Come early, we were told, and you will see them. So at 6:30 am we were lined up, cameras ready, cool riverine waters flowing at our feet. Nothing.
Nothing except for a totally unexpected benefaction. We were all eying a mossy rock. Upon this rock the Indigo-banded Kingfisher perches to hunt for food. Many photographs from our friends attested to that fact. However, it was a different bird that suddenly alit on that particular piece of stone that protrudes from the fluvial flow. It was a Common Emerald Dove!
Then there were the attention starved Philippine Magpie Robins who would drop by and make all kinds of poses - all within perfect photographic distance. We tried to ignore them as we wanted to concentrate on the kingfishers. They were just so persistent that we had no choice but to give in to temptation of these avian Circes.
A short coffee break, a quick look at the slumbering Philippine Scops Owl and we're back at our posts. Friends Peter Ting, Tirso Paris and myself resumed our stake-out. My wife, Cynthia, decided not to join us. She and our gracious host, Carmela Balcazar, were engaged in some serious conversation. Now joining us was Ronald, Villa Escudero's resident bird guide. Thanks to his super sharp eyes, we were finally able to get good looks at our quarry, and local celebrities, the Indigo-banded Kingfishers. But these were just fleeting glimpses.
That was pretty much the routine for the whole morning. Lunch time. We savored the delicious food and talked about more pleasant birding experiences.
It was after lunch that the action began to liven up. Sightings of the kingfishers became more frequent and closer. We had some satisfactory photo-ops.
Love them Indigo-banded Kingfishers - they come and they go.