Monday, December 04, 2017

I Want to be Frank

When we arrived at the birding spot along the road to Infanta we saw them. Friends Irene and Wenxing, together with Mark and Frank were standing close to the edge and staring at something. I immediately parked the car. Cynthia and I quickly joined this group. Mark heard a "Hmmm!" He followed the sound and we all followed him. Then Frank pointed at something. "Flame-breasted Fruit Dove," he said so casually about the bird that we have missed seeing the past nine times we've been to this place. I looked at where he was pointing and for the life of me could not see the bird. Frank then gave a very detailed description of where the dove was perched. 

"See that think horizontal branch behind the long leaves? Just below it is the bird perched on a smaller branch."

Cynthia and I both followed the directions he gave and, voila! one lifer that frustrated us for the past 2 months or so, was finally captured by my camera. Wenxing who knew about the painful experiences given to us by this colorful species, congratulated us and jokingly said now we can go home. And this thanks to Frank. 

I want to be Frank because I want his spotting abilities.

In another incident, while their group was waiting for the appearance of another hoped-for bird, Cynthia and I wandered several meters away. It was then that I saw movement in a tree some distance away. It had the habit of a flycatcher darting from its perch and then coming back. I took some "documentary" shots and hoped that it was what I suspected it to be. When I had the chance, I consulted Frank and showed him the image I just took. "Blue-and-White Flycatcher," he confirmed my suspicion. Another lifer was added to our list.

I want to be Frank because I want his identification skills.

Finally, the bird that they were hoping to see appeared. Frank signaled to us to come closer. Waiting Patiently, Whispering Politely, Witnessing Pleasantly a Wow! Performance. We were rewarded with good photos of our third and final lifer for the day. 

I want to be frank.

But I can't.

Epilogue: We want to thank Irene, Frank, Wenxing and Mark for helping us add three more lifers to our list in a short span of two hours! We really appreciate it, dear friends.

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