Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Palawan Birding - Day 2 - Take

On our second and third days of birding, we availed of the services of Totic Failana, a local bird guide. When he picked us up from our hotel, I handed him a list of the 7 species that we wanted to see and hopefully, photograph as well. The list included 3 Palawans (Palawan Flycatcher, Palawan Hornbill and Palawan Frogmouth) and 4 Babblers (Ashy-headed Babbler, Melodious Babbler, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler, and Falcated Wren-Babbler). Out of those 7 items, 6 would be lifers for us (we've seen the Pin-striped in Thailand). I requested him to take us to the places where we can see those birds. But we also told him that our priority was to see as many kinds as possible and not to spend hours waiting for a single species.

The first place he took us was at the Irawan Eco-park. That place was birder-friendly: it had blinds at several places where one can sit and take photos of the local birds. The first one we encountered was a Blue-eared Kingfisher.

At another blind, we got our first bird on the list - the Pin-striped Tit-Babbler.

A Rufous-tailed Tailorbird showed up as well.

Then Totic alerted us. As we peered through the blind, our first lifer of the trip, and the number one on my wanted list, showed up.  It was an adrenalin rush as we took shot after shot of the Palawan Flycatcher.

Then came lifer #2 and another one in my wanted list, the Melodious Babbler.

As if that wasn't enough, the Ashy-headed Babbler, friendly lifer #3, posed for us.

From there we moved to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (previously known as Crocodile Farm).  Here we got the Blue Paradise Flycatcher.

It was also here that there can be a sure sighting of the rare Palawan Peacock Pheasant.

Other birds we got here were the Hair-crested Drongo and the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha.

After a sumptuous lunch at Flavors and Spice we headed to the home of another local bird guide (and Totic's friend) Randy Tibor. Within the premises we got Brown-throated Sunbird, Ashy-fronted Bulbul and the Palawan Flowerpecker.

Brown-hroated Sunbird
Ashy-fronted Bulbul
Palawan Flowerpecker
Late in the afternoon Totic searched for and eventually found the Spotted Wood Owl.

I thought that was the last bird of the day but Totic had one more surprise for us. He took us into a small patch of trees a little after 6 pm. We did a short walk in darkness lit only by our guide's flashlight. He stopped and after a few minutes showed us another lifer and another item in our wanted list - the Palawan Frogmouth!

In just a day, we got 5 out the 7 species in my target list. We really appreciate Totic for taking all the necessary means to fulfill our wishes.

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