Friday, November 18, 2011

Makiling - 19th November

An excellent morning spent high up on Makiling. Few birds visible at first as usual, but plenty calling. Most raucous were the Luzon Hornbills, of which I saw a few. The first bird of note was a pair of Luzon Flamebacks on a dead tree, along with Coppersmiths. Nearby were a few Buzzing Flowerpeckers on the mistletoe they love so much. Also feeding on that were White-eared Brown Doves, very confiding today.

The weather was good, so up at station 14, where there is a campsite in a clearing I spent a good hour just waiting to see what would happen. A family of Philippine Falconets were perched out in the open, hunting grasshoppers. There were more Luzon Hornbills here, as well as several calling Philippine Coucals. Overhead were both Glossy Swiftlet and Pygmy Swiftlet. Several flocks of Philippine Bulbuls here, and a small bird party consisting of Yellowish White-eyes and several warblers of the Arctic Warbler complex. Typically, after last week finally ridding myself of a bogey bird in the shape of Green-backed Whistler (and confidently saying they didn't occur on Makiling) I had a party of 3 of them! A juvenile male Blue-and-white Flycatcher also showed briefly in this party, as well as Elegant Tit, Blue-headed Fantail and a female Narcissus Flycatcher. This last was very cryptic. Clearly not the Asian Brown Flycatcher I took it to be initially, I couldn't place it at all when I put the pictures on the computer. Thanks to Des Allen for help with the ID.

Heading back down I flushed a bird off the track which turned out to be a juvenile Red-bellied Pitta. It wasn't photographable (much too dark), but it hung around giving good views until I left it alone.

In the car on the way out of the reserve a male Spotted Wood Kingfisher flashed across the road, and perched on a branch, allowing me to get fantastic views. The light was less than brilliant, so the photos could have been better, but this is one of my favourite Philippine birds, and it really showed off!

Luzon Flameback, Chrysocolaptes haematribon. This is one of 4 'new' species of Flameback in The Philippines resulting from the long overdue splitting of Greater Flameback. This one is restricted to Luzon, Polillo, Marinduque and Catanduanes
 White-eared Brown Dove, ssp. leucotis.
 Philippine Falconets
 Philippine Bulbul
 Yellowish White-eye
Buzzing Flowerpecker of the greenish olive race obscurum
Grey Wagtail. In The Philippines closely associated with forests, particularly roads in forests

Spotted Wood-Kingfisher. This gorgeous male flew across the road in front of me and perched on a branch. paying me very little attention. A quite magnificent bird!

Female Narcissus Flycatcher. My first in The Philippines

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