Monday, January 29, 2018

Can't daba

It had to happen. The day we were going to Candaba it rained heavily the night before. Which meant muddy roads to the mayor's house. So goodbye to the White-shouldered Starlings, Purple Herons and Marsh Harrier. We can't go there anymore for fear of being stuck in the mud.

We had to content ourselves with birding by the concrete road. Which wasn't bad actually. We still had some pretty good shots of the birds we encountered. 

Of course the very first bird we saw (not including the hundreds of Eurasian Tree Sparrows foraging the left over palay on the road) was the Brown Shrike, drying off its feathers.

As we were slowly driving near the road's edge, I shouted "kingfisher!" and pointed to the migrant Common Kingfisher perched on a pole. It had been ages since we last saw this species and it was a delight to have taken a picture of it again. This, without a doubt, would be the star bird of the day.

Not far from it was a bunch of water lilies. A White-browed Crake suddenly flew in and posed for us.

The Chestnut Munias were plentiful. However it took me several attempts (at different places) before I was able to get some good shots.

There was a place where terns were diving for food. We wanted to take some BIF (birds in flight) which was really a challenge considering these birds were constantly flying. Since we only brought one camera (we will be attending a clan reunion in San Fernando later) we took turns shooting at terns. Without question, my wife had the better shots.

It was Cynthia again, who was more patient than I was, who was able to get pictures of the skulking White-breasted Waterhen.

Sadly, we didn't see any wild ducks. When I saw a pair flying at a distance, I took some "documentary" shots. It turned out to be a pair of Wandering Whistling Ducks.

Another "documentary' shot was made when I spotted three young Little Grebes swimming.

The only wader we were able to photograph was the Eastern Cattle Egret (which was quite plentiful). We did see a Little Egret but it flew away even before I could raise my camera to my eye.

Of course, we had to take the obligatory shots of two common (and more cooperative) birds here - the Long-tailed Shrike and the Striated Grassbird.

Long-tailed Shrike
Striated Grassbird
After about two hours, we ended our birding sortie in Candaba, because as I mentioned earlier, we had a reunion to attend.

Although we still had good encounters with the avifauna of Candaba, it still saddens me that there are fewer areas with water now. Most had been converted to ricefields. Many of the few remaining watery areas are now used as duck farms.

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