May 25, 2003
Weather: Overcast, rain, strong winds
by Mads Bajarias
ago I pitched a story idea to a magazine about birds in Mount
Makiling. However I'm in a rut and couldn't get a fresh, interesting-enough
angle. Hoping to rid of the writer's block I went to Makiling
just when the big storm was beginning to hit. The jeepneys
to forestry were slow to fill so I decided to walk from "crossing"
to forestry instead. Winds tore at my puny umbrella and the
campus looked deserted. By 7:00 am I was at the entrance to
the Botanic Garden. There was no one so I let myself in. The
entire town must still be curled up in bed and I was asking
myself "What am I doing here!"
a few hours in the Botanic Garden I walked a bit of the way
up until the Flat Rocks marker and turned left in an unmarked
trail where I saw a nest. It was a loose arrangement of twigs,
rather flimsy-looking. There was a single egg in it. Pigeon's?
I was afraid the egg would fall any moment. In my mind's eye,
I saw the tree swaying in the typhoon, the egg rolling this
way and that in the nest, stopping just before the edge, millimeters
here's what I saw:
Guiabero (2) -- On the left-hand trail opposite Flat Rocks.
2. Red-crested Malkoha (6) -- Calling "chuk---chuk---chuk."
3. Scale-feathered Malkoha (1) -- Heard calling: "kissss mi!---kissss
4. Lesser Coucal (1)
5. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker (1) -- Heard only. Makes a
loud noise for so small a creature.
6. Philipine Bulbul -- Still conspicuous as ever and always
7. Balicassiao (5-10) -- Three were aggressive near the stream
down the Botanic
their loud noises and swooped over my head until I was out
of their territory. This is first time I have been "attacked"
by birds. Were they guarding a nest? Why three?
the behavior interesting.
Blue-headed Fantail(1) -- "tsip-tsip-tsip-tsip."
9. Red-keeled Flowerpecker(1) -- This species is always in
the large tree outside the gate.