Birding Phillipines: Villa Escudero, Ayala Greenfields and Bangkong Kahoy
When: November 2016 Weather : Cool 22C
Nikon P900. Leica M 35summilux
We spent a couple of days birding at Ayala Greenfields, Villa Escudero and Bangkong Kahoy, all within a couple of hours of Manila. Ayala Greenfields is a beautiful gated community lush with greenery and interesting sightings….
Sunset over Ayala Greenfields
early our first morning, the first bird outside the house was the collared kingfisher
Long tailed shrike greeted us
the Phillipine version of the white throated KF commonly seen in other parts of Asia, is the Brown Breasted KF, which has much less white on the throat..
And after a glimpse of a white browed crake which I failed to capture, this beauty appeared…the Barred Rail..
And here’s looking at you!
a magnificent back lit long tailed shrike
long tailed shrike
and then another long tailed shrike perched spectacularly on this thin branch
Long tailed shrike
Intense activity in a tree saw numerous little birds zipping about…golden bellied gerygones!
golden bellied gerygone
lowland white eye
coppersmith barbet way up high…
last bird of the day was this spotted black bird..
a blue rock thrush migrant
The next morning we set off for Villa Escudero, a former coconut plantation where we had cottages by the river and we tried to find the indigo banded KF …alas to no avail…..
bamboo rafts on the river….most scenic
the coconut plantation
walking around the grounds of the resort, the pied bushchat
and then the Grassbird appeared….splendidly patterned
as night fell on the river, this black and white image captured the tranquility of the scene
daybreak saw the crescent moon reflected in the still waters…
We set off at 6am from Villa Escudero to the valley of Bangkong Kahoy, between the mountains of Cristobal and Banahau…this was to be the most fruitful birding area….
the beautiful valley of Bangkong Kahoy, taken from the Lodge.
Poinsettias greeted us
one of the first and most impressive birds we saw was the blue headed fantail, an endemic.
the gorgeous and endemic sulphur billed nuthatch
sulphur billed nuthatch
the turquoise flycatcher, formerly mountain verditer FC was shy
orange bellied flowerpecker
the bicolored flowerpecker, another endemic
and then this beauty peeked out….
another star bird of the morning…the female white browed shortwing
white browed shortwing
farewell Bangkong Kahoy
We also had a good sighting of the chestnut faced babbler but it was too quick to shoot.
Both Ayala Greenfields and Bangkong Kahoy were excellent birding locations. Villa Escudero was slightly disappointing but that was prob due to timing…the Indigo banded will have to wait for another time….