Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tuba Rich

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.


thenaturaltraveller said...

Love reading posts like this Bob, feels like I'm there too! Thanks

Ayas said...

Hi, am visiting Manila next month on work and want to add a day or two for bird photography. Wanted to get some advise from your experiences. How can I contact you please.