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.
Over the years I have greatly enjoyed your posts of Philippine birds. I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy bird photography there a number of times and seeing the species you find brings back fond memories. My wife was from Mindanao so when ever we visited her family I would take the time to hike out into the surrounding areas to see what would show itself. I did once get to Subic Bay and oddly enough the highlight for me was the colony of fruit bats. Thanks again for the memories of Philippine birds that I still have somewhere on my hard drive:-) Lyle Babberl
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