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.

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