Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Bohol Birding - Day 1 - Azure Sighting

We arranged for our guides to pick us up from Panglao Airport at around 7:30 am. They were already waiting for us as we exited the huge terminal. From there we proceeded directly to the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape. It was almost 9 am when we finally arrived at our destination. After paying the required fees, Phil, our driver, drove inside the forested area. Several minutes later, we parked, and Lando, our bird guide, asked us to follow him. It was quite a hike in the narrow trail surrounded by tall trees. Lando explored the surroundings and after a while beckoned us as he pointed to a red bird perched at quite a distance. Eventually, the Philippine Trogon flew a bit closer. Although not a lifer - we've seen the female in Davao and in Infanta - this was our first time to see and photograph the brightly colored male. 

We then continued our arduous hike on the steep trail. It was a challenge for this couple of septuagenarians but we had to endure as we were assured by our guide that we would be able to see the Azure-breasted Pitta. After what seemed like an eternity, Lando pointed at a tiny blue dot. We practically crept nearer to our target and after almost losing our patience, we finally got close enough shots of our lifer.

We then moved to where the Wattled Broadbill had been seen before. However the only species that showed up was a Yellow-bellied Whistler.

It was almost noon and so we proceeded to the Habitat Bohol Tourist Inn to have lunch. While waiting for our food to be served, we got some photos of a Red-keeled Flowerpecker foraging nearby.

After a hearty lunch, our guides took us to a place where once again they assured us of another lifer. After a short hike, Lando was so happy to point to us the Bohol Sunbird - a recent split from the Metallic-winged Sunbird. Yes it was a lifer for us.

From there it was agreed that they would take us to our hotel for our 3 pm check in. Along the way, we saw a White-throated Kingfisher and a Javan Pond Heron.

White-throated Kingfisher
Javan Pond Heron
After settling in at our huge suite at the Loboc River Resort, we explored the surrounding areas. Just outside the reception office was a Collared Kingfisher.

Further up the road a female Pink-necked Green Pigeon perched on a tree top. 

The grounds of our hotel looked promising bird wise and we both agreed to explore more of it before we checked out.

It was a good start to our birding foray in Bohol.

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