Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Negros, Dumaguete - 21st December

My last day birding on Negros so I went back to the mountain for the Babbler I'd missed on day 1. Birding started slow, with one flock low down. We followed it down to the riverbed, but lost it there. The riverbed was a scene of devastation. The entire bed had been scoured out, resulting in a lowering of the river by up to a couple of metres in places.

Clearly a huge quantity of mud and rocks have been scoured out of this riverbed, pity the folks living downstream...

After casting around for a bit we started back up the trail. Immediately a small group of Sunbirds showed themselves on the coconut flowers, Purple-throated Sunbird, and finally Crimson Sunbird. A truly stunning looking bird.

Further up the trail towards the start we settled down to wait. It took a while (at least an hour) but eventually another flock came through. At first there were Blue-headed Fantail (of the white-bellied local race albiventris) and an Elegant Tit (ssp. albescens), then a Philippine Tailorbird (ssp. rabori), Balicassiao (ssp. mirabilis), Visayan Bulbul and White-vented Whistler. Finally a Flame-templed Babbler! It only showed a couple of times, but what a fantastic bird!

Balicassiao, ssp. mirabilis 
Male Crimson Sunbird, a stunner!
Visayan Bulbul. I think this must be a young bird as most of those I saw were indistinguishable from the Philippine Bulbul with plenty of red on the head. The call of these is quite different though, much more musical.

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