Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday 13th November - TREES Lodge

Busy all week so not much chance to go birding. Got out early on Saturday to the fig tree, intending to give it about half an hour and head for the fields, but the action was too good, so I spent my short birding time there. First decent birds were a flock of at least 10 Luzon Hornbills which glided silently into the back of the tree. They were wary of us (I had been joined by a large group of birders from Manila), so didn't come to our side of the tree. I managed to get decent views of a few before they left. While watching these I noticed an odd bird high in the canopy, which I'm pretty sure was a Brown-headed Thrush. I only really got a decent view of the underparts (white belly, orange flanks), and that combined with the size meant the only other possibility was Eye-browed Thrush. While I didn't see the head well. my impression was that it was brown, not grey. Didn't see it well enough to see the presence or otherwise of a super. While trying to relocate it I noticed another, slightly smaller bird swooping through in a decidedly flycatchery fashion. At first I only saw the underparts when it sat. Brownish, with a pale throat, possible female Blue-and-white Flycatcher? After much debate, and further searching (which also turned up a Lemon-throated Warbler) I finally relocated it, this time side on, and there was a definite hint of blue in the wings. So not a female then, juvenile male? It got lost again for a while, before finally being found sitting still on a high branch. Not ideal photography conditions, but good enough for ID I think. The only other excitement was a small accipiter that came off the top of the fig very early on. Views too brief to be definitive, but probably a Besra (wings 'not as pointed as Japanese Sparrowhawk')

Other birds seen included Red-keeled and Striped Flowerpeckers, Guiabero, Colasisi, Philippine Bulbul, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, Coppersmith, Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Ashy Minivet, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Glossy Swiftlet.

Juvenile male Blue-and-white Flycatcher. High in the fig tree outside TREES, this bird was unobtrusive, and quite difficult to get on to. We'd seen it a couple of times, and come to the conclusion it was probably a Blue-and-white, but it wasn't until I found it sitting quietly just beneath the canopy that I got a definitive view. This is a juvenile male, with some blue on the wings, a blue rump and tail, with brown mantle and crown. The breast was also dingy brown, with a clear paler throat.

Luzon Hornbill, Penelepoides manillae, male (left) and female (right). Probably 10 birds or more in the fig this morning, these two posed nicely, albeit quite a distance away.

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