One week after our Coron trip and I was down in the dumps - no, not depressed, but more like exhausted. It had been an exciting, if a bit strenuous, five days of birding. I was extremely happy at the results - getting five lifers and being able to get pictures of most of the species I wanted to photograph. But this sixty-plus-years-old body ain't what it used to be.
When friends, Peter and Irene, invited me and my wife for a sortie in Caylabne, I was agreeable but not very enthusiastic, to be honest. Thank goodness, it was a very pleasant, even breezy, Saturday morning when we started birding the road to Mt. Palay-palay. Surprisingly, considering the gorgeous weather, birds were quite few.
But, and this was a big but (definitely no pun intended), Peter's and Irene's target bird, the Philippine Falconet, or in this case, Falconets, were out in the open.
The remaining six kilometers or so were once again devoid of birds, except……
"Eeeek! Brahminy Kites!" shouted Irene. Ahead of us the lovely raptor was dive bombing something. We all jumped out of our vehicle and waited for a clear shot of the now soaring bird.
Inside the Caylabne Resort we gave in to the pleadings of our collective stomachs and indulged in a delightful brunch. We also planned our next strategy so that we could perhaps, maybe, you know, see more birds. Based on the experiences of our friend, Mike Anton, we all agreed to go to the resort's dumpsite(?!).
Down in the dumps, aka, the place where the resort dumps their recyclable stuff - bottles, cans, etc - which by the way, was surrounded by trees and greeneries, things began looking up. Rather, we began looking up. For up in the branches were birds! Blue-throated Bee-eaters were numerous!
Some Philippine Bulbuls also would occasionally drop by.
And last but not least (don't you just love cliches?) were the Whiskered Treeswifts, another target bird of our two companions.
The trip home was tinged with a bit of trepidation because we know we had to be rerouted through a series of narrow roads to get back to the main highway. The bridge connecting the towns of Naic and Ternate was being repaired - the sign (which we missed) even said so. It said something like "Bridge being repaired, please take ternate route". Perhaps the "al" in "alternate" got covered, or was hidden from view. Whatever it was, it prompted me to make the comment that "Al" has left the building…(of the bridge?)
That corny joke should be placed in a dump…..and left there to rot.
Photos by Michael Woodruff
2 hours ago