Tuesday, September 25, 2018

To the Munias and Back

In our last walk around our condominium complex we didn't see the Scaly-breasted Munias. Not a single one! Usually we would see them bringing nesting materials to different trees - either at the lawn or at the lower ground.

As a matter of fact the lawn area seemed devoid of the usual avian fauna, except for the Eurasian Tree Sparrows (ETS), of course. Even then they seemed more skittish that day - so much so that I wasn't able to get even a single shot at them. Imagine that!

It was the ground area that sort of compensated for what was lacking at the lawn. Maybe it was early enough because the resident Collared Kingfisher had not yet been bullied by the migrant Brown Shrike.

The Yellow-vented Bulbuls, Zebra Doves and Philippine Pied Fantails were at their usual places.

Whereas the munias were a no-show, it was the Lowland White-eyes that entertained us with their presence. And they were at the tree right next to the entrance of our building.

And of course, the obligatory ETS photo taken at the ground level.

Three days later, it was the other way around - only a pair of white-eyes showed up but never gave a photo op. However, the Munias were back.

The Brown Shrikes were also more numerous now both at the lawn and at the grove next to the condominium grounds.

The ETS flock was also more friendly now at the lawn. Perhaps a bit sleepy still?

We were correct in assuming that there won't be any sunbirds at the flowers near the garage since there was a delivery van parked next to those flowers. We were surprised, however, when we saw the female calling while perched on a rope.

This time there were no fantails. The Zebra Dove that we saw was on a different place than where we usually see them.

Oh, and three days ago we saw what I believe was some sort of a cuckoo, most likely a Rusty-breasted, do a quick fly by near the worker's area. We tried looking for it today but sadly, we did not have any luck at all.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Lawn Again Naturally

Part of our condominium complex is an area referred to as the "Great Lawn". It has some playground stuff like slides and seesaws. A concrete trail goes around it for joggers and walkers. There are plenty of vegetation surrounding it as well. Actually, it is located on the same level as the fourth floor of the buildings around.

photo picked up from the internet. ctto.
This place is where we start our almost daily walking routine. After we had made it around the area, we then go to ground level and take the longer route around six tall buildings. Because there are plenty of trees just outside the complex (and at the lawn as I mentioned earlier) there are quite a number of birds here. Which makes our walk more enjoyable.

This morning the sun was shining brightly unlike the gloomy days of the recent past. I decided to take along my gear with the longer lens (the Tamron 150-600 zoom). In our past walks at the lawn, the birds we have seen were the ever present Eurasian Tree Sparrows (ETS) and sometimes the noisy Yellow-vented Bulbuls (YVB). On a few occasions, a pair of Scaly-breasted Munias would show up as they seem to scout for some nesting place. So we were not really expecting much as we started our walk. To our surprise, the very first species we saw (excluding the ETS of course) was the migrant Brown Shrike! Unfortunately, my first shots were not that good as it was at some distance from us. I moved a bit closer but after just a couple of steps the Shrike flew away. We were going to the direction where it went when Cynthia heard something. Following the twittering noise she located a family of Olive-backed Sunbirds feasting on the blossoms.

Having our fill of the Sunbirds we found the Shrike, whom we nicknamed "Brownie" atop a palm tree. This time I was able to get some good shots.

As we were about to end our walk at the lawn, we got another surprise! Normally we would see a huge flock of these birds at the trees near the parking area at the ground level. Today was the first time the Lowland White-eyes came to the lawn.

It had been a rewarding walk at the lawn and we hoped that our luck would continue at the ground level. At the usual spot behind Tower B the YVBs were already enjoying the sunshine.

Near the entrance to the garage, a pair of Zebra Doves built a nest on a palm tree.

While waiting for the White-eyes (which never came) I tried taking photos of the Swiftlets soaring above us. Here is a really bad shot of what I presume to be a Grey-rumped Swiftlet.

At the car wash area, the Scaly-breasted Munias were also building a nest.

Behind Tower A, the Philippine Pied Fantails were at their usual spot.

As we were about to end our daily walk, I just had to take the obligatory shot of the ETS.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Back in the Grove

During our daily walk around our condominium (which is called The Grove) we always make it a point to look for birds. We sometimes bring binoculars and on a few occasions, a camera. Since we saw quite a number of birds the previous day, I decided to bring along the camera with the shorter lens (300mm) the following day. At the lawn, there were the usual Eurasian Tree Sparrows.

Unfortunately the seemingly tireless Scaly-breasted Munia which kept bringing nesting materials to a particular palm tree probably relocated somewhere.

Our first walk around the ground area was fruitless. The Zebra Doves were calling non-stop but never exposed themselves. Only the usual Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Eurasian Tree Sparrows were present. So my wife and I both agreed to do another round. It was then that they finally obliged to show themselves to us. 

The male walking towards its partner
Cynthia's sharp ears detected an Olive-backed Sunbird. Looking up towards the parking area she found the tiny bird perched on the wiry fence.

Then the species that we were actually waiting to see came. The day before we saw a flock of about 30 individuals feasting on a tree near the parking shed. This time although a bit fewer in number, they repeated their feeding frenzy at the same tree.

Inasmuch as we are unable to do some serious birding lately, I am just glad that there are still wild birds around the place where we live. That sort of brings us back in the groove of enjoying our hobby.