Monday, March 18, 2019

Look to the Rainbow

It was still dark as we traversed the road going to Infanta. There was intermittent precipitation - sometimes a soft drizzle, other times a good amount of rainfall. Somehow this did not discourage us. We've been through this experience before and almost always it became sunny when we arrived at our destination. Actually we were glad that finally rain came. There was an ongoing water crisis in MetroManila attributed to the drought caused by El Nino. This downpour would somehow mitigate such problems.

The sun was up when were about half-way to where we intend to go birding. We stopped by the roadside so we could enjoy our takeout breakfast. As I looked behind me I saw this gorgeous rainbow in the horizon.

Rainbows are symbols of hope and of promises of good things to come. We took that as an assurance that we would have a good birding morning.

About half past seven, we were at the Asuncion property. We asked Hanny, the caretaker, if the Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher, which our friend, Bong, saw and photographed just two days ago, was still there. Unfortunately, not anymore, he said. Even the Cream-bellied Fruit Dove was already gone, he told us almost apologetically. Was seeing the rainbow not working at all?

We proceeded to km 107 and our hoped for Paddyfield Pipit gave our diminishing hopes a much needed boost.

Then a Blue Rock Thrush added more zeal to our photographic endeavors.

Pacific Swallows were taking a break from their morning flights.

Actually, what we were really looking for was the fruiting hagimit tree (trees?). Friends have posted photos recently of the various birds enjoying such fruits. Eventually we found one. However, the fruits were now almost gone. The only bird
we saw there was a Buzzing Flowerpecker.

We did see other birds such as a Bicolored Flowerpecker, a Guaiabero, and a Philippine Fairy Bluebird, but they were so skittish that we were not able to get any shots at all.

It was while waiting and hoping that more birds would come to the fruits that a mixed flock came passing by - led by a Sulphur-billed Nuthatch.

The Elegant Tits were bolder and sometimes would perch not far from we were, albeit not too long, as they would go after some unfortunate insect.

The Blue-headed Fantails were also very active in their pursuit of their morning repasts.

After the flock left, we also decided to look for more hagimit trees. Sad to say none of those we saw had fruits in them. Before we called it a day we stopped by the only tree with the fruits. Despite a long wait we didn't see anything new except for some Philippine Bulbuls.

Even though we did not see the species we were hoping to photograph (and possible lifers) we were still happy that we got good pictures of some colorful birds of the area. Sometimes it is when we do not get what we wanted that we get to appreciate the things we tend to overlook.

It was like looking at the rainbow all over again.