After getting four lifers in one and a half hours on September 26, I was eager to go back the following morning. But it rained, and rained, and rained... I was set to leave Coron on September 30 and I knew that it will be a long Manila trip because my father was going to be confined. So I was getting worried that I will not be able to go back to the Boulevard area before I leave. Fortunately, the sun shone brightly on the morning of September 29 so off I went.
Unfortunately, as I passed our Front Desk area at Darayonan, a couple of matters detained me so it was 7:30am by the time I got to the reclaimed area. After walking about thirty meters from where I parked, came upon a pool of water, more like a big puddle actually, and immediately saw an Asian Golden Plover, probably the same bird I saw three days prior. I took a couple of shots and while doing so, I saw another bird to its left. A Grey-tailed Tattler, another lifer! The fifth on the list (thank you Maia Tanedo for the ID). Here is a photo of the Tattler:
Like the other birds I have seen here, this is also migratory. It breeds in Northeast Siberia and after breeding, migrates to Southeast Asia and Australia. Then back again to Siberia for breeding.
I also saw the Kentish Plover scurrying about. Further on I saw a flock of Terns on the ground beside a bigger puddle of water.
Some were standing on water... the bigger one in the middle is a Gull Billed Tern, Lifer # 6 (thanks to Adri Constantino for helping identify this bird).
While looking at the Terns through my binoculars, I saw a lone Black Winged Stilt. I think it is still a juvenile...
I first saw this bird in September 2012 in Sabang, Puerto Princessa during the Bird Race. Here he is up close...
After a while the Stilt flew and of course, I tried to take a photo. Luckily, I was able to get a decent shot.
While waiting for the Terns to fly (I wanted some BIF shots), I started scanning the surroundings using my binoculars. I saw a hawk or eagle lazily flying in circles in the Coron pier area. I wanted a photo of course but the area it was flying over was probably a kilometer away by land. When I turned around and faced the sea, I saw about twenty Terns flying around a fishing boat docked attracted by the day's fresh catch of fish. I started photographing them.
Terns diving for fish...
I got engrossed with the Terns that I forgot the Eagle. I was tracking a group of Terns with my camera when suddenly something big dropped from the sky (from behind me) and swooped down into the water, grabbed something and flew away. I just pointed my camera towards it and fired a burst. I was able to get nine shots and but only one was good.
White Bellied Sea Eagle (juvenile) with a mangrove fruit...
Needless to say, I am so thrilled about this shot. It is now the wall paper of my laptop and it will definitely be blown up, framed and will hang somewhere in Darayonan! (It pays to have a mother who owns a lodge). Hahaha.
Because I was so happy with the Eagle, I took a photo of some Eurasian Tree Sparrows perched on an upturned ice chest. The ETS is what many Filipinos refer to as the "maya" (although the maya that used to be the Philippine National Bird is actually the Chestnut Breasted Munia). It is very common and bird photographers, except the newbies, seldom photograph it anymore. But I took a couple of shots anyway because their pose looked so cute. I felt that they were posing for me and wanting to have their picture taken as well, (in bird language of course).
ETS: Piktyuran mo rin kami! Me: Sige na nga...
After the ETS, I saw a couple of Great Egrets in the distance. Easily identifiable because of the kink in their necks which is not present in other Egrets. Plus of course their larger size. This is a photo-lifer for me as I do not have decent photos of this bird which I first saw in Balanga, Bataan, in November 2012 during a WBCP guided trip.
I started to head back to the van when a bird flew across my path. I started stalking it but it went into some tall grass. While waiting for it to come out, I saw another small bird on the ground beside a big puddle of water. It turned out to be a Rufous Necked Stint (thanks to Maia Tanedo for the ID) also known as the Red Necked Stint (per wikipedia).
After a few minutes, the other bird appeared again but unlike the Stint who really posed for me, this bird would not stay still. Fortunately, I was able to take a couple of docu shots. It was later identified by Adri Constantino as a Yellow Wagtail or an Eastern Yellow Wagtail. A photo lifer for me. I first saw this bird at the Irawan watershed in Puerto Princessa and also in Sabang.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
After getting the Wagtail, I decided to call it a day, (it was almost 9:00am and getting hot). But the Asian Golden Plover appeared near the Wagtail and i could not resist taking one last shot.
Asian Golden Plover
All in all, in three hours of birding, in a location that is a stone's throw away from the palengke and where the tourists literally board the tour boats, I got fourteen (14) species, six (6) of which are lifers, including two (2) photo lifers and one (1) great shot of an Eagle. It just goes to show that in Coron, one can go birding almost anywhere and everywhere! Thank you Lord for making me a Coronian!