An early start for a long twitch to Bataan province for Green-faced Parrotfinch. They were spotted on a farm near the town of Samal, and reported by a member of WBCP early last week. I was unable to try last week, so have endured the sensation known to all birders of hoping that the bloody things won't fly away! I eventually got to the site at about 8:00am, scrambled down the path to the area with the flowering bamboo, and the first birds I saw were the Green-faced Parrotfinch. Excellent!. There were about 20 birds in total, and they were totally unconcerned by the presence of myself and three other birders.
Like other Parrotfinches they are irruptive, with populations expanding rapidly when the bamboo flowers. At other times they are extremely elusive, and are restricted to forest above 1000m. When there is a flowering event however they'll come down to the lowlands like these ones. Most birders I've met in The Philippines had never seen them until this week, and it wouldn't surprise me if these were the only birds of this species I ever see.
The bamboo was in a valley which was very birdy in its own right. There were several large flowering trees, and other birds present included Coleto, Rufous-crowned Bee-eater, Philippine Bulbul, Philippine Coucal, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, White-bellied Munia, Philippine Woodpecker, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, and far overhead a juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle.