Sunday, October 14, 2018

Trash Birds

In the birding community the term "trash bird" refers to a species that is so common to the point that they are sometimes just tolerated as unavoidable but necessary. Like trash. Oftentimes they are simply ignored by birdwatchers and bird photographers.

Our recent trip to the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) gave that term a new meaning. It became more literal. We were amazed as to how birds could thrive in an environment that is full of garbage.

Here are a couple of examples: Apparently both species were getting food amongst the debris. We saw them foraging and pecking at places where the soil was covered with plastics, shoes, backpacks and other stuff of every imaginable kind. It was such that both brown birds were difficult to see much less photograph. When I saw a bird I would describe its location to our friend, Peter, like, "it's in front of that pink plastic bag" or "it's right beside the red bag of chips".

The resident Common Sandpiper was so "at home" and was obviously unmindful of its messy surroundings.

The cute migrant Pacific Golden Plover, however, looked so out of place here. It was like a lovely girl model posing beside a trash bin.

Thankfully, some species knew how to avoid the trashy areas. Like the Grey-tailed Tattler.

Understandably with the kingfishers because their prey were in the waters anyway and not on the shoreline.

Collared Kingfisher 
Common Kingfisher
Before we encountered the trash birds we were awed at the number of Egrets and Whiskered Terns. These birds provided an opportunity for us to practice our BIF (birds in flight) shots.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Little Egret
Whiskered Tern
Our hoped for encounter with the Whimbrel never materialized so after several hours of patiently waiting for it to appear we decided to call it a day.

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