Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain, Busobuso, Antipolo
Date: June 24, 2005
Conditions: Very Cloudy (90-95% cloud cover)
Birders: Trinket Canlas, Gerry de Villa, Nicky Icaringal,
Rich Pijuan, Alice Villa-real, Jon Villasper.
Trip Report by Trinket
We met up at around
5:30am at Katipunan, not so early since Antipolo is
just nearby. On our way up the mountains, we passed
by long-tailed shrikes warming up for the day’s
hunt. We arrived at Prayer Mountain by 6am, and were
greeted by the sit-sits of lowland white eyes flying
We began birding at a downhill slope where several prayer
huts were located. As we made our way down the steps,
we could hear a constant call from the surrounding trees.
Nicky excitedly identified it as the red-bellied pitta!
We could hardly contain our anticipation! Within a few
minutes Nicky was able to locate the red-bellied pitta
up in a tree overhead doing a little shake of its wings.
We were all in awe at its bright red-orange belly and
touches of bright blue all around. Suddenly, it flew
to the ground nearby where we admired it hop-hopping
until it disappeared behind a clump of bamboo. Hardly
did we turn around when a common emerald dove suddenly
landed on the ground near to where the pitta had been.
What a wonderful start to the days’ birding!
flew all around us. Our attention was then caught by
a beautiful whistling call (I still say I wish our doorbell
sounded like that) which was identified by Propgerry
as coming from the white-browed shama. As if on cue,
a white-browed shama landed on a low branch nearby.
We got a good, long view… mostly of its back.
Later we would see them again, this time with a view
of the distinct white brow.
and Propgerry made their way up the slippery hill, followed
by me, Rich and Jon. Nicky,who was first, soon spotted
a black-naped monarch flitting about some trees. We
were able to admire it for some time before it grew
tired of us and flew away. By now we had eached a landscaped
pond where we spotted a male pied bushchat being cavorted
by 2 females. We headed down another path that led to
a grassy and marshy area. Black-naped orioles and collared
kingfishers were making a racket above us. In the distance
we could see the bare mountain, now ugly with signs
Back at the pond we met up with Alice
who was giving a quick introduction on birding to Rey
from the Prayer Mountain. The pied bushchats, a long-tailed
shrike and munias building a nest were her excellent
and willing props. Feeling that our first spot would
be more productive, we headed back down. We could hear
the red-bellied pitta calling again. This time we spotted
2 immature pittas perched and flying low on the ground.
Dark brown with white streaks down their front, they
looked nothing like the illustration in the Kennedy
guide. We also spotted mangrove blue flycatchers flying
around and being chased by the pied fantails. Satisfied,
we headed to the cafeteria for a filling breakfast and
to gush over our sightings. The employees and people
who lived there also told us stories of their bird sightings
and rescues, saying they wished they knew the names
of all the birds they saw.
rested and recharged, we took a quick look at another
path behind the cafeteria. Again butterflies flitted
around us while we walked. Nicky and Propgerry found
a perfect natural hide in a bamboo thicket (complete
with mosquitoes) from which they observed a pair of
mangrove blue flycatchers with an immature offspring.
it was time to go. Right before we returned to our cars,
a black-naped monarch made an appearance to wish us
farewell and blue-tailed bee-eaters flew overhead. A
good end topped only by a great beginning. No mysterious
rail sightings, but that’s a good excuse to come
back again soon!
by Gerry de Villa, Alice Villa-real & Trinket Canlas
1. White-breasted waterhen – heard only
2. White-eared brown dove – heard only
3. Black-chinned fruit dove – heard only
4. Common Emerald dove –1
5. Philippine coucal – heard only
6. Lesser Coucal – heard only
7. Collared Kingfisher - 3
8. Blue-tailed Bee eater - 8
9. Red bellied Pita – 3; 1 adult, 2 imm
10. Yellow-vented bulbul – common
11. Philippine bulbul – 2
12. Black-naped Oriole – 2
13. White-browed Shama – 2
14. Pied Bushchat – 3; 1M, 2 F
15. Golden-bellied flyeater – 1
16. Striated grassbird – 1
17. Tawny grassbird – 3
18. Mangrove blue flycatcher – 5; 1 imm
19. Pied fantail – 3
20. Black-naped monarch – 2; 1 M, 1 F
21. White-breasted woodswallow – 3
22. Long-tailed shrike – 1
23. Olive-backed sunbird – 2; 1M, 1F
24. Lowland white-eye – common
25. Eurasian tree swallow – common
26. Scaly-breasted munia – 8