Sunday, April 20


we celebrated an early earth day at tanay, rizal with probably the last raptorwatch for this season.  the gazebo at the santos's farm was a comfortable change from the open talahib fields or even the pag-asa watch tower.

loads and loads of food (non-stop nibbling from 10am to 4pm), good company, a lovely breeze and a great view of the sierra madre would've been enough to satisfy me... but the thermaling raptors in the distance and a few overhead flybys were the icing on the cake.

honestly, i had truly thought that it was a bit late in the season and we had little chance to catch any of the migrants leaving.  but it too beautiful a day (and i had too much sleep already from yesterday) to stay inside. well, i was sort of right, we probably had a total of fewer than five hundred birds. still...

a hundred raptors rising like a tower up from the mountains in the mid-day heat, higher and higher and higher is truly a fantastic sight. i never fail to marvel at this spectacle. how long have these magnificent birds been doing this?  it must be close to perfection. regal creatures these are soaring so far above ground.

and now i realise how appropriate it was to celebrate earth day with these beautiful creatures.  they are truly creatures of the earth, traveling across lands and oceans long before boundaries were set by man.

Wednesday, April 9

back from agusan

I just spent a week in Agusan del Sur... 2 days on a floating schoolhouse in Lake Mihaba in the Agusan Marsh, a rainy night on the slopes of Mt. Magdiwata, an afternoon on a floating view deck on Lake Binoni, and a short birding sortie at the Binaba Falls on the Gibong River.
The hospitality of the Agusanons was overwhelming.  What started out as a birding trip turned into a true Agusan adventure for our group of ten (Adri and I, Tere, Alex, Tintin, Arnel, Felix, Nicky, Carmela and Edmundo).
I miss the quiet stillness of the marsh the most, and the insect bites the least.
In the meantime... back to reality in the heat of Manila.