Our discussions were intense but convivial. The presence of experts on the subject matter made it even more interesting. Going over the minute details, justifying each opinion contributed to an interesting exchange of ideas. Personally, I am of firm belief that it was Chinese. After all, it looks Chinese, smells Chinese and tastes Chinese. Finally, the conclusion was unanimous. It was indeed Chinese!
Peter Ting, Irene Dy, my wife and I were talking about the Golden Bay Fresh Seafood Restaurant where we were sharing a delightful lunch. Despite the menu items and even the decor, there was a tinge of doubt as to its authenticity cuisine-wise. A touch of Singaporean influence was even posited.
Earlier that day we were standing on the trash-littered shores of the LPPCHEA (Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area) wondering where the birds were. Joining us were Bong and his wife, Eve. We found the sparsity of birds rather strange inasmuch as we had better weather now than last Saturday. It was raining off and on then, sometimes quite heavily, and yet birds were aplenty especially the terns and black-crowned night herons.
The only exception this morning were the Collared Kingfishers. It was as if they have decided to hold a convention since they (and there were lots of them) seem to be everywhere. They were even bolder than usual.
It was when truckloads of student volunteers began spilling on the shore that we knew the reason for the fewer number of birds. Practicality dictated that we move somewhere far from these good intentioned people.
Near the barge was where our fortune changed. A Grey-tailed Tattler fed on the throng of cockroach-like insects that were disturbed by the onrushing waves.
Terns, though not as plentiful as the previous Saturday, flew close by.
We were trying to photograph yet another Tattler perfectly camouflaged among the rubbish when something bigger flew in.
"Whimbrel!" I shouted.
The very main purpose of our revisiting this place was to get more (and better) photographs of this particular species. Nic Cabigas, a bird photographer friend of ours, posted a picture last week of this bird in Facebook. To which Desmond Allen, an expert on identifying birds, thought that it might actually be a Little Curlew - an extremely rare migrant to the Philippines. There were some who expressed doubts as to its correct identity and so it behooved us that more photographs be taken of this bird to settle the issue once and for all.
Now having a documentation of the bird in question's white rump and even a comparison in size with the smaller Tattler, it can be safely concluded that that it was indeed a Whimbrel.
Also hunting at the trashy premises was a white wading bird. I took several pictures of it since it planted a big question mark in my mind.
As soon as I got home I posted a picture of that bird in Facebook. Comments poured in, basically saying, "are you sure?"
Our discussions were intense but convivial. The presence of experts on the subject matter made it even more interesting. Going over the minute details, justifying each opinion contributed to an interesting exchange of ideas. Personally, I am of firm belief that it was Chinese. After all, it looks Chinese, with its yellowish-green legs and feet, yellowish-green skin in front of its eyes and a tinge of yellow in its lower beak. Not only that, it hunts its prey by running in spurts with outstretched wings.
I don't know about you, but for me, it's Chinese. Egret.
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