Sunday, February 05, 2012


It was a couple of hours past our lunch. The group was getting even more boisterous. Cynthia and I wanted some peace and quiet even for a short time. 

It had been a hectic couple of days with two more days to go in my high school's 50th year class reunion. My wife and I were really enjoying the company of my classmates some of whom I met for the first time in half a century. However, Cynthia and I were both a bit under the weather lately and keeping up with the hyper activities of my batchmates were draining us of what little strength we have.

So it was on that balmy afternoon that my wife and I sort of sneaked out of the resort grounds, now filled with shrieks of delight and peals of laughter as my co-graduates played some games. We wandered around the area enjoying the relative peace and quiet when as we turned a corner, I saw a flock of small brownish birds settle on the stalks of some tall grass on an empty lot. Initially I thought it was just those uber common Eurasian Tree Sparrows. I moved closer. My eyes nearly jumped out of their sockets when I realized I was looking at Scaly-breasted Munias AND White-bellied Munias. White-bellied Munias! I thought this species preferred higher elevations since the two times I saw them were in the mountains of Davao and Antipolo. Even more surprising was that they were not skittish at all. And I did not have my birding camera with me!

Make the most of the circumstances, somebody said, so I used my cellphone camera. Then I remembered I had my point-and-shoot with me. The resulting images were not even of "documentary" quality. 

Trust me there are birds in them thar grasses
A closer look. Scaly-breasted on top, White-bellied on the left.
The important thing, I guess, was that my wife and I saw them and padded our year list from 74 to 76. More than that we were able to get a welcome respite from the rambunctious celebration of my friends. It was like entering a monastery to experience some calming of our souls even for a few minutes.

Strengthened by this experience we returned to the resort. Party on!

1 comment:

vespanay said...

wow bob and cynthia! you're becoming bird magnets! congrats!

i stalked that white belied munia in UP for days and didn't get to capture it. i only saw them again in palawan. and it was raining when i did.

hope to get decent pictures of these beautiful birds soon!