We attended a wedding in Tuba, Benguet last Saturday. Prior to the ceremony Cynthia and I had ample time to go birding around the premises of the place where we were staying (Green Valley Village). Inasmuch as that place was a subdivision, we didn't expect to see a lot of birds. After a few minutes of walking we saw a patch of greenery. As we rounded a corner we spotted the migrant Blue Rock Thrush perched below a water tank.
As soon as we reached the patch of greenery, we noticed some bird activity on some bare branches. To my surprise, it was a female Red Crossbill with some fledglings.
After a while the crossbill family left. This time the activity was on a small tree across where the crossbills were. A small flock of Warbling White-eyes were busy hunting for food.
At the opposite corner a Turquoise Flycatcher perched almost at eye level.
We needed to get ready for the wedding ceremony so we started to walk back to our lodge. That was when we encountered a Long-tailed Shrike basking in the morning sun.
My wife heard some twittering and looking back to where we saw the Turquoise Flycatcher, there was a male Olive-backed Sunbird on an electric wire, singing loudly.
Along the way, I did the obligatory shot of the common Eurasian Tree Sparrow. I even thought of posting that picture in Facebook and jokingly labelling it as the Benguet Tree Sparrow.
Not far from our lodge there was a house that was still under construction. On it we saw a pair of Pied Bush Chats.
The wedding was held at a different place where we were staying. It was at the Picmar Heritage Lodge also in Tuba. The place had some greeneries as well and even had a vegetable garden nearby. Before the ceremony started we did a quick look at the said garden and saw a flock of Crested Mynas.
After the ceremony, we once again went to the garden area. This time it was a flock of Large-billed Crows that showed up.
The following morning, we again tried the area near our lodge. Somehow the birds were sparse. So I took a shot at the Yellow-vented Bulbul.
Some activity on a low tree attracted our attention. It was a very active tiny brown bird and it was quite a challenge to get a good shot at it. Reviewing my photos after we got back to our home in Pasig, I asked my friends to help me ID that bird. The answer I got was that it was an Arctic Warbler.
It was a really short time birding in Tuba, but I'm glad that despite being in a subdivision, the place was rich with birds - more than we expected.
Contrast that with our birding foray at the Camp John Hay Eco-trail the following day. The only bird we saw was a Sulphur-billed Nuthatch and it was just too far to be photographed even with my long lens.
‘Gator crossing 🐊
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