We started our second birding day trekking in search of the Everett's Scops Owl. Our guides took us to a cemetery to meet up with Tripon, a local who knows where the owls are. Tripon said that our target bird could be seen from only a meter away. However, on that particular morning, it got spooked and flew to another place. A place where there was no path nor trail that leads to it. So as we followed our guide we had to weave through tall grass and low trees using our arms to create a way through the thickets resulting in some serious scratches. As we were about to give up due to sheer exhaustion, Tripon stopped and silently directed us to a small gap in the foliage. We got the owl.
From there we moved on to the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape again hoping to see the Wattled Broadbill. A long wait and still the broadbill refused to appear. Driver Phil heard some commotion across the road. "Coucal!" he said while pointing to the source of the said commotion. Indeed there was a coucal but it was such a skulker that we only saw portions of its body. Its constant movement eventually revealed its head that showed what kind of coucal it was. The Black-faced Coucal was now added to our life list.
Lando and Phil then took us to the place where a pair of frogmouths had been seen recently. Again, after some trekking, this time on a steep trail, we got the male and female Philippine Frogmouth huddled close together.
After having a delicious lunch at the RDJ Mountain View Resort, we returned to Rajah Sikatuna. This time the focus was on finding the Northern Silvery Kingfisher. It was there but to be able to get good sights of it Lando suggested we go down to the creek. The getting down part was daunting for these senior citizens. Negotiating an 80 degree slope without anything to hold on to would be nothing short of suicidal for us. I informed our guide of that predicament, so Lando tried looking for other options. He went to the opposite side of the creek and after much searching, he waved at us. We hurried to where he was and stooped low and pointed at the kingfisher perched on a limb. Now stooping was another problem for me because once I am at that low position, getting back up would involve some groaning and straining. But I had to do it otherwise I would miss a chance to see a lifer. Thankfully, both Cynthia and I made it and got some passable shots.
The other lifer that was supposed to be in the same area was another challenge. The Yellow-breasted Tailorbird did show up but it was constantly moving and never stopped even for a second for us to take a shot at it. We then returned to the broadbill site. We waited for more than hour and it was still a no-show. Our guides gave up and we called it day. On our way out a pair of Brahminy Kites were hovering above the rice fields.
This was the last day that we would be going to Rajah Sikatuna. We thanked both Phil and Lando for their efforts in showing some lifers to us. I think that we were a couple of weeks too late since the nestlings of the Wattled Broadbill and the Yellow-breasted Tailorbird had already fledged and therefore both adults and young ones were on their own.
Sandhill Crane Family Outing
2 days ago