It had become some sort of a tradition for us to spend the year end in Subic - primarily to go birding of course. We left home early on December 30 and made a stop at the Total gas station along NLEX in San Simon. We were surprised to see fellow birder Sean Melendres there taking photos of some birds. He pointed at a Purple Heron and a pair of Wandering Whistling Ducks.
Then I saw a Red Collared Dove perched on a wire above us. I quickly told Sean about this sighting and he hurried over to where we were and took some shots.
We bade goodbye to our friend and proceeded to our destination. Thankfully, Mango Valley Hotel allowed an early check-in for us. After settling in we went to the area near the Moonbay Marina Waterpark. As expected we saw the hoped for Paddyfield Pipit.
Then an Eastern Cattle Egret walked nonchalantly in front of us.
As we were about to get into our car, a small flock of Asian Glossy Starlings landed on a tree across from us.
We then had a sumptuous lunch at the Slab Cafe. From there we continued on towards Nabasan Road - our regular birding spot in Subic. Along Argonaut Avenue, Long-tailed Shrikes were perched on the barbed fence every 10 meters or so.
At Nabasan Road, we were greeted by a Brown Shrike.
On top of the bare tree was an Oriental Dollarbird but it was just too far up for us to get a good shot. Further down we encountered a Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike!
Then followed a bevy of birds perched on an electric wire: White-breasted Woodswallow, Blue-throated Bee-eater, and a Philippine Falconet.
A coleto preferred the bare tree.
Happy with our harvest, we both agreed to return to our hotel but we had to stop by the Volunteer's Park along the way. There we tried our BIF (birds in flight) shots of the Brahminy Kites.
On the way out a Large-billed Crow was our last bird of the day.
Early next morning after a buffet breakfast at Hsin's Coffee, we went straight to Nabasan Road. Right at the entrance, a Luzon Flameback started what would turn out to be quite a fruitful birding day.
On the same bare tree was a Blue-naped Parrot.
At another bare tree, a Luzon Hornbill came flying in just as we were approaching.
One more bare tree further down had a flock of Green Imperial Pigeons roosting on it. What is it with bare trees that birds seem to enjoy them?
Near the trail, A White-bellied Woodpecker was busy hunting for insects.
As we were about to exit, a White-eared Brown Dove settled near the ground just a few feet away.
Going to Cubi Point, we got lucky this time with a Oriental Dollarbird as it perched on an electric wire beside the road.
After having lunch at Cocolime Restaurant, we returned to our hotel for some much needed rest. About half-past three we decided to visit Volunteer's Park again. This time we had a great time shooting BIFs of Black-crowned Night Herons.
And that was grand finale of our birding in Subic. We were so happy that a lot of birds showed the couple of days we stayed in Subic - unlike last month which was quite disappointing.