Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Birding Between Rains

It drizzled as we passed by Antipolo on our way to go birding in Baras. Thankfully as we reached our destination the rain stopped. Upon reaching the rotunda, we saw Rufous-crowned Bee-eaters and Whiskered Treeswifts perched on eletric wires. It had been a while since we saw both species so Cynthia and quickly took out our cameras and took shots at them. We did get passable photos considering the lighting wasn't so good with the skies still being dark and cloudy.
From there we went to where the huge water tank is and surprisingly there were no birds! We then proceeded to the hilly area hoping to see the regular resident Long-tailed Shrike. Along the way Cynthia spotted a Barred Rail and was lucky to get some shots at it.
Further down the road we got another regular - the Paddyfield Pipit.
In one of the side roads we were able to finally get a picture of the skittish Spotted Dove.
As expected the Long-tailed Shrike was at its usual domain.
Perched on the wires were a bunch of White-breasted Woodswallows.
Along Nebres Road, we got the Pied Bush Chat.
Perched on the road was a Zebra Dove that looked like it was trying to warm up.
At the creek we were surprised that the Green Sandpiper was there because we thought it was a migrant and it wasn't the time for migratory birds to arrive yet.
Near Jeres we got really good shots at the Brown-breasted Kingfisher.
We then went to the falls area to look for the Indigo-banded Kingfishers (three individuals had been seen there) but we didn't see even one. It was strange that we didn't see a lot of birds this time. Perhaps it was due to the gloomy weather. It did rain while we were driving back home.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

GPS Location

The term "GPS" is a device generally used for tracking and navigation. In our case, it had a different meaning, particularly on Saturday, April 1, at the Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Center (NAPWC). It had been quite a while since we visited this place and our expectations weren't that high. After parking our car we walked to the edge of the pond. There we met three young ladies (Aly, Ria and Anj) who were doing some bird watching. After introducing ourselves and doing some bird talk, I looked at the pond and some birds of the Ardeidae family. Then at a distance, I noticed some movements and got excited when I realized what they were - a pair of Greater Painted Snipes! (Henceforth refered to as GPS). We did not expect this species to be seen here since they are quite uncommon. The last we saw some GPS were at the Camelia Homes Subdivision in Bulacan way back in 2017. Unfortunately they were a bit far that I only got some documentary shots. The female is the more colorful one.
After a while the pair of GPS left. It was then that took shots at the members of the heron family - Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret and Yellow Bittern
A pair of Pacific Swallows even landed not too far from us and offered some photo ops.
Happy that we got into the GPS location, our young lady companions took a group shot with us.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

First Birding of the Year 2023

After seeing some beautiful bird photos posted by friend Romz Lopez in Facebook, I told my wife, Cynthia, that we should go birding at Baras as soon as possible. Saturday, June 7, thankfully, had a sunny weather (despite predictions of cloudiness) so off to Palo Alto we went. The first bird we encountered was a White-breasted Woodswallow perched on a wire above the rotunda near the entrance.
From there we proceeded to Jerez where we had our take-out breakfast from Jollibees. Nearby was a Brown Shrike waiting patiently for a prey to show up.
After breakfast we proceeded to the clubhouse area where some African Tulip trees were blooming (and where most of Romz's photos were taken). Unfortunately the tree was no longer in full bloom and fewer birds were feeding in it - mostly Yellow-vented Bulbuls and a couple of the Philippine Hanging Parrots - one of our target birds.
Moving on we saw a Whiskered Treeswift also perched on a wire.
As we got into the open area, a Philippine Serpent Eagle was soaring above us.
Our next destination was the hill where the Blue Rock Thrush usually stays. It wasn't there this time. Next was the adjacent hill where a Long-tailed Shrike resides. We saw it, but it flew off before I could take a photo. On the way down, we saw a Pied Bush Chat, albeit at some distance.
Along Palo Alto West road, we got a Brown-breasted Kingfisher. This was the third individual we saw and offered a better angle.
At the creek, we were lucky that the Green Sandpiper was there, again at quite a distance.
Arguably, the best species of the day for us was the Eastern Cattle Egret. There were quite a number of them and were less skittish than the other birds.
Along the road we chanced upon a Collared Kingfisher on a tree branch.
Next was the Grey Wagtail. The challenge was getting a good shot at it as it was always moving and preferred thae darker areas.
Another visit to the clubhouse area resulted in nothing new. The hoped for Stripe-headed Rhabdornis never showed up. At around 10 am we decided to call it a day. On the way out we were surprised to see a pair of Spotted Button Quails by the roadside. Unfortunately, we never got a good shot at them. Surprisingly, we didn't see a lot of birds. What was even strange was that there were no Paddyfield Pipits - not a single one! Still it wasn't bad for our first birding sortie of 2023.