Monday, August 28, 2017

Meeting an Old Flame

We wanted something new. Something we have not experienced before. Something that would make our collective hearts beat faster. Something that would burn the flame of our desires. 

Alas, it was an old flame that showed up.

A group of birders had been very fortunate to see the rare Flame-breasted Fruit Dove just a week ago. That species would be a lifer for all four of us - me, my wife, and friends, Peter and Wenxing. So we planned to go to Infanta on Saturday morning.

Friday evening typhoon Jolina battered the east coast of Luzon. At 4 am Saturday, rain was still pouring hard. Peter asked if we are still good to go. Having researched the internet and learning that the typhoon was supposed to exit Luzon at around 2 am, I told him that Cynthia and I are willing to take the chance. Wenxing agreed with us.

Six in the morning as we were passing through Boso-boso in Antipolo, the heavy downpour still hasn't abated at all. We were all silent - our minds battling whether we should keep going or just give up and turn back. As we approached Baras, rain finally stopped but dark clouds still covered the skies. At Sampaloc, we looked at the horizon and our hopes were buoyed. When we reached our destination the sun was shining gloriously. 

However despite the seemingly promising morning, our desired encounter with a new Flame never happened. Yes, we heard it, cooing within the dark recesses of the tall trees in front of us. That taunting, haunting, deep "hummm" echoed intermittently the whole time we were there.

But as I mentioned earlier, all was not for naught. A gorgeous Flame that we have had the pleasure of meeting before in Los Banos not only just showed up, it stayed long enough giving us the much needed satisfaction we had yearned so much.

Flaming Sunbird
Another totally unexpected grace was when the normally skulker of a bird paraded before us, flaunting its glamor like a beauty queen contestant.

Scale-feathered Malkoha
At around 10:30 we gave up on the uncooperative Fruit Dove and had lunch at nearby Jeriel's Peak. It was there that our closing photographic endeavors was provided by a Citrine Canary Flycatcher.

As we drove home, we wondered if we would be given another chance to be enamored by that elusive Flame.

Sunday morning, I got a text message from Wenxing saying he got the Flame-breasted Fruit Dove. 


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