I've been waking up the past week to find my binoculars out of its bag, placed neatly on the edge of my sister's bed... USED.
My groggy brain and unfocused eyes immediately conjured images of happy little birder elves, assembling a spotting scope for me to find upon waking (think: Elves and the Shoemaker). But as my brain cells slowly started working, I thought if there were indeed birder elves in my room, they were just there to use my bins (without permission!) for early morning birding! User-friendly elves! Get your own bins!
With half my brain awake, I asked myself: did I go sleep-birding this morning? When I really did wake up and both hemispheres of my brain have warmed up into action, I realized there are no elves. Just early morning risers: my mom and dad.
I went downstairs with a smile on my face and asked them as they sipped their coffee while reading the papers: Sino sa inyo nag-bird? (Who went birding?) My mom smiled at me guiltily and raised her hand. She put down the newspaper she was reading and proceeded to tell me all about this bird who kept eating a mango from our neighbor’s tree. My mom has been sneaking in my room to get my bins and birding on our veranda almost every morning the past week! I told her to watch out if it was a colasisi as I’ve been hearing them fly-by our house in the mornings.
The following morning, my mom was helping my dad pack for a work trip to Baguio when I heard a Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker trilling away somewhere outside our house. I quickly went to the veranda and scanned the gmelina tree of our neighbor. There it was! Creeping its way up an exposed branch. I called my mom , “Mom! The woodpecker is here!” Guess who was brisk walking to my room? My dad. I handed him my bins and pointed out the bird. I was really happy when he saw it. He even commented how small it was. At this point, my mom joined us on the veranda but my dad was still using my bins and wouldn’t hand it to my mom who was almost bobbing up and down behind him. When my dad put down the bins, the woodpecker had flown away. I looked at my mom because I knew she was in some non-birder way, disappointed at not having seen the bird. I told her I’ll keep a look out for the woodpecker for her to see.
The bird my mom saw eating mangoes turned out to be a Yellow-vented Bulbul and we spent two to three mornings in the veranda, watching the bird slowly eat away three mangoes until there was none. I wish for my parents to see the birds I’ve seen… even just the one’s in our backyard or in UP. I promised myself I’d take them birding when we all go home to our farm in Bohol... whether they were still in denial or not.
But this morning, as I was preparing for my first tutorial session, I got a text from my mom: Saw d woodpecker in d gmelina.
I guess she’s out of the closet =)