Wednesday, February 06, 2019

As Time Goes By

We were at the La Mesa Ecopark at 6:30 in the morning. At the parking lot we were greeted by the distinctive call of the Black-naped Oriole. We looked at the source of that call and saw the bird...but it was directly above us and the early morning sun was shining directly on it...which meant not good for photography.

We saw some commotion up in the trees. It turned out that there was an ongoing quarrel between a squirrel and a Large-billed Crow.

We then moved on to the mini forest. Other than the constant calling of the Orioles, there were no birds! Perhaps it was because of the raucous bunch of teenagers walking on the trails shouting and screaming all the time. Or some cyclists that came after them. A little after 8, peace and quiet finally came. No more hikers and bikers. Strangely, still no birds! We waited for the resident Ashy Thrush to show but it never did.

We tried the jogging trail. There were birds allright - those we regularly see in the vicinity of our condo - the Brown Shrike and the Yellow-vented Bulbul.

Brown Shrike
Yellow-vented Bulbul
One of the Orioles eventually showed up at a better photographic angle.

Cynthia, frustrated at not seeing more birds, suggested we go to the pond and maybe get to see the Common Kingfisher there. When we arrived at the pond, it being a holiday, there were people everywhere! The huts were all occupied! Yet, despite that, we saw more birds at that place. First there was the Pied Triller.

Not far away from where the Triller was, there was a flowering tree where a pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds were enjoying their breakfast.

My wife's sharp eyes spotted the kingfisher. It was perched under the shade of huge leaves as it waited for some unfortunate fish.

Then I saw some movement on a bare branch above the pond. I was surprised to see a Coppersmith Barbet enjoying the morning sun.

After the Barbet left, I saw another bird, a lot bigger than the barbet, land on a branch with a twig in its beak. It was a White-eared Brown Dove apparently building a nest. To get a better view, we moved to the "bridge". There we met fellow bird photographer Ferdie Llanes. We pointed the dove to him. He told us that he had been hearing the call of this bird from his house (he lives nearby) and wanted to find where it was. 

We made a short stop at the spillway but it was now dry and covered with tall grass and no birds. It was almost 10 am so we decided to call it day. Normally, birds are more active early in the morning and their presence becoming more sparse as midday approaches. Today had been the opposite for us. As time went by, we saw more birds, despite the abundance of humans around them.

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