In my last blog I mentioned our heartache at not seeing our target bird - the migrant Blue Rock Thrush at the University of the Philippines' campus. On my birthday even! Little did I know that such bad luck would still be with us three weeks later.
Bright and early this morning my wife and I were at the La Mesa Ecopark hoping to see the Violet Cuckoo and maybe even the Grey-faced Buzzard. Our friend, Maia, saw the cuckoo yesterday and happily posted her sighting in her blog. I contacted her for the directions and she said the bird usually frequents the trees near the fishing pond. "It usually perches above the balete tree," Maia said. Almost four hours later and the only birds that perched on the balete tree were the Yellow-vented Bulbuls.
Early on we were joined by another friend, Bong Nabong. He just came from the spillway looking for the Grey-faced Buzzard which was seen yesterday as well by another friend and neighbor, Chin Fernandez. "Never showed up," Bong informed us about the buzzard.
Cynthia and I eventually gave up on the cuckoo. The only consolation we got was me being able to photograph a Common Kingfisher and my wife a Pygmy Flowerpecker.
We tried the spillway and got the exact same statistics: zero! nada! zilch! We asked the Security Guard in the area if he had seen the raptor. "It was here yesterday," he said, "up above those trees across the spillway." "Did not see it today though," he continued.
A Violet Cuckoo above the balete tree and a Grey-faced Buzzard above the trees across the spillway - and yet none showed up today. Not that they were lifers to be for us (although we have not seen a male Violet Cuckoo yet) but still the disappointment of lucking out on both species was quite hard to bear.
As I was reviewing our CF cards at home I was shocked to discover that we only took a total of 38 shots - 18 for Cynthia and 20 for me. Thirty eight shots in a span of four hours! This could be our worst birding day! Ever!