Monday, January 6

the boobook at last!

it was 6pm and the darkness was falling fast.  above the shadows of the treeline hung a small sliver of the moon.  i remembered a fairy tale where the heroine thought the crescent moon was a comb, suspended from the branches of a tree outside her window.  it was almost as if i could reach out and pick it up.

around us the sounds of the night were growing louder.  auditory acuity is always more sensitive when you lose your vision. looking up,the night sky was much brighter than our surroundings.  the fruit bats flew above us silently, giant wings flapping gently. luzon hawk owls hooted in in the distance.  a spotted wood-kingfisher gave out its goodnight call.  nearby a philippine scops owl growled.  in the distance a great-eared night jar called hauntingly.

but these were not our targets.  

"woopwup woopwup woopwup woopwup woopwup woopwup woopwup"

it was here! 

adri called it in.  it was getting closer... and closer... and closer!

adri's torch illuminated a tall, almost bare, tree beside us.  the perched owl immediately flew off, followed by a second owl!

another attempt.
same result.

after a few minutes we walked further down the road.

this time the torch illuminated a perched owl, facing away from us! it flew away even before we had a chance to lift our binoculars to our eyes.

would we be doomed to in-flight sightings?

we walked even further down the road.

again a soft hooting close to us.

adri pointed the torch high above us.  and there it was. perched on a vine, in full view.

at last. the chocolate boobook shows itself to me. all previous failures are now pleasant memories which make the final victory so much sweeter.

(it did stay long enough for me to attempt a photo. but i guess i was too excited because this was all i got)

first lifer for 2014: chocolate boobook.


  1. Congratulations on an awesome first lifer for 2014!! More more more! =)

    1. Thanks Maia! Yes, more, more, more! Haha. Mag-dilang anghel ka sana.

  2. Congrats! May the next lifers be more "colorful". ;)

    1. Thanks Bob! And yes, I do hope for more color in the future! ;-)