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.