Sunday, November 14, 2021

Target Acquired

Thankfully LA Mesa Ecopark (LMEP) is now open to seniors over 65 years old. That was good news to us because recently a Common Kingfisher had been seen (and photographed) there. Not that it would be a lifer for us but it had been quite a while since we've seen one.

Saturday morning we purposed to go to LMEP to see the kingfisher of course! But first we birded along the way, beginning at the Greenmeadows Avenue. Our first stop was by the small waterway where a Little Egret is almost always a sure sighting. We were not disappointed.


Just above us a Philippine Pied Fantail was frolicking.


From there we proceeded to the parking area of the Christ the King Parish church. The first bird we saw was a Brown Shrike.


Surprisingly an immature Black-naped Oriole was singing out loud on top of a bare tree.


Another bare tree has a Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker basking in the rising sun.


Of course we had to take the obligatory shot of the resident Zebra Dove.


Another surprise was a Spotted Dove.


Our next stop was at Rodic's in U.P. Diliman for our breakfast. After our morning repast we went to the Astronomy area and got the Long-tailed Shrike.


We made another round and this time it was the Crested Mynas that posed for us.


We also got a good enough shot of the migrant Arctic Warbler.


Then off to LMEP we went. The guards were so nice and very helpful in getting us through the entrance protocols. By the pond where the Common Kingfisher had been seen, we met fellow bird photographers Nelson and Benjie. They had gotten a shot of the kingfisher early in the morning and they were both waiting for it to show up again. Almost an hour passed and the kingfisher was still a no show. Cynthia and I were both considering to give up when I saw a bluish bird fly by and landed on a bare branch on the pond. We hurried to where we could get a better look at it and after some waiting it perched out in the open. We were surprised that there were actually two of them - an adult and an immature!



We were so happy that we finally got what we came here for. Target Acquired!

Sunday, November 07, 2021

BTS (Back To Subic)

Friday morning Cynthia asked me "Do you want to go on a joy ride?"

"Where to?" I asked.

"Subic," she replied.

I was shocked! I never expected her to even think of going there. In my previous blog (see Reflections) I mentioned that at my age, driving long distances would be a real challenge. And yet my wife seemed confident that I still can do it. Then it suddenly dawned on me: it will be our 17th wedding anniversary on Sunday, that's the reason Cynthia wanted a "holiday" in Subic. So we quickly packed up and off we went. Thankfully the traffic wasn't much of a hassle and we got into our destination in about 3 hours. We had a sumptuous lunch at our favorite restaurant, Cocolime. We then checked in at Mango Valley Hotel, the place we always stay in everytime we visit Subic. After about an hour's rest ( a much needed one for me) we explored the nearby areas and got a few shots of the common birds there. 

Paddyfield Pipit

Brown Shrike

Zebra Dove

Sadly, the seashore was now being "reclaimed" probably in preparation for establishing a subdivision or a commercial space.

From there we proceeded to Cubi Point. At a bare tree were some Philippine Green Pigeons.


Large-billed Crows were all over the place.


So were the Crested Mynas


In another bare tree was a Pied Triller.


We searched the vicinity of the church but didn't find any Blue-naped Parrot.

It was getting late in the afternoon and the weather wasn't cooperating as well so we returned to our hotel and went to bed early.

The next morning, after breakfast we proceeded to Nabasan Trail. Along the way was a cooperative White-throated Kingfisher.


At the entrance to the trail was a pair of Green Imperial Pigeons perched way up high.


Then a flock of Philippine Hanging Parrots came and landed at a tall tree. They were very active and stayed mostly in the shadows. I was lucky enough to a shot of one out in the open.


At the trail we encountered a pair of Sooty Woodpeckers.


On the way out we glimpsed on some Philippine Falconets.


Flying overhead was a Brahminy Kite.


We returned to Cubi Point but unfortunately not a single Bee-eater was there. Before leaving Subic we had lunch at Slabs together with Cynthia's daughter Ginger and her kids.

We were quite disappointed at the apparent lack of birds. Could it be because of a lot of road repairs were being made (including Nabasan)?