Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week ending 24th April - Bohol

A brilliant trip to Bohol for easter. The birding started at the hotel, with a flyover pair of Pink-necked Green Pigeons as we arrived. Birds around the hotel and on the beach were pretty standard, but did include a decent sized flock of Common Terns, ssp. longipennis, which were very striking with their long tails streamers and bright white tail and rumps.

On Wednesday I took a trip to Rajah Sikatuna N.P. that I'd arranged with Ryan Sugala. A great day out in a truly wonderful patch of forest. We spent the first few hours of the day trying to track down Yellow-breasted Tailorbird, which we eventually did, but not without several hours of graft. While searching we bumped into a pair of Rufous-lored Kingfishers, another target species. Other forest specials included Black-faced Coucal, White-eared Brown Dove, Samar Hornbill, Blue Fantail, Brown Tit-Babbler, Philippine Trogon, Spangled Drongo, Philippine Leaf Warbler, Philippine Bulbul, Yellow-wattled Bulbul, Black-naped Monarch, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Bicolored Flowerpecker. Migrants included a trio of Chinese Goshawk high over the forest.

We left the park to go to a stake out for Silvery Kingfisher, which we located after a short search. What a stunning bird! One of those birds which are never illustrated satisfactorily, always being more amazing than any illustration.

We only dipped on one of my four main targets (the two Kingfishers and the Tailorbird we got, but we couldn't find the Visayan Wattled Broadbill), so there is a great reason to return to this wonderful forest. Next year sometime!

White-eared Brown Dove, ssp. brevirostris. Much paler headed than the race on Luzon, leucotis.

Silvery Kingfisher, ssp. flumenicola. The purple wash to the underparts separate this race from the nominate race further south in Mindanao. One of the most beautiful kingfishers I've ever seen.

The backside of a male Philippine Trogon. Very camera shy, this species is gorgeous, really!

Oriental Magpie-Robin, ssp. mindanensis.

Male Olive-backed Sunbird, ssp. jugularis. Clearly lacking the orange wash below the dark breast present in ssp. aurora (see post from Palawan, Jan 1st - 6th)

Female Olive-backed Sunbird.

Headless male Samar Hornbill.

Common Tern, ssp. longipennis.

An out-of-focus shot of one of the most gorgeous coucals anywhere, Black-faced Coucal. A true stunner of the forests of southern Philippines.

Male (above) and female Colugo, or Flying Lemur

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week ending 17th April - IRRI

Large flocks of both Grey Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail passing through this week. Other than that not much to report. Ringing on Saturday produced several Tree Sparrows and Scaly-breasted Munias, but no Snipe at all, though they are still around.

Several Eurasian Tree Sparrows caught on Saturday.

As well as a number of Scaly-breasted Munia

An amazingly green Grasshopper that narrowly avoided the nets

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week ending 10th April - IRRI, Donsol

Another fairly quiet week on the farms. The Peregrine was back after an absence of about a week, during which I'd seen others in several places. They seem to be on the move at the moment, so I'm sure our wintering bird will be off soon. Java Sparrows visible once again, as well as the standard migrants.

The week ended with a trip to Donsol with Conor to see the Whale Sharks (a video of which is here). I didn't take my bins, so of course had great views of Black-chinned Fruit Dove as soon as we arrived! To be fair it was the only bird of note, the rest being Tree Sparrows, White-breasted Wood-Swallow, Emerald Dove and Whiskered Terns. the Whale Sharks were amazing though!

Cattle Egret, looking great! Can't stop taking pictures of these.

Paddyfield Pipit

Blue-tailed Bee-eater. Back in force now.

(Philippine) Blue Rock Thrush. Still hard to get a decent picture

Common Sandpiper