|Clamorous Reed Warbler|
"Ruff!" I shouted.
"Your skin?" Cynthia asked.
"Dog?" Irene looked around.
"Huh?" wondered Ha.
"No! Those waders over there, they're Ruffs!"
These uncommon migrants have been seen and photographed before by some members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) and we were hoping that these birds would still be here close to the edge of the concrete road.
Elated at adding another species to our lifelists, we proceeded to the Mayor's House. There we met up with our friend, Bong and his wife, Eve. I was about to go where they were staking out some birds when Ha said, "Pied Triller!" Cynthia repeated, "Pied Triller!" in case I didn't hear it the first time. I was about to ignore them (I have seen and photographed Pied Trillers many times already) when Ha shouted "White-shouldered Starlings!" Again my wife echoed, "White-shouldered Starlings!" albeit in a louder, higher pitched tone. Irene was already doing her patented "Eeeek!" I looked and saw four, count-em, four starlings cavorting on the tree branches above us.
I ran towards Bong and Eve and yelled "White-shouldered Starlings!" In a flash they were both beside us. Bong had been wanting to photograph this species for the past two years and now he was having his fill.
For our final mission, we went to where the ducks usually congregate. There they were, thousands of them, seemingly thousands of miles away. There was a small group preening a little bit closer to us. This bunch of snobbish Tufted Ducks avoided the mixed crowd at the other side of the pond. I took a "hail mary" shot of the huge flock. Later that night as I reviewed my photos, it turned out that that duck convention was composed mostly of Garganeys, some Philippine Ducks and a few Northern Shovelers. However, when we were at Candaba viewing them, we could not distinguish the individual species much to Ha's consternation because she wanted so much to see the Philippine endemic.
On our way back to the Mayor's house, I saw a group of ducks flying not too far from us. I grabbed my binos and excitedly told Ha, "Philippine Ducks!" She grabbed her binos and was so happy to have finally seen what she wanted to see.
A beautiful way to end our birding day. Now to look for a great place to have lunch.