Although I am a bona fide member of the Philippine Bird Photographers group, I am still a "newcomer" having just recently moved back here. As such I have not yet fully bonded with the locals even when I have been with some of them during various sorties. But when news came about that a Red-bellied Pitta was seen in nearby University of the Philippines' Diliman campus, I met fellow bird photographers Bong, Rey and DocChito. It was here in a small spot behind the Biology building that I became a part of the brotherhood that shared whispered stories all the while sweating profusely as we patiently waited for our shy quarry to appear. And when the Pitta slowly emerged from the shadows, only the sound of the clicking camera shutters shattered the silence.
I wanted to stay longer with my friends but my wife and I had to attend a lunch party hosted by a high school classmate and also I wanted to add a second lifer of the day by photographing the Philippine Nightjar snoozing peacefully just a block away from the Pitta place.
As I reminisced the events of that sultry Saturday morning, I smiled. Not only because I got my two lifers but more importantly, I now have a feeling of belonging. I would like to believe that I am now one of the certified local "birdnuts".
P.S. I have been "absent" for a couple of weeks because we visited Singapore. For our stories on birding that City-Nation please visit my earlier blogs: See Mynas and Feeling Buloh. Thanks!
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