Friday, August 10, 2012

A Break from the Rain

The monsoon rains have been unrelenting. For days, Manila and many neighboring provinces suffered torrential rains and heavy flooding. Many people remain in evacuation centers and many areas are still submerged in floodwater. The PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration) issued weather forecasts predicting improved weather conditions starting Thursday. At first, I was skeptical, I woke up to a very gloomy morning and experienced a heavy downpour around 10AM.

However, towards noon, the sun started shining through the dense Habagat clouds. When Jops picked me up in the afternoon, he suggested we drop by the UP Diliman campus and take advantage of this pocket of good weather for some birding.

The UP Oval was awash with sunlight. Joggers and bikers had already started their rounds,
also taking advantage of the pocket of sun.

We parked and started our afternoon walk in the Beta Epsilon walkway. Classes were suspended for the day and the usually busy path was empty. 

Entering the Beta Ep. walkway from the parking lot.
It was nice and quiet in the area. We could hear bird song and the flow of water from the small creek running through the path. We could hear the resident Pied Fantails calling from the bamboo beside the water. There were some movements in the trees, a couple of Golden-bellied Flyeaters were flitting from branch to branch before flying off to another tree. Collared Kingfishers called from the area close to the library.

The small creek running across the path.

The Beta Way, dappled in sunlight, was a great sight after all that rain.

We reached the other end of the walkway and decided to check out the lagoon. Up in the acacia trees lining the road, we could hear Philippine Pygmy Woodpeckers trilling away above us. A Colasisi came speeding above us, just passing through, its call fading as it flew farther away.

The lagoon area was being "renovated" and the work was still unfinished. They are building what looked to me as canals and the main lagoon has been planted with some lotus. The sound of flowing water drowned out the noise of cars and jeeps passing by. It was a comfort to know the sound of rushing water wasn't coming from an overflowing creek =P

Water flowing through the constructed canal. The lagoon in the
background already had lotus in it.

 As we made our way around the lagoon, we saw a couple of Zebra Doves, some Pied Trillers, and a big flock of very clean-looking Lowland White-eyes. The White-eyes flew noisily close to us before disappearing in the canopy above. We checked out the Vargas Museum but all we saw were Eurasian Tree Sparrows and more Zebra Doves.

Before heading to Katipunan, we decided to take a peek at Hardin ng Rosas. It has been a while since we last birded in the place. The area has been cleared, leaving much space exposed.

We were immediately greeted by a Common Moorhen, swimming in the pond and a White-breasted Waterhen would walk in and out from the lilies. We could see lots of swiftlets flying over a field in the distance and a Long-tailed Shrike posed proudly atop a bamboo pole. A small flock of munias flew past us. It was already getting dark so we packed up and drove away. It was nice revisiting UP for an afternoon of birding during the short break from the rain. But...

...towards 9PM, heavy downpour again. I really, really hope the weather clears up this weekend!


  1. wowow... ang bilis nyong nakabalik sa birding after the rain! :-)
    i haven't seen the reconstructed lagoon since the plant walk last march! must drop by...

    1. Haha, hindi naka-tiis! =P
      Yeah, nakaka-miss din mag-bird sa UP... naka-abang na kami sa migrants din, hehehe. See you soon!