It’s All Just Fate

This is my first blog entry, and what better way to start my blog than with the story of how I got interested in Birding, before the time I saw my Spark Bird and before I even knew what a Spark Bird was. The story of the first time I went birding.

It was mid-May by this time, I was like any other 13 year old. I would use Facebook and listen to Music all day long, non-stop. I would go to the mall with some friends and throw all my problems away. My cousins then invited me to go to Tagaytay to swim and have fun. It was a bit last minute, but of course I came; I packed-up and went with them, it was quite a long ride and I got a bit bored. We went swimming in a resort or hotel or something (?) but then quickly got bored of the water.

We left the place and we thought of going to Nuvali, I myself have never went there but my cousins say it’s awesome. True enough, it was; we went fish feeding, boat riding and Tristan (Cousin) tried the bikes. We heard that there was a Bird Sanctuary that was owned by Nuvali, even back then I still loved nature a bit, so we went there. The sky looked like it was going to pour any second.

We arrived at Nuvali thinking that we would see hundreds of birds flying in front of us, sadly, that didn’t happen. We went in the Sanctuary and the first wildlife we saw was a cat, and tons of the small common birds that we see everyday. I didn’t know what you call them, back then if I talk abut any bird it’s automatically that one. Then birds flew right above us, yellow-green and yellow and black gorgeous birds. I was stunned by them and the way they flew, not expecting to see those kind of birds. I thought they were absolutely beautiful and graceful in the sky, just flying freely.

We left the Sanctuary and outside a man with a black pick-up, with a huge speaker on top, carrying a very long-lens camera was there, he shared us some knowledge and I am grateful to him (even though he was not observing proper birding ethics due to his loud continuous bird call with his speakers).

While in the car, nearly out of the sanctuary, we saw a medium red bird with bluish green wings and a white throat fly to a telephone wire. I was so surprised to see it!!! It was just perched there for a fair amount of time!!! We watched it and photographed it for a while, it then flew away when the other birder’s pick-up finally caught up with us, and by the time we left Nuvali, it immediately rained.

I got to my cousin’s house, sleeping-over. I searched immediately for the birds that we saw, and I ended up at the WBCP website and found out the species. I stayed up all night in the website, dazzled by the abundance of birds that I have never known of. After that we went birding to some other places, even without the help of guides, like UP Diliman, American Cemetery, La Mesa Ecopark, etc.

Long-tailed Shrike

LONG-TAILED SHRIKE <Photo by Jerome Manalad>
Lifer no. 13 (UP Diliman)

The way I got interested in birding, I believe, is fate. If I didn’t get invited to go to Tagaytay; if we stayed in the pool longer; if we forgot all about Nuvali; if it rained a bit earlier; if I didn’t see the yellow-green and black and yellow birds; I would not have been interested in birding at all.


1. Black-naped Oriole

2. Eurasian Tree Sparrow

3. White-throated Kingfisher

6 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Charles,

    Thanks for following our blog on the Tungtong River Watershed. Feel free to join me and my students at the end of every month when we do our bird surveys in the watershed. We do transect surveys with binoculars as well as capturing bird specimens with mist nets (we do this in collaboration with the Institute of Biology, UP Diliman to whom we forward tissue samples for DNA analysis- don’t worry, the birds are not harmed and are released after only a few minutes in our hands.).

    Send me an email ( if you and your friends are interested in joining our surveys.

    Cheers! (and more power to you as you add to your growing bird list!)


  2. Wonderful birds and interesting little critters … thanks for sharing. And that garbage on the beach .. where does it come from?


    • Hello,
      The garbage on the beach actually comes from the sea. All the trash, sewage waste and litter that was dumped into Manila Bay will sooner or later end up there, washed up by the waves.


  3. Posted by Tristan Manalad on August 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Hey Charles! BTW, I have bad news, the tall grass behind our house were cut! and i have never seen the zitting cisticolas and Bright Capped since then. Good news about the grass cutting thing is that the Water Hens and Barred Rails are now easily seen! (Probably even see quails sometime.) Another bad news is that Barred Rails and White-Breasted Waterhens are not anymore lifers to you. 😦


  4. Posted by Ned on October 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Hope to go birding with you one of these days. From Makati too…along the Tripa de Galina creek…keeping watch on the bird life as usual…


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