Saturday we were back at the popular birding site in Pampanga, once again hoping that we would see our long lost target species. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the usual denizens of the wetlands were up and about. A male Pied Bush Chat was shaking off the dews from its feathers.
A Clamorous Reed Warbler was living up to its name climbing to the top of the bush loudly announcing its presence.
As we entered via the "back door" to the marshy area, Black-winged Stilts and Sandpipers (Wood and Marsh) were beginning their foraging for breakfast.
|Wood Sandpiper and Marsh Sandpiper|
Surprisingly, ducks were scarce. Only a few Philippine and Wandering Whistlings were present. Luckily, there was a single (yes, just one), where there used to be hundreds of them, Tufted Duck. I said, luckily, because this was the first time I was able to take a decent photo of this annual visitor.
The hours passed. The absence of the usual migrating species was saddening. There were some Grey and Purple Herons but they preferred to stay at a distance, with one exception.
"Maybe it will come back," my wife said assuringly. We switched places. I stayed where we were and she went to look for Black Bitterns. Perhaps it was about half an hour when I saw something purplish emerged from the tall vegetation - but only oh so quickly - returning once again in the deep brushes. I managed to take a few quick shots before it completely disappeared from view.
When I told Cynthia about my fleeting encounter she was happy that finally we both saw the purple bird that we missed seeing since 2011. A soft drizzle signalled that it was time for us to go. It was amazing that it decided to wait until we both have seen our target bird before the rain started to fall.