Birdwatch Palawan, has an annual year-end birding in mainland Palawan. However, in order to jumpstart the BY2014, this was moved to January 2-3 in Taytay, Palawan. This put me and other Coron birders at a disadvantage since we could not join the trip. Rommel suggested that we also hold a simultaneous event in Coron. However, since I spent New Year in Manila, it was not possible for us to hold such an event. So I felt that the PPC crowd will get the early lead. And since there are a lot more established birding sites in PPC and the mainland, we Coronians, seem to be underdogs. Still I remained hopeful that Birdwatch Coron will rise to the challenge.
January 1 came and needless to say, I was excited to start. I was determined to be the first one to submit a Trip Report so while eating my first breakfast for the year, I kept an alert ear for our usual backyard birds in Manila. Before long, I spotted a pair of Pied Fantail, several Eurasian Tree Sparrows and a Yellow Vented Bulbul. I immediately opened my computer, filled out and submitted Trip Report # 001. I do not know if I was the first to submit but I am pretty sure, I was among the first.
My next birding opportunity came two days later when I read in the WBPP page that there will be a group who will go to Mt. Palay-palay in Ternate, Cavite on January 4. Like any responsible birder, I sought permission from my wife if I could go. I joined the group of fellow WBPP members Roy de Guzman Daantos, Bj Capacite, Prof Reuel Aguila, Prof Bert Madrigal, and Tholightz Quindara. Our targets for the day included the Luzon Tarictic Hornbill and the Philippine Trogon. We dipped on the Trogon but we did see the Hornbills, a White Breasted Wood Swallow, a Peregrine Falcon, Barn Swallow, Serpent Eagle, Brahminny Kite and the Philippine Falconet, a lifer for me. Some photos of the day:
Luzon Tarictic Hornbill
Luzon Tarictic Hornbill
White-breasted Wood Swallow
The following day, January 5, I met Manila-based Birdwatch Coron member Rap Garcia and Arch. Rico Santos at La Mesa Ecopark. Rap joined our August 2012 training in Coron while she was still with Club Paradise so she was not really a newbie but it will be Rico's first time to go birding. So I had to switch to bird guide mode...hirap pala ng trabaho ni Erwin... hahaha
Being a Sunday, there were a lot of people at LMEP. But we did manage to see the usual suspects - ETS Fantail, and YVB. But for my BY2014, I was able to add the Black Naped Oriole, Brown Shrike, Philippine Magpie Robin and the Red Bellied Pitta to my list. Architect Rico had a filed day taking photos of the Pitta as it stayed visible and stationary for several minutes.
A juvenile Red Bellied Pitta
Still, fourteen (14) species including 2 lifers, in the first five days of the year is not so bad. I just might have a chance to be in the top 3 of the Enthusiast Category.
Next post will be the Coron frenzy...