Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) on Siargao island

A Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) Lifer on a Rainy Morning


With typhoon Lan (local name Paolo) passing by Siargao to the east and school canceled for the day, it seemed like a good time to go birding with The Teen and look around for vagrant or accidental birds blown inland by the offshore weather.

Typhoon Lan

A pair of Philippine Ducks (Anas luzonica) in flight on Siargao island.
A pair of Philippine Ducks (Anas luzonica) in flight.

Still plenty of ducks around: a few dozen each of the Wandering Whistling Ducks and the Philippine Ducks.



Family birdwatching on Siargao
The Teen in rain garb and undeterred by the inclement weather.

Some of the Usual Suspects seemed to be missing today: no sign of the rails, crakes, and moorhens. Also, this is the first time I can recall going to the nearby rice fields and not seeing at least one Purple Heron.

Egrets were plentiful though. We observed Little, Intermediate, and two Great Egrets. Of course, the Cattle Egrets are always abundant in this habitat.

Greater Painted-Snipe Rostratula benghalensis
The tail-end of a Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) seen flying away from us.

Here’s one of four Cinnamon Bitterns we caught sight of this morning. They seem to fly short distances in and out of thick vegetation and this was the only one we were able to photograph:

 Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)
A Cinnamon Bittern seen in flight on Siargao island.

While we never fail to see at least a half dozen Spotted Doves on our outings, today was a first for the Zebra Dove. We saw a pair of these doves just as we arrived and were getting off our motorbike. Luckily, I was able to get a few shots just before they flew off. While we didn’t see any vagrant birds blown in from typhoon Lan, this sighting was definitely the highlight of the day for us:

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) Siargao island
One of two Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) we saw this morning. This native of Southeast Asia is also known as the Barred Ground Dove.








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