Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wild Birds and Bees Subic

I swarm of wild bees, Subic Bay, Philippines love living in Subic Freeport. It's like living in a real National Geographic nature episode. Armed with my new Nikon D60 digital camera I've been taking advantage of the vast array of things to photograph. From wildlife to just the flowers, or even the view from my bedroom window.

Yesterday a swarm of wild bees landed on the tree in the back yard. The tree is three stories high, and since we are on the hill in back of it, the swarm is pretty much at eye level.swarm of wild bees, Subic Bay, Philippines

They don't seem to be the usual gold and black colored domestic US bee I am accustomed to. These seem more silver and black.

I did a quick Google search and it appears this is a secondary swarm protecting a new virgin queen and will fly off when they find a more suitable protected area to nurture their queen.

It's so close to the balcony where we hang out in the early mornings and
evenings, so I hope they don't freak out and decide we are a threat! Although this is exciting, and something I have only seen in nature shows on TV, it's a little disconcerting to have that many bees so close. We are just going to keep an eye on them to see if they move on as suggested by my little research on the web. (They did move on.)
Luzon Hornbill

Coleto bird, they look like a bald pigeon.
Last week while at my desk, I spotted another interesting bird, a Luzon Horn bill! It's the very first wild horn bill I have ever seen, I found this so very exciting!

Blue throated bee eaters
Coppersmith barbet
The same tree that is now housing the wild bee swarm, is a hang out for the Blue Throated Bee eater (photo with 2 birds) , the Coppersmith Barbet (photo bird with really red head, and the red faced Coleto with black and white feathers, whose red head is not feathers but skin, reminding me of an American vulture. There are several families of Yellow Orioles as well. In all my life, I have never seen so many exotic birds every single day, from the comfort of my own home!

On drives through the tall giant jungle tree lined roads in the Freeport, there are often monkeys sitting along the way sides. Some even took over a bus stop for a few hours. It's sad to see the monkeys because many are mutilated, that have been caught in traps and have no hands, legs or tails, or a combination thereof. Some of the monkeys had newborn babies. 

Its another week and I thought I would append this blog since it's still about birds and wildlife in Subic. I've been confined to bed since Aug 21, my darned diverticulitis acted up and I've been in bed ever since. The only exception, is when I hear birds chirping outside, then I grab my handy, dandy Nikon D60, with a 300 mm lens, and shoot out the window.

This week I have spotted three more kinds of birds that I hadn't seen
before!  I thought were parrots, but they were smaller than the flowers they landed on. I suspect they are a type of parakeet or budgie!

The bee swarm has moved on since they landed in the back yard tree. They only stayed about three days and moved. There was a heavy rainfall a few days ago, and I imagine this encouraged them to find a more permanent place out of the weather for their new queen.

I spent my birthday sick in bed this year. Not very thrilling but it's better than being dead.

Colasisi bird or hanging parrot
UPDATE-July 2012

We have since this blog post, in 2009, moved to Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa, Palwan. We are experimenting with Sustainable practices and recycling stuff we would normally throw away in order to set an example for other.

Blog of Diana J. Limjoco of the Clan Limjoco