Monday, September 10, 2012

Simply IRRIsistible

As irresistible as a cold drink on a hot muggy day - that's how the fields at IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) are to birders at the onset of autumn migration. 

Inasmuch as IRRI is a research facility, access to its premises is strictly regulated. It was through the courtesy of Prof. Tirso Paris whose wife Thelma, works there that all four carloads of bird watchers/photographers were able to get in at that place early Saturday morning.

Thus began several hours of birding that padded our car-mates Peter and Irene's lifelists. 

Indeed the paddyfields were teeming with migrants galore! I have never seen so many Wood Sandpipers before. 

I was surprised and was even able to get a photograph of a lone Intermediate Egret.

And who could resist that cute, fluffy Cisticola that went zitting as it was sitting on top of a pole.

While the Cisticolas we were trying to follow, we noticed another bird on a stick - it was a lovely Barn Swallow.

How could you not write an ode to that Oriental Skylark insouciantly basking on the road?

After passing a corner and we made a turn, out in the open was an immature Cinnamon Bittern.

The stars of IRRI were of course the Greater Painted Snipes clothed in those quaint stripes, sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye for they so much resemble an icky, nasty cow pie.

Another surprise was a Swinhoe's Snipe, a skulking bird that always poses a challenge as to what type. Pintail, Common and Swinhoe's all look so much the same that makes identifying them quite a game. The reason I was certain of this snipe's name was because of Prof. Tirso's photo that showed in such great detail the tiny white feathers at the edge of the tail.

Even good times must come to an end. We bade goodbye to our friends - the birders (Doc Cha, Ruth and Chee-ann) were to meet other colleagues at the Botanic Garden.

The bird photographers (Steve and Paolo) decided to go home so they could see the results of their endeavors.

For us (me, my wife, Peter and Irene) and our host, Tirso, more irresistible goodies awaited ....and they were not just birds....

1 comment:

Rambling Woods said...

Hello Bob..I haven't been here in a while and happy to see you here in Nature Notes with some of my favorite creatures to observe.. birds! And it looks like it was a great time for you all. Thank you so much for linking up this week. Michelle...