We want Aidan and Joshua to appreciate nature as early as possible, so we went on a Bird Watching trip in Nuvali. We went with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) to check out the bird watching places in the area.

One of the most interesting bird watching sites is the colony nest of the Bee-Eater Birds. It is just right past the first security guard outpost and way before the Bird Sanctuary. There are no signs leading to it. You can spot the colony nest by looking for the holes on the side of the hill.


You can see two species — Blue-Throated Bee-Eater and Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater — in one colony nest (which is rare, according to Mike Lu of the WBCP).


With the help of a birding telescope, the boys saw the birds up close. I was able to use my camera in getting the pictures below by focusing inside the scope:


A Bee-Eater hanging out on a tree branch.



A Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater beside the nest.

Nuvali should be protecting this site; they could even promote it. According to Mike, the Bee-Eaters usually nest during the summer season. There was a controversy before with Joel Magsaysay of Ilog Maria because these birds allegedly eat the bees in the Ilog Maria Bee Farm.



After viewing the Bee-Eaters' colony nest, we then proceeded to the Nuvali Bird Sanctuary to check out the birds along the trail and the view decks.


This is one of the nice view decks with an awesome view of the grass birds and the sunset. The best time to go bird watching is at 6 am. They usually hide when the sun is out, so the next best time is during sunset.


Aidan and Joshua, checking out the birds and carabaos. 

The view deck is carefully designed and has proper information about the birds you can find around the area.


Fred and Karen Ochavo of the WBCP helped us spot birds in the area.

Here are the various types of birds you can find from this viewpoint:






















 
We decided to check out the actual 800-m Bird Watching trails with the boys. Aidan and Joshua enjoyed the short hike along the trail.


From this viewpoint, you'll see the following birds below:

 



 


From another viewpoint (facing the almost dried-up pond), you'll see and hear a lot of the birds below:





BIRD WATCHING RECOMMENDATION TO NUVALI:
Mike Lu was suggesting that a dam be built to increase the water level of the pond. This would create a wetland area so that the number of birds would increase.

The trail in the Bird Sanctuary is really designed for Bird Watchers. You need to be patient and to have a good spotter to see the birds.


Thanks to Mike Lu, Fred and Karen Ochavo (Wild Bird Club of the Philippines), and Paula Recto of Nuvali.

BIRD WATCHING ESSENTIALS

Bird Watching is FREE in Nuvali. You just have to register in the Evoliving Center and to get a guide/spotter to join you during your bird watching activity. You can give a tip afterwards.


You have to bring your own binoculars or a Minolta birding telescope like the one above.


Ideally, you have to bring the Bird Watching Bible — A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines.


The book provides a good photo of the bird, a description and how it sounds.


A good spotter is important because you need a trained eye to see the birds.


BIRD WATCHING RECOMMENDATION TO NUVALI:
Non-bird watchers might not be able to appreciate the Bird Sanctuary as much because the birds are actually hiding most of the time. As Mike Lu suggested, creating a Wetlands area would help — like the one in Candaba, where the birds hang out and people can see them easily.

Another suggestion was to cut down a patch of grassland at a distance from the viewdeck. This way, people can see the grass birds in the open (instead of them hiding in the tall grass).

For more details on Bird Watching, visit the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines Website.

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anton
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P.S. Thanks to Mike Lu for joining us for our Bird Watching experience. 🙂 I was hoping to include it as a side trip in one of our culinary tours of Laguna/Tagaytay. Thing is, only the Bee-Eater Colony Nest is exciting for non-Bird Watchers. I do hope Nuvali would implement Mike Lu's recommendations.