The association in our village sponsors a semi-annual medical check-up for the local residents at a very reasonable price. We always availed of that, of course, and for the past three years it usually took us almost two hours to finish the routine. So today's thirty minutes was a real surprise. The queues were not that long and as senior citizens my wife and I were given priority - something that wasn't practiced previously.
Inasmuch as we had fasted the night before in preparation for this, Cynthia and I decided to try something sweet for breakfast. Off we went to J.Co's at the U.P. Town Center. They were still closed when we arrived so we waited some 15 minutes until they opened. We ordered half a dozen of their famous donuts (to take home) and then I had the iced hazelnut chocolate and a glazed donut. My wife ordered hot chocolate and the cheezy rich donut sandwich. They were so yummy that I couldn't help but grab one of the Oreologys that we ordered.
Before going to J.Co's Cynthia suggested that I bring along the camera+300mm lens combo.
"We can go to U.P. after breakfast and do some birding," she suggested.
To which I eagerly replied, "Why not?"
Our initial attempt at locating the Scops Owl was a total failure. I texted our friend, Bert Madrigal, and asked for directions. He replied promptly giving minute details on how to find the owls. Before proceeding to that site however, we passed by the Faculty building hoping to see the Philippine Nightjar that roosts in the nearby mango tree. Nada. Thankfully, Eric, a friend of Bert, saw us and brought us to where the nightjars had apparently relocated. And yes, there were two of these birds peacefully sleeping on the branches.
We half-heartedly tried going to where the nesting Coppersmith Barbets were (again, Bert provided very precise directions) but decided not to follow through since we already had photos of them taken in 2010. We went back to the "Frogs" area. I stood in front of the water tank, looked for droppings as per Bert's instructions, but didn't find any. My wife and I developed cricks on our respective necks trying to detect any movements in the canopy above us. It was then that the local mosquito brigade staged an assault on my uncovered legs (note to self: never wear shorts when looking for owls at U.P.) We deemed it prudent to leave as quickly as possible because we can not tolerate more blood being sucked from our bodies for the second time that morning.
On our way home, Cynthia and I both agreed that good things come in boxes and in jars, donuts and nightjars, respectively.
Manila idylls: Terns and Gulls of the Pasig River
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