Sunday, October 10, 2021

When Things Don't Go As Expected

Saturday morning Cynthia and I planned to go birding in Infanta. It's been a while since we've been there so we were expecting to see some species that we have not seen for quite some time. As we approached Baras the skies were dark and looked like it would be raining soon. So we decided to just go to Palo Alto - our usual birding spot in Baras. At the gate, the guard informed us that birdwatching is no longer allowed there. There had been complaints from the local residents he said without specifying what the complaints were about. He was very apologetic about it and requested us to turn around. With that unexpected situation my wife and I both agreed to continue going to Infanta inasmuch as the sun was beginning to peep through the clouds. As we approached the town of Tanay, we were surprised at the long line of vehicles. Was there an accident ahead? was our initial thought. As we inched closer to the front of the line we realized that there was checkpoint and the military was asking the drivers the reason for going to Infanta. Apparently "pleasure trips" were not being allowed to go through. Another unexpected snag to our birding plans. As we drove back I told Cynthia that our only option would be Taytay. 

When we arrived at the usual bird stop in Taytay, we were glad to see fellow bird photographers Mon Quisumbing, Joel Dayao and his wife, Gemma. With them was Bing Santos and her husband Arnel. They were all waiting for the resident Black Bittern to appear. Since the said species was still a no show, my wife and I photographed the birds in the area.

Whiskered Terns, surprisingly, were quite plentiful.


There were also some Intermediate Egrets and Little Egrets.

Intermediate Egret

Little Egret

All of a sudden a Black Bittern did a very short fly by. It disappeared among the tall grass before we could point our cameras at it. Again, we concentrated on the "friendlier" birds. One of which was a White-browed Crake.


Another surprise was when a Purple Heron flew over and landed at some distance.


We then saw another bird fly at a distance and landed on a banana tree. At first we thought it was our target species but it turned out to be a Yellow Bittern. And we only got a documentary shot at it because it was so far away.


Then a single Wandering Whistling Duck flew by but unfortunately we were unable to get a good shot at it.

Around 9:30 am and the hoped for Black Bittern still not appearing, we decided to call it a day. It wasn't that fruitful birding trip since we had some unexpected glitches in our plan but just having the opportunity to be out in fields was refreshing for me and Cynthia.

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