It took a while before my wife and I overcame our jet lag. More than a week later after we arrived from the U.S., I kept seeing postings on Facebook from our friends of a beautiful dove taken at close range in Infanta.
"We have to go to Infanta," I told Cynthia in a most persuasive way. It was Holy Thursday and a holiday when we left early in the morning. Assuming that our favorite breakfast place in Tanay would be closed, we had our repast at McDonalds instead.
As we traversed the road going to our destination, we were surprised at the number of vehicles plying the same route. Not just cars but motorcycles. Mostly motorcycles actually.
Arriving at kilometer 93, we texted two of our friends, Chin and Maia, who had seen our target bird and asked for directions. Between kilometer 96 and 97, just before the Hulk Resort, we were told. It was also here that we met fellow birder, Linda Gocon. We told her that we would be looking for the Amethyst Brown Dove and will let her know when we find it. By the way, we had to speak in loud voices because of the constant roar of motorcycles passing by.
We immediately saw the fruiting hagimit tree when we arrived at the location given by our friends. Squinting at the dark areas, I noticed some movement. "It's there!" I told my wife.
After gorging on the red berries, the friendly dove decided to rest for a while. I took that opportunity to drive over to where Linda and her companions were and told her that we found the dove. Then I hurried back to where my wife was standing all by herself.
Soon Linda and her friends joined us. It was her who saw the Olive-backed Flowerpecker which was feasting from a different tree.
Aside from that species, the only other one we saw was the Bicolored Flowerpecker sharing the same hagimit tree with the dove. Apparently the only kind that had a convivial relationship with the much bigger bird.
We were a bit intrigued by the absence of the birds we usually see in this place. Then it hit us. The non-stop streaming of loud motorcycles and automobiles most likely spooked the avian residents of Infanta.
On our way home as we passed by the restaurants along the highway, we were shocked to notice that they were all full - way beyond the capacity. We saw hundreds of motorcycles parked along the road as the riders took some food break.
My wife and I swore to ourselves that we would never again go to Infanta on a Holy Thursday. Never. Ever. Again.
Every cloud has a silver lining
1 day ago