Friday, March 06, 2009

First Day on a New Continent


I am in the Philippines on a familiarization tour for birders. I am the only U.S. birder along on this trip with a whole mess of British bird watchers. We've had a good time, despite our many cultural, lingual, and intellectual differences.

We spent much of March 3 birding at Subic Bay, the site of the former U.S. Naval base. I'll post in more detail about the trip in the coming weeks, but for now, a few images from my first day on a new continent: Asia.

We were greeted by school-age dancers who performed a show they'd done earlier in the year for the local bird festival. The Candaba Wetlands are an amazing foraging and stopover point for migrant shorebirds, waders, and waterfowl. I arrived in the Philippines a half-day later than expected and only got to Candaba in time to pack up and leave for Subic.

That night we had a welcome dinner at a fancy restaurant on Subic Bay called The Lighthouse. My friends had a surprise for me: they knew about my birthday and the hotel made me a cheesecake! The lounge singers sang Happy Birthday to me, too, which was really fun.


It's great to have the chance to travel to new places to see birds. It's even better to make new friends and enjoy the company of existing friends while you're traveling after birds.

I'm trying to appreciate each moment and to count those many blessings.

I'd share some bird pix here, but have yet to download what I've taken.
More posts soon, I promise!

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7 Comments:

At 3:46 PM, Blogger littleorangeguy said...

Am I correct in recalling that you are a Cheetos man? Check out the Filipino junk food, especially the addictive little garlic-flavoured corn snack called cornick. Looking forward to your pictures!

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Julie Zickefoose said...

I know how you love cheesecake. That picture of you with the little birdies is so precious!! Reading this post is like food and drink--to see actual proof that our big love is in the Phils at last. Try to stay hydrated, drink water not brewskis, and come home in one piece willya?
From the Houston airport, paying Boingo through the oingo,
yer spaus

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Jeff Gyr said...

Hey Man--

Happy belated birthday, dude! Have a blast over there!

Liz & I are heading out to OH tomorrow for the Adams County Amish festival. Monday, I'm off to Ecuador.

See you one of these days, amigo.

Jeff

 
At 2:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, I'm a fan of your blog, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out you're now in my home country. Makes me want to rush to Subic to ask for an autograph. I'm sure the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (Mike Lu et al) are taking good care of you guys. Those guys are making a heroic, if not desperate, effort to promote the love of birds in the Philippines and save them from poaching and habitat destruction.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

Have fun Bill, heck of a birthday present.
RR

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger dguzman said...

Wow! I just watched an old Nova episode on Mt Pinatubo's eruption in 1991--and how Clark and Subic Bay AFBs both got hit hard. Any evidence left of the ash/lahar/etc?

Happy bday!

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Yes, you are blessed. Count them!

 

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