Saturday, December 7, 2013

Candaba - 7th Dec

After reports of several scarce migrants at Candaba over the last few weeks I met up with Mark B and Kitty to try our luck. Our first target was Siberian Rubythroat, several of which responded well to playback in the area around the Mayor's House. We soon enticed one into the open and it gave prolonged excellent views. Buoyed by this we then tried Middendorf's Grasshopper Warbler in the same area which responded even faster! Our initial views of this fantastic bird were brief, but we were to do much better later on. Next up was a small flock of half a dozen or so White-shouldered Starlings, scarce migrants but regular at Candaba.

After this amazing start the birding tailed off somewhat. The flock of migrant ducks produced several hundred Tufted Duck, a scattering of Pintail, plus lots of Garganey, Shoveller and Philippine Duck. Wandering Whistling Duck were in the flooded grassy areas. Four Eurasian Coot were a nice addition to my Philippine list.

Waders were a little more distant, but still plentiful. The bulk were Black-winged Stilts of which there were thousands, but there were also plenty of Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper.

Fantastic views of this very obliging Middendorf's Grasshopper Warbler. While they were all very responsive to playback, most birds stayed stuck deep in their cover, giving only brief views. This, the third bird we tried calling, was in reeds, and seemed a little more confident, showing well for a few seconds.

A more normal view of this classic skulker!
First up at dawn was this magnificent Siberian Rubythroat

Rare migrants, these Eurasian Coots were two of four birds present on the lake, my first in The Philippines.
Three of at least 6 White-shouldered Starlings which were near the Mayor's House.

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