Sunday, November 05, 2017

Getting Mud

The last time we went to Candaba was in January of 2016. I can't believe it had been that long! For one thing, that place was no longer as promising as it used to be. Most of the marshland where migrants spend the winter had been replaced by ricefields.

A little more than a week ago a couple of friends posted some birds photos taken from Candaba in Facebook. Photos of migrant waders and Philippine Ducks! So we went Saturday morning. But as luck (or the lack of it) would have it, it was gloomy on that particular day. Not only that because it had been raining the past few days, access to the marshy area became impossible. So we just birded along the asphalted road towards the town of Candaba itself.

Unfortunately, because of the recent rain, the water in the area near the road had become too deep for the migrant waders. Thus the Sandpipers, Stints, Plovers, and Snipes were gone. Only a couple of Grey Herons flew by, not even landing anywhere close. 

The Black-winged Stilts were plentiful but they were at quite a distance where presumably the waters were shallower. A few Intermediate Egrets strayed a bit closer.

What was interesting was a territorial dispute between a Whiskered Tern and a Little Egret. Sort of "King of the Pole" game.

Whiskered Tern: Hey, I got here first!

Little Egret: Yeah, right.

Little Egret: Nana, nana, nana!

Also interesting was the lack of Rails. No Barred nor Buff-banded ever showed up. The White-browed Crake and White-breasted Waterhen were present but both were extremely skittish.

Oh, and no Kingfishers as well. Other than that, the Passerines were at their usual haunts.

Chestnut Munia
Paddyfield Pipit

Pied Bush Chat - male

Pied Bush Chat - female

Striated Grassbird
At about 9:30 we decided to call it a day. As we were boarding our car, we noticed mud! On our shoes and stuck on the tires and the underparts of our vehicle. Surprising because, as I mentioned earlier, we were mostly at the asphalted road. Only in some occasions that I had to park on a grassy roadside. It was so bad that we had to stop by a Shell station in Baliuag to have our car washed. And it took about two hours to bring back the spick and span to our car, thanks to the perseverance and diligence of the person who did the washing.

As we were driving along EDSA, guess what happened? It rained.

No comments: