Wednesday, December 12

goodbye dad...

27 june 1925 - 5 december 2007
father, husband, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin
 colleague, neighbor, friend
pathologist, teacher
i will miss you. we all will.
bye dad. rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 27

ROX Bird Race Challenge

Recreational Outdoor Exchange (ROX) of Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City, the biggest recreational outdoor sports hub in Southeast Asia, is taking a bold step for adventure racing in the country with the ROX BIRD RACE CHALLENGE, the first and only race of its kind in the Philippines in partnership with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP).
Taking cue from events like the famed Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race in Malaysia, Hong Kong’s Big Bird Race and the Singapore Bird Race, the ROX BIRD RACE CHALLENGE aims to draw
public attention to Metro Manila’s remaining green spaces and threatened wetlands, parks and grassland habitats, which racers will visit in order to record as many bird species possible within a 24-hour period.
“The WBCP expects an exciting race and good numbers of bird arrivals based on our initial surveys and bird counts,” says urban planner and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines vice president Anna Gonzales. Bird species recorded in Metro Manila numbers more than 100 species at this time of year, when migrants from mainland Asia and Japan stay the duration of the winter.
“Bird watching as a popular recreation is fairly new in the country,” according to Gonzales, who hopes the bird race will spark ideas about conserving the urban green areas of Metro Manila and “getting our kids high on outdoor activities and science.”
The ROX Bird Race Challenge is open to experienced bird watchers and new hobbyists, first-time adventure racers, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers of all ages. Teams of 4 members each, consisting of 2 to 3 birdwatching hobbyists and at least one first-time birdwatcher, will be given a checklist of birds to tick off as spotted during the course of the race from 3:00 p.m of December 1 to 3:00 pm of December 2.
“We hope to provide the outdoor experience that will sustain the consciousness for the conservation of the environment,” according to Roel Chan, marketing manager of Primer Group, the firm managing ROX. “You can’t say let’s save the habitat when you haven’t seen the habitat. We want people to go out there and have that positive feeling when they come back from this race and get into positive action.”
To highlight the culmination of the race, ROX is holding a series of activities starting 2:00 pm December 2.  A tent set-up along the promenade fronting Recreational Outdoor Exchange in Bonifacio High Street will host environmental exhibits, lectures, an activity corner where kids can practice art skills and enjoy face-painting and a wildlife conservation show featuring animals from the DENR Wildlife Rescue Center. These activities are open to the public free of charge.
Recreational Outdoor Exchange at Building 1, Bonifacio High Street, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig or call: 856-4638-39 or email the organizers at: Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, attention Michael Lu,

Saturday, November 3

a week in palawan

I'm back from (almost) a week in Sabang, Puerto Princesa.

I absolutely love Sabang!  The beach, the mountains, the forest, the rivers and the streams... what else could I ask for?

Stayed 6 days & 5 nights at a cottage on the beach at Taraw.  Woke up at 5am, had breakfast (I miss the vegetable and cheese omelet already!), went nature-tripping, came back for lunch, took afternoon siesta, went out again and returned for dinner and to chill out and in bed by 9pm.

It was absolute bliss. 

Funny how familiar you get with the people and the place in a few days. Small town, regular routine.  Every hello and good morning and smile is returned. How very comforting. 

And of course the birding!  Got a few more Palawan birds on my list: Javan Frogmouth, Hooded Pitta, Palawan Blue Flycatcher, Blue Paradise Flycatcher. Tabon Scrubfowl, Common Iora, Crested Goshawk, Common Flameback, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Fiery Minivet; most thanks to Nicky (bird guide extraordinaire!).  Plus, several great upgrades from the last trip:  sooo many blue-headed racquet-tails, yellow-throated leafbird, black-headed bulbuls.. and of course... the palawan peacock-pheasant!  The birding was extremely fulfilling.  My bird list never fell below 35 species everyday!  and not once did I spot a eurasian tree sparrow at Sabang!  Still... some birds were a no-show to us, and I still have several reasons to go back... slaty woodpecker, stork-billed kingfisher, and now, even if babblers were never my thing, the falcated ground babbler (after Nicky made us walk through that only to have complete silence in response to playback, I feel I HAVE to see it).  Note on the peacock:  it was absolutely beautiful.  Makes me realise how poor my glimpse of it was last time in the low light.  Out in the open, responding to coaxing, it reminded me of the fur-kids!  It was amazing.  How I wish it had a mate to keep it company, and not just those chicken-y scrub fowl.

It was my third trip to Sabang, each trip progressively longer than the one before, and I'd still welcome any chance to go back. Before I left for Palawan I had dinner with the F-8ers and also dinner with the MBB kids.  Of course the former couldn't understand my attraction to Sabang (Richie just had to say "no electricity" and I could hear the groans), and the latter could imagine, but were all busy with work and family.  I'm definitely not a Boracay girl, and while I wouldn't say no to a weekend in Bora, I'd gladly exchange the pristine white sand and the tequila shots and the dancing for the wild waves and quiet, star lit nights and long bumpy road to get there.

(For more pics check out:

Thursday, October 11

isa pa nga!

i love this picture!
good times, we're practically a living advertisment.  smb should really give us some kind of remuneration.  cash or kind.

isa pa nga!

smb and a butterfly... (taken in subic).
will the product placement ever stop?


Thursday, September 13

i love gardenias

I love gardenias (otherwise known as rosal).

Beautiful creamy white flowers, dark green, shiny leaves and a scent that reminds me of home.

And best of all, they are easily grown in the garden, bushes constantly in bloom.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a whole front yard of gardenias?

There are so many choices of plants for the garden now, new hybrids, and like fashion, there is always old being revived.  Even in horticulture there is something that's uso.

But gardenias, like the classic gumamela and the santan, the scentless rubia and multi-petaled gerberas, remind me of old gardens. Bushy, half-wild gardens full of surprises, cared for by mom.  

I like those.

Monday, August 20

here comes the sun...

I woke up this morning and looked out the window to see... blue skies! Sun, glorious sun.

It's been 6 long days of rain and no work for me, the three day weekend turned out to be a SIX day weekend!  Wow, if I had known I could've gone and flown off to somewhere sunny... like the Kadayawan Festival in Davao. *sigh* Oh well... it was a productive weekend inspite of the stormy weather.

I wonder if they'll still keep praying the Oratio Imperata ad Fluviam Petendam?  There you have it, ask and it shall be given unto you.

I guess the rainy season has officially started at long last.
Anyway, for now, sunshine and clouds and a nice clean breeze. Even the fur-kids are basking in the mud.

Sunday, July 22

the end

And so it ends.

Friday evening the bookshelves and display windows of bookstores were overflowing with the seventh installment of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which came out yesterday.

I was meeting Adri after my class to rush and buy a copy, when to my delight, he already had a copy waiting for me all wrapped up.  (And the book cover and dust jacket was yellow!) Yahoo!
I spent the entire night reading, and before the sun rose this morning, it was done.

 I didn't expect any less from the story.

A million and one thanks
To Ed, who in 1999, gave me my first three books.

To Vir, Peng, Joy, Kenneth, Charles, Jackie, Gay, Glen, Barri, Frances and Paolo who gave me the fourth.
To Michael, who even gave me Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
To Peng again, who made sure I had the fifth and sixth books on the day they came out (the sixth book greeted me at the Daly City Post Office). And Mike who also gave me the fifth book. And Edna, who gave me the illustrated version of the sixth book.
And finally to Adri, who gave me the seventh and final Harry Potter.
I love all of my books, none of which I had to buy.

Good things must end.  I will miss Harry.

Monday, July 16


Birdfestival na!  

We launched the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival: Sugbu - Just Watch, Don't Catch at the WBCP 4th Anniversary Party last Saturday evening.
Here's the press release printed in the Inquirer from the same day. Logo made by the talented Arnel Telesforo (  Download more Sugbu Birdfest wallpapers here.
3rd Philippine Bird Festival goes to Cebu

The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines is holding the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival - Sugbu, Just Watch, Don't Catch ! a 2-day event to raise conservation awareness through the promotion of bird watching and the responsible appreciation of nature.

The logo of this year's bird festival is the Cebu Flowerpecker, a species found nowhere in the world but Cebu. This species was thought to be extinct until chanced upon by a visiting amateur birdwatcher in 1992.

Now on its third year, the Philippine Bird Festival will be held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino on September 21, 2007 and at the Olango Island Nature Sanctuary on September 22, 2007.

The festival at the Waterfront Hotel will feature lectures, photo exhibits, film shows, art activities and face-painting for kids. The Bird Festival will culminate with the 2nd Philippine Duck Forum where conservationists and the academe will discuss the status and local efforts to save the endemic Philippine Duck.

On the second day, delegates will head for Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary. There they will witness the arrival of the first migrant shorebirds from northern Asia and hold joint activities with the island community.

WBCP Vice President and Festival Chairperson Alice Villa-Real said organizers hope to raise awareness of the diversity of Cebu bird life and promote conservation of threatened species and habitats on the island. Schools are encouraged to participate and admission is free.

The idea to hold the festival in Cebu was conceived early this year and has received support and encouragement from conservation organizations and business sector. Among the organizations that are participating in the festival are the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, WWF-Philippines, Center for Environmental Awareness and Education, Isla Buiodiversity Conservation and Kaakbay CDI.  The Wild Bird Society of Taipei (Taiwan), the Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (Malaysia) and the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand  have already confirmed their attendance.  More organizations are expected to sign up soon.

"The 3rd Philippine Bird Festival is a watershed event for bird watching and environmental conservation in Cebu," said WBCP president Michael Lu. "We are officially launching the bird festival during the Club's 4th Anniversary on July 14.  On behalf of the Festival Committee, I encourage and invite members and friends of the Club to register their support for the project."

The 3rd Philippine Bird Festival is sponsored by the Mirant Foundation, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Cebu City Mayor's Office, Sulpicio Lines and WWF-Philippines.  For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Festival Chair Alice Villa-Real (Manila) at or 0917-5397861  and Nilo Arribas, Jr (Cebu) at  or  0906-5851881.

For school participation inquiries, please contact Ms Evelyn Nacario of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation at

Friday, June 15

one last hurrah

I was able to slip in a little vacation time before school started, just one last hurrah before the summer is completely over.

Siquijor (2nd time) and Dumaguete (3rd time) revisited; but did some things differently this time.  Spent the night at Coral Cay in San Juan, stayed overnight too at Forest Camp in Valencia.  Had an unforgetable Mt. Talinis encounter, and my favorite: the calm, peace and serenity of Balinsasayao Lake.

Birding was not as productive as I hoped it would be (three cheers for the flame-templed babbler), the vacation a bit more stressful than I anticipated, drank and smoked a bit more than I thought I would...

Still, friends are friends, company was good, lessons were learned and it was time truly well spent.

Sunday, May 27

falling flowers

I have been enjoying this view of the fire tree in full bloom outside my bedroom window for several weeks now.

I love the sight of fire trees are in bloom!  They always, always remind me of an Amorsolo painting. Also, when the trees are in bloom, I am assured by visits from olive-backed sunbirds, hovering and hopping from flower to flower.  The almost leafless branches also make it easy for me to see the woodpeckers creeping along the trunks, pecking and trilling away.

Another sight I can see from my window is the golden shower, also in bloom at the same time as the fire tree.  In the mornings, the dripping yellow flowers are a-buzz with bees sipping nectar. 

Amorsolo didn't paint golden showers in his paintings, I suppose they are quite new introductions?  Anyway, when I was younger, it would be golden shower flowers I would offer to Mary during the month long novena.

Sometimes I wish we also had space for a banaba tree, or had planted one across the street.  And I always remember the palawan cherry tree at Albert Hall or those lining the driveway of the Manila Seedling Bank.  The former lavender, the latter pink.  Wouldn't that be a beautiful sight?!?!? Orange and yellow and lavender and pink all at the same time!

(Palawan cherry trees take ten million years to grow though I think, and there's no more space in my mother's garden for 2 more trees.  I'd better think of a place to plant them all now, wait twenty or so years... and enjoy them in my old age!)

It has started to rain in the afternoons, a sure sign that summer will soon be over.  Winds before the rain would send flowers falling to the ground, much to the delight of my niece.

The rains will soon strip my bedroom view of yellow and orange, and the colors will carpet our garden and driveway instead. 

Until next May...

Wednesday, May 23


mom arranged Sunday lunch for the entire family at concepcion last sunday. the pond was full of big fat tilapia and the mangoes were dripping with the second harvest of the season. the house was in a sorry state, but clean enough. such a shame the house isn't livable anymore. 

the kids had fun running around the open space and teasing the cows and the goats. i hardly remember the few summers i spent in the farm. i was the youngest of the cousins and didn't get to spend too many vacations in the province. still, i have memories of giant hay stack slides, of little frogs in muddy carabao footprints, of a large bedroom filled with a row of beds, of hitting pili nuts with a stone, of hito harvest season and fruit laden duhat trees, of climbing up to the pigeon house to hear soft coos through the wall.

i definitely grew up a city kid, but i'm glad i have these memories.

Tuesday, May 8

not so helpful all the time

Awww... my favorite beetle is now put in a bad light.  So much for being a helpful bug.  I guess wine growers will disagree.

Introduced species are a tricky subject.  Natural, yes.  In the sense they aren't man made.  But natural to the location? 
Definitely not.  So when is natural un-natural? Sometimes definitions are misleading.

(Thanks to Marvin for sorta pointing me to the link)

Thursday, March 29

i see you!

Can you see them?
Aren't they adorable?  These 2 baby zebra doves peeking out of their nest kept us entertained during Caylabne's Las Casa de Cala Buena open house last Sunday.  The nest was on a small tree just beside our table.  Mom and Dad would come every couple of hours and these two very still creatures would suddenly wake up in a burst of energy, mouths agape and threatening to fall out of the nest with with their impatient activity. As soon as mom and dad leave, they fall back into their cozy home, immobile except for little blinking black eyes peeping over the edge of the nest.

Wednesday, March 28

signs of summer at candaba

I was at Candaba last Saturday afternoon and signs of summer were everywhere. The dirt road was wide and cracked and dry and the heat seemed to penetrate through my clothing and skin. The last of the migrants could be found on one side of the big pond: Garganey and Northern Shovellers. Philippine Ducks outnumbered them, in

numbers that will suddenly dwindle in the coming weeks. I wonder where they (the Philippine ducks) all they go? It's as if they were just in Candaba to welcome the visitors and catch up on the latest chismis. (Now, there's another Pinoy trait to humanize them to add to the list). Do they go on summer vacation too?

Beside us, jumping around the thorny undergrowth of the camachile, a Clamorous Reed Warbler made quite a racket but made no effort to fly away. When the
migrants go, the locals start nesting I guess.

And what would come in the midst of all this heat? A summer storm of course. Rain that came in big, heavy drops. I took my time walking to Alex's car and was soaked by the time I got there. The summer sky, blue and filled with clouds, dark and light at the same time, was beautiful over the green rice fields.

The rain didn't last long. Just long enough to muddy the dirt road and make the air even stickier than before. Just enough to jump start the Zitting Cisticolas into ziit-ziit-ing above the palay, enough to make a Lesser Coucal come out to sun itself. Just enough rain to create a rainbow (no, a DOUBLE rainbow!) that stretched from end to end on the horizon, inspiring oohs and aaahs.

And as the rain clouds scattered, rays of sunshine shone through and played light-and-shade on the landscape.

It's summer! Soon everything will be parched and summer rain will be a welcome relief.

Monday, March 5

butterflies... and birds... and bugs.

Lydia arranged the very first butterfly watching activity for Paroparozzi ( last Saturday at Boso-boso, Antipolo. Armed with cameras of all sorts (and binoculars), bird watchers became bug watchers. Of course there was no lack for food and drink. I'm sure we could have stayed overnight and not gone hungry!

It's great to be in the company of people who enjoy natural history! I know it isn't for everyone to spend hours on end watching insects and birds... sitting motionless or crawling on grass or perched in some precarious position. How I wish I could have such focus and patience for all other aspects of my life!

Boso-boso Paro-parozzi (starting from left, standing): Alex L., Alex T., Mae, Adri, Wency, Tina M., Felix, Tina A., Anna, Tere, me!, Ixi, Lydia (not in photo: Orly)

Haha, I hope Lydia won't mind my saying but the highlight of the trip for me was seeing a pair of grey-backed tailorbirds hopping around a bamboo thicket! Not a lifer for me, but a great view of a hard to spot bird. (The highlight could have been a shot of the tiger-patterned lycaenid which I have tried to photograph twice before: in Boso-boso and in Caylabne. I got the picture, unfortunately, the lighting was all wrong).

Strangely, the activity was pretty draining and at the end of the day I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. It could've been the weather, it was quite humid. Signs of summer fast approaching.

See my pictures at:

Monday, February 19

busy, busy week

It's been a busy, busy week for me! It was such an action packed-week that I'm officially declaring next weekend as a rest weekend.

saturday: Hot Air Balloon Festival at Clark

Adri, Marvin and I picked up Adri's mom, sister and niece at Bulacan and headed for Clark for the hot air balloon fest. Cool. Their tag line was "and everything that flies", so they had kites, rc planes, ultra light planes, motorized paragliders (is that what they're called?), paratroopers, and of course the hot air balloons. I didn't expect so many people though, or that the hot air balloons would be off limits to the general audience. And it was a big let down not seeing the balloons actually take to the air.

But the sight of all those colorful balloons and the light show, and all the other stuff was worth the trip. Good thing we scheduled a late afternoon trip too. North of Manila temperatures are beginning to soar during the day.

Check out some pictures here:

sunday: Supply shopping day Ok, spending P 30,000.00 on school supplies and bird fest stuff took longer than expected. I hate National Bookstore. Down with all unhelpful sales persons. Once again SM saves the day. Again, they've got it all for you! Oh, and in the panic of buying, I ACTUALLY LOST MY PARKING TICKET. Aargh. First time ever, and thankfully it wasn't too much of a hassle. The entire afternoon and evening was spent printing stuff like IDs and Certificates. Hooray for Adri and my PC and my printer!


Even if I volunteered to help out with this bird festival a bit late, I'm so glad I did. The kids, especially the elementary school kids had so much energy! I hope they picked up the Just Watch, Don't Catch message. The throngs of kids, the coloring sheets, the tarps and photos are all familiar scenes at every birdfest (this would be the fourth), and yet they seem new each time. Highlight for me personally was getting to handle the Serpent Eagle for My Zoo. Cool! I'm so glad that the usual happy gang of volunteers were still there to help out. Congratulations to Mike and the WBCP for organizing another successful event.

wednesday: V-days: Valentine's Day & Valenzuela Day

I had to go to the clinicals in the morning with Dra. Alberto as I had the past few Wednesdays. I arrived at Valenzuela at around noon. We had a little Valentine's Day merienda at the office (who would've thought that chocolate cake, fish- and squid- balls, kikiam, cocktail hotdogs, ice cream and soda would be so filling) which everyone in the building seemed to have appreciated. We had a Valenzuela Day treat of being sent home at 5 o'clock instead of the usual 6pm (actually it was a holiday and we were all on overtime).

In the evening, the bird club had a meeting to wrap up loose ends (well, sort of) and the usual exchange of birdfest experiences. Of course the actual meeting lasted a fraction of the kwentuhan time. The energy level of this group is really something.

saturday - sunday: Subic Birding! Yahoo!

It all started out with Adri and I offering to help Lala with her Bio 160 (Ecology) class field trip. Alex, Tere, Felix and Arnel jumped in and off we went to Subic at 4am on Saturday.

So far, Ilanin forest has never disappointed. We sighted all woodpeckers (pygmy, sooty, greater flameback and white-bellied) and lots of parrots (blue-naped, guaiabero, colasisi and green racquet-tail) and doves/pigeons (white-eared, common emerald, pompadour and LOTS of green imperial), among others. Of course the sight of Philippine Serpent Eagles soaring in the hot late-morning sky (did I mention Northern Luzon temperatures beginning to rise this time of the year?) is always a sight to behold. The call of the eagles sends chills up my spine. At the birding site at 6am, we were delighted by the sight of 5 or 6 nightjars swooping across the sky for a last snack before morning and an owl (Philippine Scops?) swooping by us and perching on a nearby branch, its shape silhouetted against the pink orange sky.

This trip had a few extra bonuses care of Lala: mist nets set up along the trail, a tiny bat a fraction of the size of your palm, a Philippine Scops-Owl (poor thing)at the Wildlife in Need Rescue Center, little frogs smaller than a coin collected by Lala's herp group.

Monday, February 5

Hanging out in Calauan

Justice Pronove invited us to his house in Calauan, Laguna and we gladly accepted. So early morning last Saturday, with a full moon still high in the sky, Alex and Tere and Adri and I headed south towards Makiling. From the highway at kilometer post 69.5 (!!!), we turned into a dirt road towards Justice's house.
What a pretty place Justice has! On the right were green rice fields with the mountains of Nagcarlan in the distance and on the left were fish ponds with hundreds of egrets and terns and Makiling in the background. I didn't expect too many birds but we also counted SEVENTEEN common kingfishers (yes, they were common here!) patrolling the ponds, several grey wagtails, brown shrikes, grassbirds, cisticolas, snipes, etc. etc.

When we reached Justice's place, sure enough Mrs. Pronove welcomed us with breakfast, in true motherly fashion.  We spent the rest of the morning boating (yes on the meter-deep tilapia pond), fishing (I actually only fed the fish) and just lounging around.  We had a sumptuous lunch of inihaw na tilapia wrapped in banana leaf, sinigang na baboy, grilled  inadobong beef, itlog na maalat  with kamatis and burong hipon.   Yum!  The weather was perfect, although my cheeks suffered a bit of windburn.

There was a little terrace behind the house which faced seemingly endless rice fields, interrupted by the town of Bai. 

On the horizon stood Makiling, all her peaks clear and unclouded against the hot mid-afternoon sky.  That was where we stayed for most of the afternoon.  From there we could count the egrets and terns flying by and the bitterns popping out of the green, and snipes frightened from the rows of palay  and the pilapil by passing farmers and a brown shrike patrolling the irrigation canal and grassbirds singing loudly from branches, and yellow-vented bulbuls, and zebra doves on the grass and pacific swallows hawking for insects and even a lone white-throated kingfisher flying back and forth.  Later Alex brought out some cold beer, which we took with pretzels and chips (and later red wine).  It was certainly the epitome of dude-birding.

We stayed to watch the sun set behind Makiling, dressing the the mountains in cold grey and lining the clouds in gold.

Thanks to Justice and his wife for their kindness and generosity, Alex and Tere for their usual wonderful company, and of course Mang Boy for driving.

Monday, January 22

2 years in the making

After two years of planning to do it, we finally got it done!  George's sailboat has finally been relocated from Punta Fuego to Anilao.  Jackie and I felt so fulfilled.
Last Saturday, Adri, Jackie, Marvin, Fesca and I started out with lunch at Tagaytay, spent two whole hours in Punta Fuego watching Edgar tie the boat to the top of the Trooper, had halo-halo at Aling Celing's in Nasugbu, and finally got to Anilao just as the sun was setting. Road trip!

Yesterday, Jackie's neighbors Ted and Raul excitedly set up the sailboat (two hours worth of knots undone in 15 minutes) and off they went!  That boat must've been so happy to be finally floating on top of the sea.  Happy sailing!

Tuesday, January 16

a season for rainbows

This morning, arched over north EDSA, above the smog line of the city and the traffic, was a full rainbow.  My third rainbow in four days! 

Aren't rainbows supposed to remind us of something?

Monday, January 15

Asian Waterbird Census and the Pied Harrier

The weather at Candaba yesterday was perfect for birding.  The sun shining brightly and a cool breeze blowing clouds to give shade when it got too warm. The best weather I've had there yet.  Mount Arayat stood out clearly against the blue sky and the ponds teemed with life.

There seemed to be less Philippine Duck this year, less Northern Pintail and Northern Shovellers too.  But there were so many Garganey!  The Tufted Duck were my favorite this year, and I watched them dive and pop out of the water with their tufts perfectly in place and their dark heads glinting in the sun.  Caught sight of a few Eurasian Widgeons and a single Common Pochard.  Didn't see any Green-winged Teal, which would have put the duck species count at eight.

I watched a Pied Harrier harass the Garganey, sending clouds of them flying up from the water's surface.  I wonder if they ever accidently bumped into each other in mid-flight.  They almost looked liked a school of sardines moving in perfect synchronization.  Almost.  Strangely, the Pintail and Shovellers didn't seem daunted by the Harrier.  It didn't surprise me though that a few of the Philippine Duck skittishly took to the air as the Harrier flew past.  It certainly doesn't take much to alarm those birds.

The Pied Harrier flew with so much poise and confidence!  Imagine having a hundred small ducks flying in confusion around you, and occasionally being dive-bombed by herons! It didn't seem fazed at all.  There's a lesson there somewhere.

Thursday, January 11

missing bands

I'm taking a 15 minute break after compounding 6 kgs of ***** for my stability tests.

I miss bands.  Pink-orange PCR product bands in agarose gels.  Blue protein bands in polyacrylamide gels.  Burnt brown (!!!) protein bands in western blots.  Thick, screaming bands and thin, faint (imaginary?) bands. Yes, I miss them.