When I was in Coron, I read my friend Maia Tanedo's blog post about the White's Thrush and Eye Browed Thrush in LMEP. So I headed there the first chance I got which was January 30, a Thursday. As per my usual routine when birding on a weekday, I dropped the kids to school, then proceeded to LMEP. Upon reaching the palm tree where the Thrushes were photographed, I met fellow birdnut, Prof Reuel Aguila who showed me the Eyebrowed Thrush he photographed that day. So I set up my gear and began to wait. Unfortunately, the birding gods were not with me that day. No Thrush. I went to the area of the Red Bellied Pitta, again no such luck. I saw Prof Reuel and his son again who told me that ol' Spotty was back. So I went up the small hill but did not also see Spotty. I did see an Ashy Ground Thrush which, though not a lifer, was an addition to BY2014.
Ashy Ground Thrush
After some time, I called it a day. The following morning, was a holiday so no school. After securing permission from my wife, Lorna, (we birders are responsible husbands, ehem), I went to LMEP. I immediately proceeded to the small hill and midway up the trail, I saw ol' Spotty perched on a branch across the trail. He stayed for about 10 mins as I happily snapped away.
Spotted Wood Kingfisher
After a while it flew away and headed towards the upper portion of the small hill. I slowly followed but did not see it anymore. While standing on the hill I saw fellow bird photographer Steve Albano walking on the trail below looking for Spotty. Told him I just saw it. I went down the trail and proceeded to the palm tree where the Thrushes were seen. There I found fellow birders Bob and Cynthia Kaufman and Ralf Nabong. A few minutes later, we were joined by Steve and Bj Capacite. We patiently waited but alas, the Thrushes did not show up. But we did see a Guiabero which was a lifer for me and an Arctic Warbler. Both are additions to BY2014.
Guiabero, a lifer
We kept our lenses pointed at the Palm Tree but the only birds that appeared were Yellow Vented BB's. After a while, Bj, decided to walk around. After several minutes he comes back barely able to contain his excitement. CWhile answering the call of nature, he saw the Mangrove Blue Flycatcher perched nearby. By the time he got his camera focused the MFC had left but another bird perched nearby and he was able to photograph it. It turned out to be the Eye Browed Thrush. We all trooped to where he came from but again we dipped on both birds. Since it was already around 10:30am, I decided to call it a day and left my fellow birdnuts at LMEP.
Though I was not able to get the Thrushes, I was still glad that I was able to get additions to my BY2014 list. By this time, my own count reflected 59 birds already. Not bad for one month of birding.
I was thinking that I will be able to get some lifers in Zamboanga during the Philippine Bird Fest. Since that will still be at the end of the month, I felt that I should make one or hopefully two birding trips in a location within driving distance from Manila on Feb 8 and 20 or 21. Hopefully Candaba, which will yield plenty and maybe, Makiling. So maybe another 30 or so species for February.
But even the best of plans do not always go according to... well, plans... but that will be the subject of the my next post...