Wildlife Week: Birding in the City (1)

The fourth week of the year was full of surprises and amazing wildlife encounters. It’s mind-boggling and surreal to meet face-to-face magnificent creatures even in disturbed, hostile and highly-polluted environment.  Beauty really exists wherever you go.

Kicking off the wildlife week: birding at the La Mesa Eco-park (LMEP). LMEP is one of the very few mini-forests in Metro Manila and a favorite weekend destination of families, friends and students.

Arriving at 7:00am, we were first greeted by LMEP’s full-time residents: the kilyawan (black-naped oriole), tariktik (barred-rail), kasaykasay (white-collared kingfisher), common moorhen and white-breasted waterhen. Then migrant birds started to show up; tarat (brown shrike), tagak (little egret), susulbot (common kingfisher) and yellow wagtail

Above us, pair of Chinese goshawks and ospreys flew in circles.

Inside the park’s forest trail, we saw the two recently discovered residents of LMEP: the Luzon-endemic ashy ground-thrush and the scaly ground-thrush. Both birds are uncommon, inconspicuous  and very hard to see in the wild.  Thanks to the tip of fellow birding friends, we stationed ourselves near the bird's “hang-out” area. After 30 minutes of waiting patiently, we were rewarded... 

The ashy ground-thrush playfully hopped around us.

The scaly ground-thrush kept on feeding while blending itself magnificently into its surrounding.

For almost an hour, we watched these beautiful winged-creatures. We also saw a green tree-frog and another beautiful bird, a mangrove blue-flycatcher.

A wonderful Sunday morning indeed.

Bird photos by Anne Larracas

LMEP, Quezon City


Also check the next story: Birding in Las-Pinas Bird Sanctuary.

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