By this time my wife and I are no longer bothered by birding disappointments. If we don't find our target bird, that's ok. Maybe we'll see it the next time or maybe not. As the old aphorism says: Life goes on.
So far, we'd been lucky this year, seeing the White's Thrush after several attempts and photographing the Greenfaced Parrotfinch on the second try. We hoped that our lucky streak would continue as we headed to Candaba to look for the Common Pochard.
We quickly found the raft of ducks slowly waking up in the early morning. There were only a few individuals so we looked at each and every one of them through our binoculars.
"Tufted. Tufted. Tufted." I called out to Cynthia.
"Tufted. Tufted." she replied. "Oh, two Philippine Ducks!"
"Tufted. Tufted. Ok that's a Wandering Whistling Duck. Tufted. Tufted." I continued.
"Do you see a duck with a red head and whitish body?" I asked my wife.
"No." was her curt response.
Not a single one had a red head and whitish body!
At the other side of the pond, we noticed another photographer looking at the same flock. We drove towards him and said hello to our friend, Alex Loinax. We asked him if he saw the Common Pochard and he answered in the negative. He pointed to a Eurasian Teal but it was partially covered by tall grass rendering it quite unphotographable.
After a quick foray into the Dusky Warbler territory and not finding it either, we parted ways with Alex as we planned to take the circuitous route around the ponds.
As I mentioned earlier Cynthia and I were no longer affected by the disappointment of not seeing our target bird. As a matter of fact we were in high spirits as we drove around the wetlands. Perhaps because just a few minutes after arriving in Candaba we were already taking pictures of some very cooperative birds.
Such as this Common Kingfisher
and Mr & Mrs Pied Bush Chat:
How about a Blue-tailed Bee-eater?
As was the norm after a birding day, we were discussing our adventure as we drove towards home.
"We had a fruitful day, didn't we?" was Cynthia's comment.
"You bet, and the ducks, particularly a 'common' one, certainly were not the main reason for it."