Monday, March 3, 2014

The Bird Year 2014 Month 1 - The Frenzy in Coron part 2 - Dipulao, Fernvale and Tulawa

Due to my numerous obligations and meetings for CATE, plus my duties at Darayonan, and in order to save of airline tickets, I decided to extend my stay in Coron. So instead of making two short trips, I did one long one.  The fact that more days in Coron meant more chances to bird, did not enter my mind at all (pramis!).  

Birdguide Erwin Edonga had been gushing about a new specie of Sunbird seen by a recent guest of his.   So that became my next target.  I agreed to meet Erwin near the Dipulao bridge on the morning of January 19. We walked through the trail on the left bank of Dipulao river.  Our first sighting was a Philippine Cuckoo Dove.  I have seen this bird twice but no decent photos to speak of.  This time was no different.  Although the bird stayed in the open, it was backlit, and overcast.  I took so many photos but none are keepers.  So for now, it will remain a photo target. At least, I got one addition to my BY2014 list. 

We continued to walk the trails, and saw the usual suspects - Ashy Fronted Bulbul, Ashy Drongo, Olive Backed Sunbird, Yellow Throated Leafbirds, and a few Crows.  We also saw a Crested Goshawk, again from a distance. We even saw a glimpse of the Black Naped Monarch, another photo target but again, no luck in getting a photo.  After walking some distance and admitting that the "new" Sunbird would be a no show, we turned around and retraced our steps.  Suddenly something large and maroonish flew across the trail in front of us.  It was the Philippine Cuckoo Dove.  We froze and slowly tried to peer through the bushes trying to see where it landed.  Alas, we could not see it. 

We continued to walk and headed towards the area of Villa Khadine Grand Vista Lodge which is owned by fellow BWC member and my grade school classmate, Gigi Velasquez.  We came across a couple of Zebra Doves on the road, and suddenly Erwin excitedly pointed to a tree where a Black Chinned Fruit Dove was perched. Another addition to BY2014.  I took several shots but the angle was not so nice.   Sharing one of the better shots. 
Black Chinned Fruit Dove.  

We walked all the way to VKGV but did not see anything new.  We went back to the Dipulao bridge hoping to see the Blue Eared Kingfisher. After looking for a several minutes, Erwin excitedly began waving and gesturing towards the opposite bank where a Common Kingfisher was perched. 
Common Kingfisher

After getting a few shots of the CKF, we decided to call it a day.  A increased workload the following week did not allow me to go birding until January 26.  However, I was able to do a short random birding on January 25 which netted me two additions to BY2014 - a Paddyfield Pipit, locally called Taringting and a  Pied Triller.  Both were seen in our property in Dipulao.  
Paddyfield Pipit, or Taringting in Cuyonon.  This bird is even mentioned in an old Cuyonon folk song. 

Pied Triller

The following day, January 26, Jelyn and I went to Fernvale Leisure Subdivision.  Security is tight but I had previously secured permission from my cousin Toti Fernandez.  We were met at the gate by the foreman who brought us to the back of the property which is the Dipulao river. As we neared the Fernvale perimeter fence, I told Jelyn that the previous afternoon, I was birding on the other side of the fence.  

This area of Fernvale yielded many birds - Pied Triller, Spot Throated Flameback Woodpecker, Ashy Drongo, Yellow Throated Leafbird, Ashy Fronted BB, White Vented Shama, Pied Fantail, Lovely Sunbird, Olive Backed Sunbird, a Rufous Backed Kingfisher, and a Lesser Coucal.  A Common Emerald Dove did a flyby which was my lone addition to my BY2014 list.  But what we really concentrated on was the Rufous Tailed Tailorbird and the Plaintive Cuckoo.  I had previously seen both birds but was never able to really get good photographs.  
Plaintive Cuckoo.  My friend Rommel Cruz of BWP told me how thsi bird is called in Southern Palawan but I cannot bring myself to write it here :-).

Rufous Tailed Tailorbird aka Tiklong-tiklong in Cuyonon

I am particularly happy about the Rufous Tailed Tailorbird because it is such a difficult bird to photograph. I became aware of this bird way back in August 2012 when I started birding formally because of its very loud and distinct call.  However, it was not until January 2013 that I saw a glimpse of it in Capayas.  Little did I expect, that I will be able to photograph it on Fernandez property.  

Since I was leaving the following day, I decided to go birding again that same afternoon at the Paterno Farm in Sitio Tulawa where I had previously photographed a Blue Eared KF and some Wandering Whistling Ducks in August 2013.  Upon arriving  at the site i was dismayed to see that the pond beside the Paterno farmhouse had dried up.  Not only that, there was a videoke and a bunch of people was belting out songs at the top of their voices.  Haaay....

I decided to stick around for a few minutes and my efforts were rewarded when a couple of White Breasted Waterhens, (Tariwakwak in Cuyonon), made an appearance.
White Breasted Waterhen (Tariwakwak)

 I headed back to Darayonan satisfied that my trip was still somewhat productive.  And that is how the Frenzy of Coron ended.  I use the term frenzy because looking back it seemed I was birding everyday although in reality I only did 8 birding trips in twenty days.  Still I went back to Manila happy and contented because per my count I was about 55 species in my BY2014 list.  I wonder how my friends are doing...


  1. 55! Let's add more to that soon!!

    Oh, ano na po ang tawag sa Plaintive Cuckoo sa S. Palawan? =)

    1. It's bastos eh. hahaha. Rommel nga does not know where it came from. Wag na lang, hiya ako. :-)

    2. Thanks for reading by the way. Hello to Jops. Really missed Zambo.

  2. Reading your last couple of blog posts makes me want to go back to Coron! Loved the Black-chinned Fruit Dove photo, even if it was an awkward angle.