Sunday, October 13, 2013

Santi Pause

Typhoon Santi slammed into Central Luzon very early Saturday morning. "There goes our birding plans," I told my wife. Earlier in the week we planned to visit the Candaba Wetlands with the hope of seeing some migrants. Now as heavy rain came down from the dark skies that idea was unceremoniously shelved.

At around three in the afternoon, the downpour surprisingly came to a halt and the firmament lightened up somewhat. Immediately I got a text from our birding buddy, Peter Ting (who was supposed to go with us to Candaba) asking if it would be OK to go birding in UP (University of the Philippines). I replied "sure, why not?" and informed him that we may not be able to join him (because I wasn't sure if the current pause in the stormy weather would last long enough). He wanted to know where to find the nightjar and the  blue rock thrush so I gave him the directions.

Somehow I felt a little guilty on not giving a precise description of the whereabouts of these two birds that he wanted to see. I discussed the situation with Cynthia and she suggested we go meet up with Peter. I texted him right away and told him we were on our way there.

We met up across Miranda Hall where I last saw the Blue Rock Thrush. Unfortunately, the janitor was cleaning the roof at the very spot where the migrant likes to stay. "Scratch the thrush, " I told our friend, "and let's go see the Nightjar instead." That endeavor was more successful. The nocturnal bird was exactly at the same spot where my wife and I saw it one week ago.

We returned to Miranda Hall. Peter saw a very cooperative female Olive-backed Sunbird perched unperturbed at eye level.

We did a quick foray at the MSI (Marine Science Institute) grounds where the only photographable birds were the Shrikes - the bully Brown and the lovely Long-tailed.

Ominous dark clouds covered the skies and it wasn't long before we felt the cold, tiny drops. Peter wanted to stay a bit longer so we bade our goodbyes.

It was during Santi's pause that we were able to accomplish our good deed. It felt good.

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