13 February 2007
I was standing on a forested limestone outcrop in PICOP, Mindanao in search of Mindanao Wattled Broadbill while on a recce with my local guide Zardo. As we waited around hoping for the broadbill flock to appear I could hear one of these glittering pittas calling downslope, but thought I'd failed to tempt it in, when it stopped calling. My attention was distracted from the pitta when a fast-moving mixed flock came through suddenly-just the sort of scene that might produce the "wattled one". Sure enough, just a few minutes later there it was, a superb broadbill sporting the strange bright blue eye wattles that makes it extra special. My first thought was to try desperately to get a photo of it, although as I swung my 'scope into action the pitta called extremely close to me, and I soon picked it's turquoise breast glowing back at me from a nearby tree. It was now decision time - try and get the broadbill on film, something that not many have managed, or go for the safer option of the pitta? Well I guess I bottled it, as I went for the pitta, but when I turned again and saw this brilliant azure denizen of the forest floor staring back at me I simply couldn't resist.