Monday, April 16, 2018

Fire and Flame

We returned to Infanta Saturday morning with the hope of acquiring one, or maybe even two, lifers. At first when we encountered a Coleto in Tanay, not far from where we have our usual breakfast, we thought that it would be a portent of good things to happen. 

Alas, things did not turn out as expected. At our first stop at the "De Castro" area it was a deja vu of the week before. Both the Yellowish White-eyes and Elegant Tits were actively hunting for food.

Yellowish White-eye
Elegant Tit
The almost dried up hagimit tree had its usual customer, the Buzzing Flowerpecker.

A Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker also came by.

A little past km. 103 we saw the now regular feeder at the more fruitful hagimit - the Fire-breasted Flowerpecker.

Along with the Elegant Tits were Sulphur-billed Nuthatches.

It was here that we expected to find our hoped-for lifer, the Grand Rhabdornis. So we patiently waited for our quarry. It wasn't long when friends who did a raptor count in Tanay joined us. Several hours passed and still no rhabdornis. Cynthia and I decided to go further up the road. The only bird we saw was an overstaying Blue Rock Thrush.

We rejoined the group who told us that our target bird was still a no-show. Once again, we waited being consoled (or mocked?) by the noisy Coppersmith Barbet and Philippine Bulbul.

Coppersmith Barbet 
Philippine Bulbul
All of us decided to move on since it was nearing noontime. Along the way, the hibiscus were in full bloom and not surprisingly, a pair of Flaming Sunbirds were feasting on the red flowers.

When one member of the group told us that the Rufous Hornbill (another possible lifer) was seen without fail at the Hungry Tummy restaurant at 3 pm, we went there to inquire if that was indeed true. Tommy, the owner, told us that it was actually at around 4:30 pm that the hornbills come to their place. We passed that information to the group. At 3pm, we passed by the Hungry Tummy just to check if the hornbills decided to come early. Tommy greeted us and said it was at 4:30 for sure. Not wanting to be caught in traffic and also since I have difficulties driving at night, with sad hearts my wife and I both agreed to head for home and not wait for the said time of the hornbills' arrival. 

That evening Cynthia texted our friend Ruth, who was with the raptor group if they had seen the Rufous Hornbills at Hungry Tummy at the appointed time. No, she replied. 

Although we did not get any lifers that day, we were still stoked by Fire and Flame, a flowerpecker and a sunbird.

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