A recent post in Facebook by our friend Benjie Jiao of a Grey Wagtail and Common Kingfisher seen at the "pond" in U.P. Diliman gave my wife, Cynthia,and I a reason to visit that place Saturday (Sept. 24) morning.
But first, as had been our routine whenever we go to U.P., we passed by Greenmeadows Avenue and Temple Drive. We stopped by the small waterway where we've seen a Little Egret almost all the time. It was there alright but did not give me a good enough pose for a decent photo. As I was processing my pictures when i got home later that day, I was surprised to see that there was a Black-crowned Night Heron next to the Egret!
We moved on. Perched on a wire was a Striated Grassbird. Sadly the weather was a bit gloomy and so the lighting was not that good for photography and I only got a documentary shot.
Across the road I got another documentary shot this time of a Zebra Dove.
Further down the road, a pair of Crested Mynas were perched..guess where? On electric wires...and of course, one more documentary shot.
Near the Mormon church, we spotted a Brown Shrike and got a, you know, so-so picture.
As had been our custom, we had a sumptuous breakfast at Rodic's. From there we proceeded to the Child Study Center area. Unfortunately there were no birds at all! Our next stop was at the Astrodome Center and thankfully, the resident Long-tailed Shrike did not disappoint.
Then off to the "pond" we went. We did see our target birds but both were quite skittish. We pursued the Grey Wagtail and as we neared one of the waterways near the pond, we saw a Little Egret. But what surprised us was what was feeding alongside the Egret...a Javan Pond Heron! Of the many times we've birded U.P. Diliman, this was the first time we saw this species here.
Happy that I was able to get some good pictures of this rarity, we continued our chase of the Wagtail. Persistence finally enabled me to get a shot at it.
We went back to the "pond" and again patience got me a long-distance photo of the Common Kingfisher.
Happy that we got both birds that we came here for - and with a bonus at that - we decided to call it a day. As we were about to leave, the Little Egret came to the pond and posed for me.
At home as I was processing the results of our birding trip, I was pondering on our luck at the "pond" considering we even saw a very uncommon Javan Pond Heron