Sunday, April 22

the heat is on in candaba!

and i find myself back in candaba. again.  i'd better stop counting how many times i've been and will be there this year!

it's a hot, hot summer and there's nothing like birding in candaba til noon to highlight the heat!

but it's more than the temperature that's hot in candaba... with almost all the migrants gone, the residents are looking fine!

and the hottest bird in candaba at the moment? in my opinion it's the pheasant-tailed jacana!  we couldn't miss it if we tried that morning. almost all of them sported their long, beautiful tails, and their white heads and wings stood out in the green fields. their golden necks glinted under the hot sun.

they seemed to be everywhere, and they were very vocal! in fact, i thinks it's the first time i've actually heard the call of the jacana!  several of them formed small flocks of 20 or so individuals, some with their pheasant tails and golden napes, some still immature.

even while looking at the other birds, a jacana would occasionally fly into the picture, its long tail, huge feet and white wings trailing like ribbons behind its body and its brilliant white and golden head and neck gleaming under the summer sun.

on more than one occasion, a "jacana-fight" (not sure if it's just the males so i can't say cock-fight!) would erupt between 2 or 3 individuals!

of course, in spite of the jacana-action, the other birds were not to be outdone:

the philippine ducks at the other ponds still numbered at a few hundred, their metallic green speculums sparkling in the sunlight when they took to the air.

there were hardly any migrants left, save for some little and great egrets and a few garganey.  we did spot this flock of waders flying, perhaps over-staying stints?

the pratincoles still looked very handsome in their breeding plumage.  the bird below, like most of the birds we saw, had their mouths open to help cool them from the rising temperatures.

cisticolas zipped and sang cheerfully, and would approach very close to the car, allowing close encounters like the one below (it's not a giant zitting cisiticola, just a very close regular sized one!)

at the ponds by the mayors' house, the water seemed to be quickly disappearing in the summer heat.  in fact,  the heat had all but dried up that pond, a few philippine and wandering-whistling ducks were waddling on the mud which was quickly drying up as the sun rose higher. a few ducks were swimming back-and-forth on the few watering holes left.

we did spot a black bittern hiding in the hyacinth, something i was happy to see because it was my secret wish bird for the trip.

it was a  hot summer morning. the white, shimmering heat contributed to our discomfort while birding and didn't do anything to improve my photos. it's a good thing the bird action more than made up for the summer heat!


  1. Ganda ng Jacana in flight!!! Also the mega-cisticola! :P

  2. I agree na super hot sa Candaba. We were there last Wednesday and saw most of the birds you saw. Plus the tricycles and carabao carts that were blocking the way. :)

  3. thanks maia! it's the cisticola feeling like a grassbird! :-)

  4. super duper hot! we were there the next day, on thursday. no more trikes and carabaos, but they were burning the fields so it was very smoggy early in the morning!

  5. Giant Cisticola = Winner! Ang gaganda din ng mga BIF mo! Yung next candaba trip mo pahitch naman. :) Idol!!! Hala ang dami niyo na. hahaha

  6. Surely... ngayon lang nga akon ganito kadaming times pumunta ng Candaba... dati tuwing AWC lang ako pumupunta dun. Imagine, hindi ko nga ni twitch ung mga geese na nakita a couple of years ago!

    Teka... parang mina-mock mo ko ah.

  7. hahahaha hindi ah. pareho kayo ng comment ni Adri! So compatible!