I have not been doing much birding lately. But I have been itching to do so because I wanted to try my new Tamron 150-600mm lens. A week before, I was able to take a few shots with it while waiting for my son at UP Diliman. I had hoped that I will get to really try out the lens during WBPP's 2nd Anniversary at Bangkong Kahoy but the Philippine Travelmart and the hospitalization (and subsequent death) of my father, did not allow me to go to Bangkong Kahoy or even to LMEP. So on Friday, September 12th, when I drove my son Luis to UP, I decided to bring along my camera. Since he only had one class, I decided to stay and wait for him. However, since it was the middle of the day (Luis' class was 1-2:30pm), I did not expect much.
After I parked, I rolled down the windows and soon heard a bird call. I stepped out of the car and began scanning the tree tops. As expected, my long lens drew some curious stares. I soon spotted a pair of Brown Shrikes but no shot presented itself so I walked several yards to a tree covered area. A few minutes later, I heard a unfamiliar bird call and soon spotted a bird creeping on the trunk of an Acacia tree. I immediately fired a few shots, checked the screen, and saw that it was a bird that I was not familiar with. A lifer! I spent the next several minutes looking up and photographing it in different branches (and getting a stiff neck).
Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, a lifer
While waiting for the Woodpecker, I saw a slight movement in one of the branches and saw a familiar bird.
Then I saw a Brown Shrike perched on another tree.
I was already thinking of going back to my car when I heard another unfamiliar bird call. I looked up and saw a swarm of small birds noisily flitting from branch to branch. It was so difficult to take a shot because most of them were above the canopy and all I could see were shadows moving around. But I patiently waited for my chance because I felt that this would be another lifer. After getting more stiff neck, I was able to take several photos. I immediately texted my friend and (birding mentor), Maia Tanedo and described the two unfamiliar birds. She identified them as Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker and Lowland White-eye, both lifers.
I was waiting for a better look at the White Eye or the Woodpecker but my phone rang and it was Luis looking for me. Four species in an hour, with two lifers. Not bad for an hour of random birding in a crowded place. I love UP Diliman!
As to the Tamron? I love this lens! Can't wait to go to Capayas with it.