Monday, May 22, 2017

Camella's Back

We were invited by our neighbor and fellow birder, Chin, to go with him to Camella Homes in Bulacan. We've been to that place before and we had a great time with the Jacanas. Inasmuch as one of our target birds, the White-winged Tern, had been seen there lately, going back would be a good opportunity.

For almost three hours we stayed by the pond looking at a number of Pheasant-tailed Jacanas and Whiskered Terns cavorting all over the place. However, the hoped for flight of the Jacanas did not happen as we expected - only some short hops from one end of the pond to the other.

While waiting for our target bird to appear I observed an uncommon behavior from what I believe is a Clamorous Reed Warbler. Normally this species is a skulker -darting in and out of tall reeds while looking for insects. This one, however, was acting more Pipit-like, standing on top of waterlilies and grabbing an unfortunate bug. It looked like a Pipit, behaved like a Pipit, but Pipits are migrants and were supposed to be back up northern Asia by now. Our friend, Adri, later confirmed that this was indeed a Clamorous Reed Warbler.

Anyway, another interesting avian activity I observed was playing "king-of-the-hill" (or should I say a "king-of-the-pole") between two species. The Blue-tailed Bee-eater would perch on said pole then fly off to chase of an insect. A Whiskered Tern would then perch on the said pole before the Bee-eater could return. The smaller bird would then harass the tern albeit to no avail. Eventually the tern would also fly off to join its comrades in swooping for tiny fish. That would be now an opportunity for the Bee-eater to reclaim its throne, so to speak, and fend off the returning tern. But then the Bee-eater would of course had to eat so off it would fly again. That would be the go signal for the tern to return (pun intended). That scenario was repeated several times.

As in most of our birding trips there would be a bonus bird. This time it was a pair of Greater Painted Snipes! For a short while both male and female got out of hiding from the reeds and enjoyed a few moments in the sun.

A little after 8 am, with the White-winged Terns not showing up and the heat and humidity becoming unbearable, we all agreed to call it a day. 

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