Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brada Pitta

Nothing creates a sense of brotherhood among bird photographers than taking pictures of a local avian celebrity. I have been through this experience a couple of times before in California. When news of an Arctic Warbler inhabiting the trees in Galileo Hills became known to one and sundry, all self-respecting bird photographers in Southern California came to take a shot at this rarity. In between appearances of the sought after warbler, we bird photographers shared a kindred spirit while bonding and even foregoing lunch. That was repeated when a young Roseate Spoonbill stayed in Irvine for some R & R.

Although I am a bona fide member of the Philippine Bird Photographers group, I am still a "newcomer" having just recently moved back here. As such I have not yet fully bonded with the locals even when I have been with some of them during various sorties. But when news came about that a Red-bellied Pitta was seen in nearby University of the Philippines' Diliman campus, I met fellow bird photographers Bong, Rey and DocChito. It was here in a small spot behind the Biology building that I became a part of the brotherhood that shared whispered stories all the while sweating profusely as we patiently waited for our shy quarry to appear. And when the Pitta slowly emerged from the shadows, only the sound of the clicking camera shutters shattered the silence.

I wanted to stay longer with my friends but my wife and I had to attend a lunch party hosted by a high school classmate and also I wanted to add a second lifer of the day by photographing the Philippine Nightjar snoozing peacefully just a block away from the Pitta place.

As I reminisced the events of that sultry Saturday morning, I smiled. Not only because I got my two lifers but more importantly, I now have a feeling of belonging. I would like to believe that I am now one of the certified local "birdnuts".

P.S. I have been "absent" for a couple of weeks because we visited Singapore. For our stories on birding that City-Nation please visit my earlier blogs: See Mynas and Feeling Buloh. Thanks!

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Larry said...

Wow Bob, nice shot of the Red-bellied Pitta! Did it just come into the light for a moment? It looks pretty dark all around that bird. What a thrill!

By the way, I always felt that you were a certified bird nut ;-)

Tabib said...

Congratulation on your 2 lifer.
Perfect lighting at that pitta, like a studio light shining at the right spot.

mick said...

How lucky to get two such great birds in one day! The Pitta is especially beautiful.

Neil said...

Great to be able to get 2 lifers in the one day.

Bob Kaufman said...

@Larry, I had lots of shots of the pitta, most of them when it was under the shadows. I used spot metering on the bird itself when it emerged from the shadows that's why the background is really dark.

@Tabib, Mick, Neil - thanks!

BirdingMaine said...

Congrats on your life birds Bob!

The Red-bllied Pitta is a beautiful bird and you have captured images to be proud of!

eileeninmd said...

Wow, these are both awesome birds. Congrats on your sightings! The Pitta is a beautiful bird and the nightjar is just so exciting. At least for me it would be.