February 14 - Valentine's Day - the time when couples go out on a date, when romantic cards are exchanged, when guys give roses to their gals. In short, It's all about love.
February 13 - Valentine's Day eve - the time we went birding in Baras and encountered quite a number of species in the Columbidae family. In short, it's all about dove.
The morning didn't augur well since it was drizzling as we drove towards our destination. Thankfully, it stopped after we finished eating our take-out breakfast. As we were about to start birding, we saw the fog lifting up.
At our first stop, we saw this Spotted Dove perched on a nearby limb. Surprisingly there were quite a number as we kept seeing them at the different areas we went to.
At Cancun road, after seeing a Barred Rail, we saw a pair of Scale-feathered Malkohas but unfortunately we weren't able to take any photos at all. Moving a little farther, I saw something colorful perched on a branch. My heart leapt when I focused my camera on it, excited that finally I'm getting a good shot at a Philippine Cuckoo Dove.
By the waterway, I was surprised to find a male Red Collared Dove walking nonchalantly just a few meters away from me.
Although the downpour stopped, the skies were still grey and gloomy. Perhaps because of that that some of the birds we expected to see were missing. On the other hand, we finally got see and photograph the Luzon Hornbill which a lot of our fellow birders had seen here quite often.
Also, for the first time, we saw a Striated Grassbird out in the open. The many times we've been to this place we never, ever, saw this skulker. Until today. I got a photo but it was still "crappy" despite being photoshopped and all. At least it's no longer my nemesis bird.
At around 10 am it started to drizzle a bit. Time to go. As we were about to leave, Cynthia said that we got photos of almost all of the dove species here, except the Zebra Dove. And guess what, on our way out there it was - as if to say, "Hey guys, I'm here!"
It was a short birding foray at Baras but we were glad that we found dove(s).