Day 2 at Bisling. We were joined by a group of three photographers from Singapore, loaded down with enough equipment to stock a small shop! We kicked off with another attempt at the owls, but with even less success. The rain was already coming down when we left the hotel at 3:30am, and there was no chance the owls were going to show in the downpour. At about 8:30 the rain slowed enough for us to at least start on the trail. The first bird, right by the jeepney, was an extremely bedraggled Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeon. It stayed put for us all to get good views, mainly because it was too water-logged to fly away.
We started along the trail, Zardo quickly flushing a Philippine Nightjar which immediately perched on a low branch. It stayed very still allowing some nice photos to be taken. The rain started again soon after and we retreated to the shelter of an empty hut along the trail. After a while I joined Richard back on the trail (he seemed to be unaffected by rain, must be his essential English nature!). I had been paranoid that he'd find a good bird without me, and almost immediately after I joined him first one, then a second Steere's Pitta hopped out onto the trail in front of us! This news got the whole party moving again, and we carried on.
A second Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeon was found but not much else, and we decided to call it a day, setting off for home at about 12:00. Almost immediately the rain started to slow, and it stopped completely by 12:30. Feeling a bit more optimistic we returned to a large fruiting tree we had noted earlier, in an exposed area overlooking a large wooded valley. On the way we found a Rufous-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher, an excellent bird, but very flighty and hard to photograph. At the fruiting tree our prospects improved considerably, and over the next hour or so we had Naked-Faced Spiderhunter, Southern Sooty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Philippine Falconets and Black-faced Coucal. Throughout this bonanza we had been hearing the raucous calls of a group of Rufous Hornbills, but it wasn't until we were getting ready to leave did we see one bird, a juvenile perched on a tree a very long way away.
We set off back towards the town, stopping on the way to photograph a Philippine Serpent Eagle.
post here). It would have been nice to see the male, with the different face pattern, but no luck there.