New year's eve afternoon. I was facing a dilemma. Shall I spend a couple of hours birding or taking a nap? The latter seemed the more logical, sane thing to do. Especially knowing that later that night I would be carousing in the celebration of the coming year with family, food and fireworks. Which of course will end at way past midnight. I mean really, waay past midnight!
But birding on the last day of the year was much too tempting to resist. Especially knowing that my birding buddy, Gabs, was also on his way to the campus of the University of the Philippines to do the exact same thing. Nap be darned! A-birding I will go.
Gabs was already ensconced inside his car behind a camouflage netting and shooting at something when I arrived. "Collared Kingfisher!" was his whispered reply when I asked him what was the object of his rapt attention. He silently handed me another camouflaged netting and pointed at the two kingfishers several feet away. I crept back into the driver's seat of my SUV , draped the netting over my lens, and peered through my camera. Blurred image! Oh wait, the netting was covering the front of my lens. I fixed the netting and peered again, the two kingfishers were now just one. The other one apparently flew as I was returning to my vehicle. I focused on the remaining kingfisher. Click. click. I looked at what I have gotten so far. Ho hum images. I should have taken that nap I thought to myself. As if reading what was on my mind, the kingfisher itself gave a huge yawn. Aha! Got that!
Minutes passed. The bird was still there barely moving. Then, whoosh! it flew to a nearby bush, grabbed something and returned to its original perch. I peered once again through my camera. A praying mantis was in its beak! But wait...the praying mantis got something in its mandibles! A tiny butterfly! Talk about a predator becoming a prey!
Everything was sort of anti-climactic after that. Gabs and I went to look for the now ubiquitous male Blue Rock Thrush and found it quite easily. Except that it was perching on an unphotogenic lamp post.
To wrap up our bird photography efforts for the year, we both settled for gratuitous shots of the Brown Shrike.
It was almost 5 pm when I got back home. Too late for even a short nap. Coffee never tasted this good. Three cups in a row? Even better!
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