Saturday, April 25, 2020

Birding Itch Satisfied

Because of the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) due the Corona virus, my wife and I, being senior citizens, were not allowed to leave the compound of the condo where we are residing. Thankfully, there are spaces here where we can do our daily morning and afternoon walking exercise. One area is called the great lawn which is an open space on the fourth story level between the six condominium towers. That place has a wide grassy area (hence the name) and another area with huge swimming pools. Along the borders are some trees and flowering shrubs. 
At the ground level is a road surrounding the towers and the pavillions. The back side of this road abuts the Marikina River while the left and right areas are next to huge vacant lots that are filled with trees. Because of the vegetation in these places, there are birds, albeit the more common ones such as Eurasian Tree Sparrows and Yellow-vented Bulbuls. During migration period, Brown Shrikes are also seen here.

In our recent walks while we were checking up on a Brown Shrike whom we named "haggard" because of its looks, we were surprised to see an immature Blue Rock Thrush. I thought it was just passing through on its way back north, but for two consecutive days it was still at its usual hang-out. Yesterday before we went to sleep, Cynthia suggested that we bring our cameras with us on our scheduled morning walk.

So we did. At the Great Lawn, a Brown Shrike (definitely not haggard, as this was quite chubby and had better colors) dove into the grass and grabbed a prey. It flew to a nearby tree and gave us some good photo ops. 

Surprisingly the very common Eurasian Tree Sparrows were quite sparse this morning and we were not able to take passable shot.

At the ground as we were getting to the place where the Thrush stays, we were greeted by a pair of Philippine Pied Fantails.

The Blue Rock Thrush didn't fail us. It was as if was actually waiting for our appearance. When it saw that we had arrived it gave us different poses.

After a while it flew off. Perhaps so that we could focus on the other birds in the area. True enough the Zebra Dove couple was on the ground not far from where the thrush was.

Then came "haggard". We were happy to notice that he was no longer as haggard as he used to be perhaps prepping up for the long journey that he would soon take.

High above an Olive-backed Sunbird was searching for its breakfast.

Not far from it, another surprise was an Arctic Warbler.

Round the corner, we finally were able to get pictures of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.

After making our round, we returned to thrush site and voila! it was back, this time perched on a tree branch.

Having met our "quota" we walked back to our tower. Along the way Cynthia was distracted by some chirping coming from the tree near the wall. Unfortunately, the Lowland White-eyes were too active that we only got some documentary shots.

Of course, we have to take an obligatory shot of the Yellow-vented Bulbul

Despite the quarantine, we were glad that we were able to satisfy our birding itch. And even got an uncommon migrant at that.