Tuesday, November 27

another bird-turned-butte outing...

it sounded promising enough.  i was riding shotgun with nicky and adri, who were going to make the most of official business in subic by trying to get new bird photos and video for  bap. the morning was beautiful without a cloud in the blue sky. when we got to nabasan, a white-bellied woodpecker was inspecting a wooden post hollow, but i was caught by surprise and my camera was still in its bag at the back, so i bungled the easy shot from the car.

when we got down from the car,  it was to each his own. nicky went the opposite way of adri, whom i trailed by several meters.

i don't know if it was because i was bringing a 300 mm lens which paled in comparison to my companions digiscoping set-ups, but the birds just didn't want to come near me! case in point: there were several blue-naped parrots squawking noisily, but they were waaaaaaaay up a cupang tree! the same tree was visited by sooty woodpeckers, greater flamebacks, bar-bellied cuckoo shrikes and more - all out of my 300mm x1.4's reach!

to add to that, it seems that the monkeys decided to declare that day tribal war day and so there were several of them up in the trees making a ruckus competing with another group up a tree across across from them.  and there were more than two troops of monkeys competing that day! (monkeys freak me out).

pretty soon i was distracted by another set of fliers... ones which were more agreeable to being photographed! 

there was an abundance of two of my favorite subic butterflies: the  Lamproptera meges and Cheritra orpheus.

can you see the other insect in this L. meges picture?

there were several other lycaenids i was able to photograph:

i always have a hard time pinning down the id of this one.
adri spotted this one during our lunch break at rali's. i thinks it's Cureta tagalica.  
it's rather drab underside's seen here, but it has a nice orange upperside
another favorite, Caleta roxus,
but the photo's not so good as it was nearing dusk when i took this.

there were several pierids also, which i've always thought were the most delicate-looking of the butterflies.

competing with the dragontails at one of the nectar plants were a lot of Eurema sp.  another genus which confuses me.

there were also a good representative of Appias species, the Appias lyncida:

and the ever cheerful Appias nero:

a common butterfly in the city, this pair of Leptosia nina were in a tight embrace that allowed one of the pair to fly around carrying the other:

and later in the afternoon i saw a pair of Delias hyparete dancing around what looked like a wild relative of the santan (ixora):

while i was otherwise preoccupied with taking portraits of butterflies while in lotus position on the asphalt road, what would appear right beside me (no exaggeration) but a philippine coucal... obscured from my sight by a curtain of grass, as my photo clearly shows:

it did fly across the street but this time behind some tangles (can you say "skulker"?) so that my second shot was no better than my first!

in the afternoon, at a rare time when all three of us (i mean nicky, adri and i) were all in the same spot, a scale-feathered malkoha, a close relative of the coucal decided to show up, and although it was pretty much out in the open, this time it was quite some distance away and wouldn't keep still.

but by then i was too deep into butterfly photography to really care about my crappy bird photos, although i did attempt a brahminy kite in flight

back to the buttes...

there were also many species of skippers, but i won't attempt to id:

except for this one which i photographed at an unusual angle which is a flat and i know at least is a Tagiades sp.

speaking of face-to-face, how's this for eye contact with a Vindula dejone?

i always pay close attention to this tigbi (fig) tree in nabasan because there is almost always a butterfly resting on the fruit and this day was not the exception with a few Euploea settling in.  i had to use the flash though.

Neptis sp. were also quite common.  many members of this genus are called sailors... and somehow the name fits though i can't put my finger on  why that is:

Hypolimnas bolina is also quite common in the city, but the bright irridescent blue spots on the upper wing never fail to mesmerize me.

nymphalids, like the Vindula, Euploea, Neptis and Hypolimnas are described as brush-footed butterflies because their forelegs have been reduced to brush-like pads so it looks like these insects only have 4 pairs of legs, as you can see if you count the legs of  the other nymphalids below (you might have to click on the picture to get a larger view):

as the afternoon progressed, i began to notice the other group of lepidopterans, moths.  some of them were hidden under the foliage but many were actually hidden in plain sight! 

finally, the daylight faded and my last photo was of a pair of whiskered tree-swifts in the golden light.  well, the day was supposed to be meant for the birds, at least it began and ended with birds.

(another owling go at the chocolate boobook, but once again owl i got was a heard only. *sigh* i will get you boobook, one day i will get you!)


  1. Nice shots ng butterflies! Kailan ko kaya sila matututunang i-identify? =P

    Pareho tayo... monkeys freak me out too!

    1. Thanks Maia!
      Actually with conviction lang ung mga ID ko, there are some I'm not sure of, so I hope if there are any mis-IDs here someone more knowledgeable can correct me!

      Monkeys= scary! Alam mo ba we caught pa a family na they gave the little kid (as in mga 5 years old) some food to give to the monkeys for a picture! and there were a couple monkeys right beside him na ready to pounce not to mention a whole troop nearby!!! Pinagalitan nga sila ni Nicky! Many people don't realize that those monkeys are wild and can be very dangerous! Haaaaay...

  2. Enjoyed your blog once again !!! I absolutely love reading them. These are all beautiful photos so huwag na magsisi that you had the 300mm. If you didn't have that, all those beautiful butterfly pictures will not be here. At least ikaw, birds and butterflies and scary monkeys.

    I will never ever forget my scary experience with one monkey in Subic. I was minding my own business hiding in one of the bushes trying to take photos of birds and all of a sudden I see a monkey at the corner of my eye. Since I am scared of them, I slowly walked to the car where Wency was asleep with all the doors locked. When I looked back, I saw the monkey following me, so I walked faster and so did the monkey. I decided to run towards the car and it ran faster. I knocked at the window incessantly in order to wake up Wency and as soon as I closed the door the monkey was right there on top of our car. Now whenever I see monkeys, I go crazy and make faces at them and close our windows right away. I don't think I will ever like monkeys.

    1. Tinaaaaaaa! Blogspot na ko!
      Thanks for your very kind words!
      I know its not supposed to be funny pero when I imagine you trying to wake up Wency and making faces at the monkeys I crack up! Hahaha! But seriously, those monkeys are scary! It's because some people like to feed them so they associate people = food! It's the same with the monkeys sa PPS Underground River Park, the monkeys there think plastic = food!

  3. Very beautiful photos. You really a great photographer. I hope Makapunta ako sa Subic for bird watching one of this days.

    bird watching Philippines