodel took us to the river near the airport where he said he had seen a Stork-billed Kingfisher. We dipped on that as well. So we just had lunch there. After another awesome lunch and when we were approaching the airport terminal, a group of Eurasian Tree Sparrows (the trash bird of the Philippines) took off from a railing by the roadside and flew down to the grassy field. Among them was a strange bird with a purplish and black coloring. The first thing that came to my mind was a Brambling! We saw this species in South Korea and it sure looked similar. As luck would have it that bird never showed up again and because we had to check in for our flight we didn't have time to wait for it to reappear. Rodel and Anthony went back to that place after dropping us off but still did not see the bird again.

The final bird I photographed just before getting inside the terminal was a Scaly-breasted Munia. Not a bad consolation for the change of luck we just had.

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