A purple heron with some egrets

Herons and egrets this morning in del Pilar

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Though time only permitted a quick birding hike this morning, I was able to spy a purple heron and some pond herons amongst the egrets in the rice fields of del Pilar here on Siargao Island.

This morning I got up bright and early to head to my favorite Siargao birding ‘hot spot’ in del Pilar. It was a beautiful morning to field test a Leica V-lux 4 and I was eager to work with something besides my usual Samsung point-and-shoot.

The first thing that caught my eye from afar was this line-up of intermediate egrets which stand out so clearly against the background of growing rice.

A purple heron, intermediate egrets, and some pond herons
A purple heron, intermediate egrets, and some pond herons.

On closer approach, I spotted the tall purple heron behind the egrets and I was already regretting traveling light and leaving the tripod at home. On further inspection with binoculars, I noticed the three pond herons which you can see in the foreground above.

A purple heron amongst the egrets.
A purple heron amongst the egrets.

The purple heron blended into the background from a distance and I doubt it would have been seen if the egrets hadn’t grabbed my attention.

A purple heron dwarfing an egret.
A purple heron dwarfing an egret.

As I approached to get some better shots the first egret started to fly away…

Egret in flight
Egret in flight

The other wading egrets joined suit and were soon on the wing…

Egrets in flight.
Egrets in flight.

…leaving this solitary purple heron:

A purple heron
A purple heron (Ardea purpurea)

The pond herons weren’t quite so shy though and stuck around for a while longer…

Javan pond heron
Javan pond heron

…before they also started to take to the sky:

Javan pond heron in flight
Javan pond heron in flight.

Walking back down the road I stumbled across a little ringed plover joined here by a swallow in flight:

Little ringed plover and a swallow
Little ringed plover and a swallow

Back almost to the main road  a gathering of wandering whisting ducks were seen at rest:

Wandering whistling ducks (Dendrocygna arcuata)
Wandering whistling ducks (Dendrocygna arcuata)

And then back where the road through the rice paddies joins the highway some white-breasted woodswallows appeared on an electric wire.

White-breasted woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus).
White-breasted woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus).

 

Oh, and if anyone’s wondering.. the Philippine green pigeon rehabilitation project is coming along nicely and the bird, now named “Punay” is looking healthier by the day, eats fruit voraciously, and should be ready to fly away sometime soon.

 

Philippine green pigeon

 

 


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