5 a.m.—I woke up and thanked the Lord for another beautiful day. I fixed my sleeping bag and washed up before going to the campsite kitchen for some hot coffee.
5:30 a.m.—I did my early morning ritual which includes stretching and warming up.
6 a.m.—I started trekking to check on mist nets early for bats and birds caught in the nets. I passed by trap lines hoping for lucky rodents or new species caught in those bulky cage traps.
7 a.m.—I trekked back to campsite with my bird bag loaded with of bats, birds, rodents and herps (reptiles and amphibians).
Afterwards, I had breakfast of noodles, rice, corned beef and eggs—the usual breakfast during long surveys.
8:30 a.m.—We went through the specimen processing, bat identification and biometrics process where we had to record the total length, tail length, forearm, hind foot, ear, weight, sex, age of the species. After the measurements, bats are nursed with sugared water solution for them to regain their energy and hanged in lines for release.
11 a.m.—Now its time for mist net check for birds. With care, the caught birds were taken out of the nets, and then placed in bird bags to the camp site. We took pictures and measurements, and we let the birds fly.
12 p.m.—It’s time for lunch. We had some canned goods like tuna and some herbs and veggies from the forest.
1:30 p.m.—Checked the nets again for little birdies before heading back to the camp to continue the specimen processing.
4 p.m.—Prepared new trap lines with fresh, peanut butter glazed coconut for the rodents. It’s too bad we won’t get to have a portion of it.
5:30 p.m.—Checked the birdies for the last time before having an early dinner. We had canned goods again. We realize that we eat a lot of preservatives during surveys.
6:30 p.m.—Now its time to watch the net for bats. These insect bats go out early evenings so we have to watch the nets, and get them before they break our nets with their sharp teeth and yes, these sharp teeth could bite fingers too.
8 p.m.—Finally, its time to go back to camp. We prepared specimen for tomorrow so we process them. To get ready for bed, my common habit it’s to freshen up, wash off the smelly bat odor, and brush my teeth.
9 p.m.—After a day’s work, I feel tired. Thankfully, it’s once again time for bed.
The writer is Haribon’s researcher under the Forest and Climate Protection (FORCLIM) Project in Panay.