Philippine Woodpecker by Camille King
I discovered urban backyard birding in May 2020, three months into the pandemic. Being home all day and every day, I noticed different bird species visiting my home garden located in Quezon City. I was so amazed to discover that there are more than Eurasian Tree Sparrows in Metro Manila. Being a photographer, I own camera gear and already have skills to capture images but didn’t have a super-telephoto zoom lens so I invested in one. Every morning, I birdwatch from my bedroom window. In September, I noticed less bird species visiting my garden because the migrant Brown Shrike took over and has been chasing other bird species away. One morning (October 15), I heard the familiar sound of the Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker. I grabbed my camera and observed the bird on the tree right beside my window. Although I photographed this species before, they were very far and so tiny in the image that I couldn’t see details of the bird. I was so ecstatic that this time, I was so able to capture plumage detail including the little patch of red on its head.