Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pocket Birding

Pocket birding is a personal term that I use to refer to those short, usually planned birding trips, that I slot into my workday.  It can be an early morning trip to Capayas and I am back at Darayonan by 9am or a late afternoon sortie at Villa Khadine or Lualhati Park (4:30pm to 6:00pm). In Manila, it could be a short trip to La Mesa Ecopak or UP Diliman after I drop off my kids to school.  When in Coron, one of my favorite pocket birding trips is birding at Yulo King Ranch before a flight to Manila.  If time permits, I go to YKR at 6am and bird until it's time for me to check in to my flight.  Or I check-in first then go out and bird till we hear the plane coming.  Such was the case last January 24. I had a 12nn flight with Skyjet so I checked-in then went out to do a quick birding near the airport. In the case of YKR, this is also mostly "dude" birding (or birding while in a car/van).

No lifers but I got two of the usual suspects.  The first was a Spotted Dove perched as usual on an open branch.  This was near the Hornbill area. I was hoping the Talusi would show up again.   But no such luck.

Spotted Dove - "Lade" or "Ladu" in Cuyonon

Exploring the backroads, led us to a quarry site where we saw a Crested Serpent Eagle on a tree on top of a small hill.  It was too far to photograph but the area seemed a good place to explore when I have more time.

As we headed back to the airport, we stopped at the horse stables and saw that the Balete tree beside it was fruiting and there were a lot of birds.   It was in this tree that I first saw a Hill Myna in October 2014.  But most of the birds this time were Asian Glossy Starlings and a couple of Ashy-fronted Bulbuls.  Then Rodel, our van driver, pointed at something through a gap in the leaves... Black-chinned Fruit Dove. 

And then we heard the plane approaching so we boarded the van and went back to the the terminal. Two good shots plus discovery of a new area in about forty-five minutes of pocket "dude" birding.  

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