After some coordination, we were on the road to Infanta at 4AM on Wednesday and headed to the Marilaque (short for Marikina-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon) Highway, also referred to as the Infanta Road. We met up with fellow birders Homer and Brian who were already parked and scanning for birds.
The hagimit we were looking at had huge branches where remnants of fruits could be seen. Were we too late? Had all the fruits been eaten up?! We were entertained by some Tawny Grassbirds and a few Philippine Bulbuls but no others birds showed up. It was quite early though, so we decided to move along the highway and search for a more birdier site.
We decided to head back to our original location and were happy to see more friends in the area. We also learned that behind the huge hagimit was a smaller one with still-ripe fruits! We joined George & Manette, Sir Wins, Sir Ed, Sir Conrad, and new friend Sir Rod in the small clearing and waited for the birds to show. Sir Fidel joined us after a short while.
A handsome Guaiabero was very evidently enjoying its breakfast of hagimit figs as we settled into our positions, its bright green plumage both blending and standing out (does that make sense?)
|he handsome Guaiabero feeding on the hagimit fruits|
|Bicolored Flowerpecker, male|
|Bicolored Flowerpecker, female|
|Can you see the Olive-backed Flowerpecker?|
Suddenly a much bigger bird landed on the clump of fruits! My heart skipped a beat when I saw what it was: Amethyst Brown-Dove! Lifer! I've been wanting to see this bird since I started birding and as I approach my 8th birding birthday in April, I finally see it! It crawled near the Guaiabero, and started feeding on the fruits.
We were waiting for the Philippine Fairy Bluebird to show, and it did! But only for a couple of seconds before it flew off again. It would call loudly from the surrounding trees but did not show.
The Olive-backed Flowerpecker made a few more appearances but always very quick and mostly on the branches above us. I managed a few shots of this very skittish bird!
It was nearing lunch time when the dove finally flew off again and we also decided to head towards the small chapel and have a lunch break as well.
|The altar of the small chapel|
|Didn’t get any clear and out-in-the-open photos, |
but I was happy already seeing the bird!
|Here is a wonderful shot of the Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove |
taken and generously shared with me by WBPP President Win Paler =)
|Group shot, unfortunately incomplete, before Sir Chin and I|
headed back to Quezon City.