Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Getting My Birding Juju Back

It has been a while since I last blogged mainly because it has been a while since I was out in the field. I guess the horrible experience of seeing a Colasisi die made me a bit hesitant to go out again. I even feared for the pair of Pied Fantails in our front yard when I saw some of the neighborhood kids pay attention to it. They disappeared that afternoon and I could feel a sense of foreboding creeping in. Thankfully, they returned the next morning =)

I have gone out on short trips with Jops and some of our friends, but there was still a sense of negativity and expectation of something bad to happen. I guess due to that bad juju, I didn't get to see much birds on those trips.

Fast forward to last Sunday. The WBCP partnered with the Philippine Eagle Foundation and the Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR) to celebrate the 16th Philippine Eagle Week.

The tent area for the event

Jops and I signed up to be volunteer guides for the bird walks in the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center and for the first time in a long while, I was excited to bird. =)

Spotting some Philippine Pied Fantails

It wasn't as birdy as we would have wanted it to be but I really enjoyed the morning bird walk. Even if we didn't see many species, it was refreshing to see the delighted expressions of the brand new birders as they discover new birds in the city. And since birds were few and far between, even the Yellow-vented Bulbuls were a source of excitement when they did finally show.

After the bird walk, we were able to attend the morning lectures and listen to friends share their experience seeing the Philippine Eagle. It was very nice to hear them reliving their experiences, as if they were bringing us back with them to the time they saw the eagle.

Ixi shared her Philippine Eagle experience in Davao
Arnel shared his Philippine Eagle experience in Zamboanga

Listening to their amazing stories made me think when will Jops and I get to have our own Philippine Eagle experience. Soon, hopefully. GAME! =)

After the lectures, we went outside to help in the activity booths. There was coloring, sticker tattoos, and origami for the kids who dropped by the tents while a tree walk and a tour of the rescue center was ongoing.

Bird origami
The coloring booth with naughty boys and
prim and proper girls =P

As always, I enjoyed chatting with the kids, answering their questions and trying to teach them about caring for birds and the environment. And then it was time for lunch!

The birders had a fun picnic lunch under the trees, chatting and laughing and getting distracted by a Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker who decided to perch low and very near us while we were all eating.

Picnic time!
Photo by Jops

The afternoon was also filled with activities: lectures, a raptor tour, and another bird walk. While waiting for the 4pm bird walk, I sat again at the coloring booth and spent some time with a group of kids.

The afternoon bird walk wasn't any birdier than the morning walk but we did see a different set of birds. The Striated Herons and Common Moorhens were out in the pond giving even the kids good views through the scope.

As we ended the day, I was tired but at the same time recharged. It wasn't a hard core birding trip, but it was more than enough to get my birding juju back! On to the next adventure!


  1. Last month I was on the outage from birding. Conflict between groups of people and politicians in Thailand came to the verge of a civil war. Situation so tense until finally, when there was a coup, people sigh a relief.

    1. I hope you are all safe there in Thailand.