We thought it would be a good birding day for us. As soon as we got off the car, we were greeted by a trio of Colasisis (Philippine Hanging Parrots) flying back and forth to the trees surrounding the parking lot of the Kamia Residence Hall in the campus of the University of the Philippines.
Add to that a friendly Black-naped Oriole calling not far from the tiny, green parrots.
It was all downhill after that. The hoped-for Cuckoo at the "frogs" area was a complete no-show. Our stake-out at the Main Library was also an exercise in futility because the migrant Ashy Drongo decided to relocate nearer the Beta Way. We went that way only to be greeted by the loud cheering and yelling of the spectators to a nearby sports competition.
It was a dip so bad that you can not dunk chips on it. And to think that I even brought my humongous 500mm lens and endured carrying it on my aching shoulder with the hope that I could get better pictures of the drongo and document the existence of the cuckoo. The cuckoo whose presence had been confirmed by our friend and university professor, Doc Mando, who had seen said bird a few days ago. We met him as he, himself, also wanted to take a better shot and establish the correct identity of the cuckoo.
To make matters worse, as I was loading my gears back into our car I noticed that one of the rubber edges of my tripod was missing! We quickly returned to the grounds in front of the library and scoured the area. Nothing.
"I remember my tripod being caught in a crack in the steps at the "frogs", I told my wife.
We returned to that place and the first thing I noticed was that Doc Mando was no longer there. Very likely he didn't see the cuckoo either, I thought to myself as I searched the steps. It was like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I was about to give up when I saw something embedded at a gap in the cement. I heaved a sigh of relief and offered a prayer of thanks and returned with a bounce to my walk to where my wife was waiting.
We may have dipped on our target birds but finding a tiny piece of rubber in a place covered by dead leaves was something we were thankful for. Now to go for a different kind of dip - the one that makes lumpiang shanghai taste better.