Monday, August 5

getting re-acquainted

it was a school holiday and i got the chance to join adri and visiting birder rob for a short birding jaunt to nearby la mesa eco park. it was a re-acquaintance with the regular birds of the park mini-forest: the ashy ground thrushes were busy, busy, busy. another active nest was a good sign of their continuing success.

another busy day collecting worms for one ashy thrush...

... sitting on a nest for another

the red-bellied pitta was also present, having been a-miss the past few times we had visited the park.  the mangrove blue-flycatchers were busy feeding a brood of 3 demanding fledglings.  grey-backed tailorbirds sang noisily from the tangles.  common emerald doves and white-eared brown doves flew across the paths. flocks of white-eyes twitted above, moving in large flocks through the canopy.

we were on our way out when a heavy rain poured and we sought shelter at the refreshment and first aid stand where we ran into lmep regular anthony who brought more good news.  the red-bellied pittas were also busy with a family of 3 young birds! it looked like the park birds were having a good breeding season!

we decided to take a peek at the spillway and check for rails. the rain had slowed to a light shower and although barred rails called loudly, all we could spot was a single white-breasted waterhen which quickly disappeared into the grass.

as we were watching the bulbuls bathing in the rain, another bird caught our attention.  it was sitting quietly with its back to us in a thorny bush, and we had a very bad view.  but it would turn its head every now and then and adri was quick to call it.  a plaintive cuckoo! it was a great sighting for all of us, a lifer for rob and a bird i could not even remember when i last saw. 

a very wet plaintive cuckoo sitting quietly in the rain

it finally moved, affording us a better view of its orange-ish eyes and cross-thatch patterned tail.  it didn't seem to mind the many bulbuls it was sharing the bush with but got quite excited when a pair of golden-bellied fly-eaters arrived.  foster parents? or possible victims for this nest parasite? 

a front view of the plaintive cuckoo... better but still not ideal

after almost half an hour, it finally moved into the bush out of sight.  it was great for me to see this bird again after a long time, it almost felt like a lifer all over again!


  1. Super find ang Plaintive Cuckoo! I would love to see it soon =) Let's do our "big sit" in LMEP soon (para you can see the crake na din!) =)

    1. Let's, let's, LET's!!! The crake hasn't showed itself to me (whole body at least!) yet!

  2. A very enjoyable read. You beat me to it. My blog won't be ready for another week or so. Once again thanks to you and Adrian for hosting me at La Mesa.


    1. Thanks Rob! Great meeting you and birding with you! Pass through the Philippines on your way to the rest of the countries on your list and ket's do it again!