Sunday, July 18, 2021

U.P. for Breakfast

To be honest, the reason I told my wife that we're going birding at U.P. Diliman, was because I wanted to have breakfast at Rodic's to enjoy the best Tapsilog there is. But before reaching our destination, we decided to stop over at the Hardin ng Rosas. We were surprised to discover that the pond was almost completely covered by vegetation! The Black-winged Stilts were gone and we didn't see any Moorhens also. Thankfully there were two immature Black-crowned Night Herons there.


We arrived at Rodic's just as they were opening. Inasmuch as they don't allow on-site dining yet, Cynthia and I both agreed to savor our breakfast at the parking lot of the MSI Building. Unfortunately, there were a few birds there and we noticed the Security Guard cordoning off some parts in the area. After breakfast off we went to the Astronomy place. The resident Long-tailed Shrike was there of course! I think there were two individuals even.


Behind the fence, three Collared Kingfishers were at their usual perch.


There were also a couple of Crested Mynas on the roof of the building.


As we were leaving and passing by the Genome building, we saw some Orioles frolicking about. I quickly parked the car and we were so excited  photographing a family of Black-naped Orioles at such a low level!


Other than these species, there weren't that many birds which was fine with us. After all we went to U.P. just for the Tapsilog at Rodic's.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Hood Have Thought?

Our birding trip to Baras last Saturday, July 10th, was filled with surprises. We saw some species that we have not seen there before. Considering that we've been to that place for quite a number of times already, we were so thrilled with our latest encounters. Let me relate the highlights of our trip.

It all started as we were about to have our take-out breakfast from Jollibee. Cynthia heard some melodious singing and soon she was able to locate where it was coming from. There were three Philippine Magpie Robins frolicking among the branches! One of them even flew down to the ground to go after its prey. Although we've seen this species here before, this was the first time that an individual was so cooperative to allow us to get some good shots.


After breakfast, we proceeded to the grassy area. It was there that we encountered the first species that we had not seen in this place before. We've seen its cousin, the Zitting Cisticola, a few times but this time we were surprised to see a Golden-headed Cisticola!


At the "tank" place, we witnessed a pair of Balicassiaos in a courtship mood. Again, we have seen this species at this particular place before but this time they were out in the open!


As we were exiting the Palo Alto East Road, we saw a flash of bright colors land on a very low branch. 

"Kingfisher!" I yelled. 

"No way!" my wife replied.

Slowly the colorful object emerged from the dark spot where it landed before.

"Hooded Pitta!" we both gasped in unbelief.

We wasted no time taking shots at the bird we never expected to see here, at the side of a street even!


Joyful with our unexpected blessing we moved on. At Cancun Street, a Common Emerald Dove was foraging on the ground. We've seen this bird once before but this one stayed for a long time unmindful of two happy birders taking its picture.


The final surprise was when we were  turning a corner, I saw this White-breasted Waterhen right beside our car nonchalantly looking for its breakfast. Another species that we've never seen here before. It was so close that I got a full frame shot!


As we ended our birding day, we couldn't believe the luck we had. Who would've thought that we would see, and even take pictures of, three species that we have not seen here before.