Saturday was the exact opposite of last week. Whereas we slept late that time expecting torrential rain coming from typhoon Ruby but turned out to be a sunny day, this time believing the words of the local weather bureau that it would be nice and clear, we woke up early to go birding - to a place more than 90 kilometers away. Only to discover that it was dark and gloomy as soon as we got out of the house. We were all dressed up and ready to go anyway, so regardless of the weather, we still went.
It was a stygian Saturday morning with occasional drizzles interspersed now and then with teasing moments of sunshine. Overall, grey was the color of the day and almost all our photos were unintentionally black and white. Not only that, some of the birds we expected to see at Mt. Palay-palay were not there.
One of the very first birds we saw was a Pygmy Flowerpecker. However, it was so heavily backlit that none of our combined 50-plus shots could even be salvaged through post processing.
A calmly perched Brahminy Kite yielded only some so-so photos.
Our luck, or rather, Cynthia's luck, turned for the better when I saw a male Luzon Hornbill feeding on some red berries. I said Cynthia's luck because she got at least one great shot while I got a big fat zero.
It was my wife's day, actually, because she was also the one who got better photos of one of our target birds - the Philippine Bulbul.
With the weather not promising to get better, we agreed that it was time to go. The trip home was a sad punctuation to an already unproductive day. Combine drizzles and the Christmas season in the Philippines and what do you get? The worst traffic jam you can imagine.