Sunday, July 30, 2017

Purple Reign

Sunbirds are always popular among birders because of their colorful plumage.  One of my favorites is the Purple-throated Sunbird.  Unfortunately, I have not seen them in Coron.  I first saw the bird in Bohol in October 2015, however, as (bad) luck would have it, I was not able to get good photos. So when I heard that the Purple-throated Sunbird, (PTSB), had returned to Prof. Tirso Paris' Secret Garden, I wasted no time in asking permission if I could go there.  As it turned out, WBPP co-founder, Rey Sta. Ana, also wanted to go.  So on July 24, Monday, we went to Los Banos.  We arrived that the "secret garden" at around 7:40am.  

The entrance to Prof Tirso's Secret Garden, where the Purple-throated Sunbird Reigns supreme.

We could hear birds chirping.  So we immediately set up our cameras and tripods, checked our settings and settled down to wait.  Prof. Tirso, the ever helpful host, pointed to us the bird's favorite perches. Then he bade us goodbye because he and his wife, Thelma, had an errand to run.

Several minutes after Prof. Tirso left, the female PTSB showed up, followed by the male a few seconds later.  The time on the camera was 8:56am.  

Purple-throated Sunbird, male.

Followed by appearances at 9:40am (a brief one), and at 9:54am, 10:27am, 12:13pm and 1:29pm.  Here are some more images that I was able to create.

The male Purple-throated Sunbird

In between the appearances of the male, the female Purple-throated Sunbird also showed up.  

Purple-throated Sunbird.

Fearing the dreaded Metro Manila rush hour, we reluctantly left Los Banos at around 2:45pm.

Saturday, July 29, was the celebration of Prof. Tirso's 70th birthday.  We were invited to his Birthday Party at lunch at their newly acquired and renovated resort, Likas.  However, because we are bird nuts, we left Manila at 5am so we could have the the opportunity to bird either at Prof irso's Garden, TREES, Makiling Botanical Graden or IRRI,  I wanted to go to either TREES or IRRI.  But, IRRI needed the presence of Prof Tirso, and knowing how busy he will be due to the party, I withdrew my request to bird at IRRI.  As it turned out, some guys did bird at IRRI.  Anyway, Rey and I were the first to arrive at the garden and we set up our tripods.  Soon, we were joined by WBPP President Win Paler, and other WBPP fellows namely, Ed Santos, Capt. Floyd Bermejo, my Thailand roommate, Conrad Olayres, Olanski Balbido, Steve Albano, Keith Sundiang and Djop Tabaranza.  A pleasant and welcome presence was Maia Tanedo who I always credit for getting me into birding. Eleven people came to pay homage to the Purple one. Plus, Edgar, Win's driver and constant birding companion totaled twelve people.  And as with large groups, noise cannot be avoided. But it is always fun to see old and new faces.

The female made its first appearance at 8:54am and just like our previous encounter, the male followed a split second later.  But the birds stayed only briefly, perhaps it was because of our large group, or because the banana blossoms and other plants were uprooted by the recent typhoon and not as fresh or abundant with nectar, or the winds were strong, or a combination of all these.  I was able to take single burst of six shots of the male, and a few more of the female.

Still we waited and waited and waited...but the birds did not re-appear.  Soon it was time to head to the resort for the party where we were joined by Ven Rojas and Karen Acut at lunch. Just before we left for the party, a Colasisi made a brief appearance and several guys tried to take photos of it.

After a sumptuous lunch, we watched Prof. Tirso introduce everybody, then he got roasted by Ma'am Wilma, to the delight of the crowd.  

Prof. Tirso blowing his birthday cake.

With his wife, Thelma,  children and grand child

Soon, the birders became fidgety and we returned to the secret garden hoping for better shots of the birds.  Alas, the birding gods did not smile at us and by 3:30, with rain clouds threatening, we had no choice but to call it a day.  

Still I am thankful for these two shots...

Sana nag side view... :-)

And enjoyed the camaraderie... wisecracks and all... 

Thank you for your kindness and generosity Prof. Tirso!  Again, Happy Birthday!

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