Monday, May 16, 2022

Maligcong Journal: Spotted Some Birds But Spent More Time Reading, Cooking, Bonding With My Canine Friends

Red Rumped Swallow
The beauty of having no set itinerary in mind is the flexibility to do a lot of nothing.  Case in point: It rained 3 of 7 afternoons I was here in Maligcong which kept me from walking the terrace paths to go birding.  Also, when I did walked in the afternoon, I was escorted by a coterie of canines - some 7-8 of them and it's tricky to keep them in tow.  Even the diminutive Shihua tagged along and one time I spotted an adult Mountain Verditer Flycatcher, a campaign 4x4 vehicle was going to pass our way and I had to grab her out of the way since the driver may not see her at all.  By the time I returned to the bird's spot, it was not there anymore.  But it's okay, I have little to no expectations of spotting new birds or hiking up Mts Kupapey or Fato.  I'm just too happy to see my human and canine friends as well as find myself in a new environment.

Juvenile Mountain Verditer Flycatcher
The thing that's so nice at Suzette's Maligcong Homestay is that you can practically go birding from the veranda.  The extension now has a mud nest of the Red Rumped Swallows (Cecropis daurica) which come and go, unmindful of me or the dogs.  I also got lucky the first day I was there as I spotted a juvenile Mountain Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias panayensis) while chatting with Suzette, seated at the open air dining table.

Mountain White Eye
Another day, I spotted Mountain White Eyes (Zosterops montanus) pecking on the bunch of bananas under the guava tree. Of course, there's the ever jubilant Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) merrily feeding alongside the sparrows.

Olive-Backed Sunbird
I also spotted what I think is a Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilus).  I attempted a shot but it came out blurry but it's okay.  I captured the white detail on the wing that enabled me to ID it.  I've spotted it several times in the past but this time it flew low enough to let me attempt to take a picture.

Lias Eagle Monument
Hitching with Jerome to a wedding in Natonin some 3 1/2-4 hours drive away, we passed by the Eagle monument in Lias so I jokingly told Jerome I'm going to add it to my life list. Uncannily, I thought I saw a raptor overhead going back to Bontoc in the late afternoon.


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