|The relaxing landscape of Candaba.|
The hanging Amihan (Northeastern monsoon winds) was blowing cool and strong that afternoon, as we birders scoped out Black-winged Stilts, Great and Little Egrets, Whiskered Terns, and some waders.
|Some Black-winged Stilts and a Little Egret foraging for food.|
Aside from the waders and egrets, around us were Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Yellow Bitterns, and lots of White-breasted Waterhens. We moved closer to the Mayor's house and along the way found a pond with ducks in it. We were hoping we'd still see the Common Shelduck which Jops and I were able to successfully twitch earlier in the month. Unfortunately, the Shelduck wasn't anywhere to be seen that afternoon. We did see some Little Grebes and some ducks: Philippine Ducks, Northern Shovellers, Wandering Whistling Ducks, Green-winged Teals, and Garganeys. Most were hiding in the reeds though.
|A Philippine Duck (the large one in the center) and some |
Tufted Ducks (the male has the whiter/paler chest.)
|Most of the ducks were settled in the reeds. |
(There's a male Green-winged Teal hiding in the middle of the photo.)
It was an easy afternoon of birding. We saw a hundred Grey Herons flying above us and saw even larger flocks of egrets flying over the marsh. Huge flocks taking flight is always an amazing sight to see!
|Egrets flying over the marsh.|
Aside from the huge flocks, the highlights of the trip for me were seeing a Black Bittern in plain view and spotting a nesting Purple Heron. It was a nest lifer for me =)
|The Purple Heron would stand and re-arrange some twigs on its nest...|
We found our way to the Mayor's house and birded a bit more in the area until the sun set. Our last bird for the day was a Purple Swamphen perched atop some bare branches.
|The Purple Swamphen in the purple sunset.|
With night settling in, we drove home but not before getting dinner and of course making our birdlist. We saw a total of 47 species that afternoon in Candaba, just before Christmas =)