Maritess saw a bird disappear into a clump of hyacinth
as it swam. "I see a small duck!" She enthused."If
it's small, it must be panduck!" I joked. Mike
was not amused as he trained his scope into the direction.
Then a bird appeared from the clump as it swam majestically
towards us. It was a Common Moorhen. It looked so
elegant as it glided on its own reflection on the
water. It was like two birds swimming in harmony,
one upright, the other, inverse.
looks like two hens mating" I mused. Mike was
pair of White-breasted Waterhens sunned themselves
by flapping their wings in rhythm close to the base
of the platform. They were so close, there was no
need to use binoculars to see them clearly.
the delight of Prop Jerry, there were indeed Black
Bitterns around! The yellow streaks running up their
necks were quite evident now. These had never been
sighted within Metro Manila! Mike had his scope on
one black bittern, when what should peek into the
had big triangular red beak at the tip of its big
head at the end of a grayish, redish blue neck!
was a Purple Swamphen!
explorers had a double whammy for the day!
Prop Jerry saw a second one to the west, and then
a third one in its finest glory, full bodied, sunning
and preening itself on top of some hyacinth!
"With its big head and awkward plump body, it
looks like a small Dodo bird!" said Maritess.
can be quite dramatic but we hope she is not prophetic.
We do not want this beautifully awkward looking bird
to go the way of the dodo. According to Mike, the
Purple Swamphen for the last few years in Candaba
until early this year.
Jerry and Mike also recalled that long ago and far
away, Laguna de Bay teemed with Pelicans. These are
said to be now extinct in the Philippines.
were glad to learn from the boatmen that the people
around the area did not hunt the birds. We did spot
people of top of poles with air guns. However, we
were advised that these people were hunting for tilapia.
We were incredulous at first but they pointed out
that if these birds were indeed hunted we would not
be seeing them displaying themselves, quite impervious
to our presence, like they do now.
know what? I believe them, after all they have allowed
the black bittern and the purple swamphen and the
countles of other birds in this teeming area to survive.