Above and Beyond the Branches

We woke up very early in the morning to bird in Mt. Palay-Palay. It was my first time to have a Club Trip outside of Metro Manila with the WBCP. The sky was gloomy and light raindrops poured down; I was wishing that the rain would soon stop so that there would be more birds when we get to Mt. Palay-Palay.

View of the sea from Mt. Palay-Palay
<Photo by King Pandi>

We arrived to the mountain and we went straight to the “Falconet Corner” to check if the Philippine Falconets were there, the other birders say that they nearly always see them here, but sadly we didn’t see any. They must have took shelter from the down pour. We drove just a few more kilometers up the mountain and arrived at the DENR station. The rain kept pouring and unfortunately that affected the birds; we saw no birds in the DENR station.

We walked around just a bit more around the area and Tristan (Cousin) found a Coleto up in the trees. I was so annoyed by the fact that he has more lifers than me, so I am determined to beat his number of lifers now that were in Mt. Palay-Palay.

We decided to drive to a resort called “Caylabne” to have some lunch and bird a bit. The rain stopped as we drove to Caylabne, but before we even got to the resort, we saw a White-throated Kingfisher perched on the wire, and to my surprise we also saw Brahminy Kites gracefully flying right above our heads. The Brahminy Kite was a lifer for me, they were actually very common in that mountain because we ended up seeing lots.

We also saw many Tarictic Hornbills, beautiful birds with odd-looking bills. It was my first time to see a hornbill and they look so nice. White-breasted Wood Swallow were abundant there as well, and Coletos were fairly common as well. The Coleto was so pretty, yet it had this pinkish patch on the sides of its face which may be unappealing for some people, but I find it as a great unique  feature of this Philippine endemic bird.

Black-naped Orioles were unsurprisingly common and so were Philippine Bulbuls, another of my lifers. Glossy Siftlets were fund everywhere.

We have finally entered the Caylabne Resort, and me the other members tested our skills by trying to spot a Philippine Tailorbird which is very hard to spot, good thing that I was able to. In one area of Caylabne, Pacific Swallows were everywhere and Yellow-vented Bulbuls were found here, which is strange because Kuya Mike (WBCP President) said that they weren’t here before.

Pacific Swallows on a Wire <Photo by King Pandi>

Blue-throated Bee-eaters perched on the wires of this area with some Wood Swallows. In that area I also got two new lifers which are the Whiskered Tree-swift which were also perched on the wires, and the Black-naped Monarch in the trees.

Blue-throated Bee-eater on a Wire
<Photo by King Pandi>

Whiskered Tree-swift on a Wire
<Photo by King Pandi> Lifer no.53

We checked-in to Caylabne Resort, and while checking-in Ate Ixi (WBCP Member) helped us spot a Yellow Wagtail. We ate a quick but heavy lunch and continued birding.

While birding in Caylabne, we saw some White-collared kingfishers, and a Scaly-breasted Munia on a branch of a tree. We saw ONE Eurasian Tree Sparrow, which feels so weird because in the city it is the most common bird there is. Olive-backed Sunbirds feasted on some flowers as we saw them, and Striated Swallows with they’re clear reddish rumps perched on a wire that went across the river. Pied Trillers also stayed beside the same river and Philippine Pygmy Woodpeckers were on a tree upstream.

We went to an area that had an unfinished road and birded there, but saw pretty much the same things, Philippine Bulbuls and Tarictic Hornbill. As we drove back to Metro Manila, we once again passed by the “Falconet Corner” but unfortunately it started raining again, so no Falconets were there, but I was already content on the lifers I got today, because they were different from what I usually see back home.

During this adventure we also encountered some birds we could not ID, a raptor,  and a small brown bird with streaked sides looking like a Rhabdornis.

Bird List

  1. White-throated Kingfisher
  2. Brahminy Kite (Lifer)
  3. Tarictic Hornbill (Lifer)
  4. White-breated Wood Swallow
  5. Rhabdornis sp.
  6. Whit-breasted Woodswallow
  7. Coleto (Lifer)
  8. Black-naped Oriole
  9. Philippine Bulbul (Lifer)
  10. Glossy Swiftlet
  11. Raptor sp.
  12. Philippine Tailorbird (Lifer)
  13. Pacific Swallow
  14. Blue-throated Bee-eater
  15. Whiskered Tree-swift (Lifer)
  16. Yellow-vented Bulbul
  17. Black-naped Monarch (Lifer)
  18. Yellow Wagtail (Lifer)
  19. White-collared Kingfisher
  20. Scaly-breasted Munia
  21. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  22. Olive-backed Sunbird
  23. Striated Swallow (Lifer)
  24. Pied Triller
  25. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker

We also passed by LPPCHEA on the way back, but it was just a short time so I don’t need to tell the story, just the birds.

Bird List

  1. Little Egret
  2. Black-crowned Night Heron
  3. Barred Rail
  4. Yellow Bittern
  5. Little Heron

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eloi on August 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Nice work, Charles! Keep it up!


  2. Your blogs are so interesting, and you list such a variety of birds! A Blue-throated bee eater! Poor little bees, they are so beneficial! Such is the way of nature, though. Good photos!


  3. Posted by Tristan Manalad on August 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Hey Charles! 😀 Umm to my concern the bee eater that your dad took looks like a blue tailed no a blue throated.


  4. I really like your writing style, great info, thank you for posting :D.


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