Monday, April 30, 2018

Seen no more

Peter and I were standing near the edge of the valley having our take-out breakfast. Cynthia decided to stay in the car. Then Peter tersely said, "bird!" I looked at where he was pointing at but for the life of me couldn't see anything. Well, there was a slight drizzle and the skies were grey, so all I could see were shadows of what I presumed to be just leaves. My friend borrowed my camera, took a shot and then showed it to me. A plethora of emotions overwhelmed me: surprised that there were indeed birds as Peter said, angry because those birds were in a cage, amazed as to how a cage of that size with two White-eared Brown Doves in it be hung on a branch that could only be accessed by the most agile and daring human being, and finally, curious as to the purpose of such action. Perhaps it was to lure more birds into a trap? I wanted so much to grab that cage and release both hapless birds to their freedom but with my ancient body, such an endeavour would most likely result in my untimely death or severe physical injury. So we left with saddened hearts and I prayed that no other bird would be captured and that both doves would hopefully gain their freedom. 

Prior to these heartbreaking experience, I had missed a couple of opportunities of photographing lifers. As we entered the Infanta area, I saw a Rufous Hornbill soaring over the valley. I asked Peter, who was driving, to stop. He did. However as soon as we parked by the roadside, the said hornbill was seen no more. Further up the road, I saw another soaring bird. I yelled "raptor!" Even before Peter could stop, the Rufous-bellied Eagle was seen no more. Was it a coincidence that both species had the word "rufous" in their names?

At the area by the brook where the Cream-bellied and Yellow-breasted Fruit Doves had been seen recently, we met fellow bird photographers Cesar Espiritu, Mhark Gee, and Mags Ico who were stalking the said birds. We stayed with them for a while but both doves never showed up the whole time we were there. Mhark told us that a Rufous Paradise Flycatcher showed up earlier. Since then it was seen no more. Another, rufous=seen no more incident. Hmm.

So we moved on as we promised to take Peter to the Fire-breasted Flowerpecker site so that he could get his lifer.

Thankfully he did, and I got the constantly moving Sulphur-billed Nuthatch. Again.

Cynthia got a photo of a tailorbird. However it was too far and backlit for me to be able to identify it properly. My best guess would be Mountain (we were, after all, on a mountain).

Having gotten his lifer, we proceed to the area that Mags told us the White-fronted Tit can be found. We lingered there until about noon and were rewarded with three kinds of flowerpeckers: Buzzing, Orange-bellied and Pygmy. No Tits though.

Buzzing Flowerpecker
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Pygmy Flowerpecker
Our lunch at The Gathering was much better than the last time Cynthia and I ate there. That was a consolation from the seen-no-more birds.

No comments: