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It seemed like everybody and his uncle had seen - and photographed - the male and female Violet Cuckoos at the La Mesa Ecopark. We tried a couple of weeks ago and totally bombed. Since the recent sightings had been more frequent, I asked our friend, Mike Anton, when and where would be the best time and place to go. "Near the paintball area", he replied, "around 7:30 to 8:00 in the morning."
Six-thirty the following day, my wife and I were already at the Paintball area. It didn't take long when Cynthia started pointing to some movement on the tree in front us. My heart was jumping for joy because it was the male - my target bird! (I've seen and photographed the female several years ago in U.P.). For the next couple of hours the pair of cuckoos gave us lots of opportunities to take their pictures.
We were thankful that we got what we had hoped for, quite easily at that, and also because of bonus shots of two raptors: the Philippine Serpent Eagle and three Ospreys hovering over the spillway.
|Philippine Serpent Eagle|
During one of those pauses when the cuckoos were inactive and hidden from view, we were joined by a group of foreign birders guided by members of the Haribon Foundation. They were so excited to see the Violet Cuckoos, the Serpent Eagle and the Ospreys and later on by a small flock of Lowland White-eyes.
Around 9:30 two newbie bird photographers came. Tim Calumpong and Fidel Sy also enjoyed the Cuckoos showing up just as they arrived. A little after ten and we all (including the foreigners) called it a day.
For Cynthia and myself this was one those hallelujah birding moments when everything just fell into place.
Yay! Congratulations!! =) Awesome photos!! =)
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