Two straight weeks without going birding weighed heavily on my shoulders. It had been raining almost daily since the beginning of the month and that dampened any desire to leave the house. Not wanting to risk exposing our camera gears - not to mention our elderly bodies - to the prospect of a wet outing, my wife and I confined ourselves to the comforts of home.
However the birding itch continued to pester me. A forecast of an oncoming typhoon narrowed our choices to nearby places where we can avoid the "gates of hell" traffic that will be a certainty as soon as a heavy downpour happens. To our surprise Saturday morning was quite sunny (PAGASA the Philippine Weather Bureau had been known to flub their forecasts every so often).
"So where do we go?" Cynthia asked at 5 in the morning.
"U.P." was my unhesitating answer.
Deep within I knew that we always have a fallback option in case birding at the university campus would turn out to be unsatisfactory.
Unsatisfactory it was. A teaser of a Long-tailed Shrike which kept calling for attention and yet hiding under the leafy shadows.
Not seeing much at the usual places, I contented myself at photographing the white pigeons perched at the library building. (Aren't they supposed to symbolize peace? Then how come my grumbling inner being doesn't feel that peace?)
As we turned into the Beta Way, a Pied Triller flew into view! Since I was using the smaller 300mm lens, the bird was just a white spot in my viewfinder. It was not my best shot. Not even a mediocre shot. It was a borderline "documentary" shot. But at least it was better than nothing.
"It's time to make lemonade out of lemons" I told my wife. To which she heartily agreed because she already knew what it will be.
A sumptuous breakfast at Cafe Via Mare was, as always, the best "lemonade" we could make out of a disappointing birding day.
Gedau Estate, Sandakan
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