Sunday, September 19, 2010

Subic, 18th & 19th September

My first trip to Subic to meet up with Mark and hopefully catch up with a few endemics. I started by driving the lower roads, closest to the sea. First good bird was a White-bellied Sea-Eagle harassing the fruit bats, clearly trying to hunt them. I didn't see a kill, but pickings did look good, and probably not hard. On the road I stopped to look at a dead tree, and was quickly rewarded with Greater Flameback (haematribon race), Green Imperial Pigeon and Whiskered Tree-Swift. Further along, more Flamebacks plus a group of 6 or so Green Racquet-tails. Calling birds here included White-browed Shama and Philippine Tailorbird.

I moved up to the Hill 394 road, which was excellent. Lots of clearings, with Woodpecker sounds coming from every stop. The commonest sound was Brown Shrikes screeching everywhere, closely followed by Philippine Coucals.

Mark joined me at about 3pm, and we returned to Hill 394. Much more productive now the heat of the day was gone, we had Luzon Hornbill, Blue-throated Bee-eater, White-bellied Woodpecker, Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, Blue-naped Parrots, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, Blackish Cuckoo-Shrike, Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Philippine Serpent Eagle along with several commoner species. An early highlight was an Indigo-banded Kingfisher on the stream near the pumping station on the coastal road, and the last bird of the day was a calling Philippine Hawk-Owl.

We had a second go at Hill 394 on Sunday morning, and finally added Sooty Woodpecker to our list. We saw this several times today, an excellent bird. More of the same species as yesterday, with the addition of White-eared Brown Dove and Dollarbird. An excellent trip, to be repeated soon I hope...

White-bellied Sea Eagle Hanging around near the colonies of Fruit Bats hoping for an easy meal.

Whiskered Tree-Swift Quite common, but often too high in the trees for a decent view. This one was very obliging, and let me get quite close

Philippine Coucal Skulking in a bush at the end of the trip.

Philippine Bulbul ssp. philippinus. Common, and very noisy, nevertheless not bad looking.

Grey Wagtail One of the few migrants on show

Green Imperial Pigeon Lots of these, but not easy to photograph

Coleto Common and very noisy, but gorgeous with it...

Blue-naped Parrot A nice sized flock exploring a dead tree at the end of the day

Blue-throated Bee-eater Very smart birds

Fruit Bats

More Fruit Bats

Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike Endemic race striata, which is very dark, with almost no barring visible on some birds, but the white eye is a giveaway.

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