Monday, October 21, 2013

It Was a Ruff Day

Even before we reached the Candaba Wetlands, we already saw the Ruffs. Three individuals, at least. Relatively close too! 

Seeing an uncommon migrant right off the bat, so to speak, seemed to augur well for the rest of our birding day. However, things turned out differently. The road to the sanctuary was still muddy and not passable, and some parts of the fields were still flooded from the recent rains. There were redeeming moments, of course, like when a pair of Pied Bush Chats landed just a few feet from our vehicle.

But for Peter, my wife and myself, our hopes of seeing a lot of winter visitors and perhaps even a lifer somehow got dashed. Our friends, Irene, Rob, Kitty and Mark, who arrived earlier told us that there were Sharp-tailed and Curlew Sandpipers at the fallow fields. We hurriedly went to the place they referred to, traipsing through some mucky trails and found plenty of birds. Except that they were so far that we were not able to distinguish one bird from another. That their colors perfectly blended with the freshly tilled soil made it even worse. The only exceptions were an unusually curious Marsh Sandpiper...

...and an equally bold Long-tailed Shrike.

Aside from these, the birds that we saw at the Wetlands were mostly Egrets - lots of Little, a few Intermediate, and even fewer Great. Wood Sandpipers were everywhere.

Black-winged Stilts were quite plentiful too.

By eleven, the weather was already hot and humid with the sun mercilessly beating on the poor birders below.

On our way out, we once again saw the triumvirate of Ruffs at the same place they were earlier. 

I'd say it was Ruff from beginning to end.

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