I WASN’T a member of Haribon Foundation when I experienced my first activity in July 2013. It was a bird watching activity in UP Diliman, and it was my first time to get to know the organization and meet its members.
After that event, I was interested to become a member of the organization. But for reasons unknown, I was only able to process my membership last July 2014. And so last Saturday, December 6, I attended an activity, now as a full pledged Haribon member. Coincidentally, it was bird watching for the second time.
We went to the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area or the LPPCHEA. Though the place still smells like sewage, it seemed to me as the cleanest district along Manila bay, and is considered a bird sanctuary in Metro Manila. It was a perfect time to do bird watching since this is the season when migratory birds enter the country.
Our team composed of the Haribon staff, members, and board of trustees, started at around 6:40 a.m. First species that we saw were a group of terns, commonly seen in the area. We ended at the Freedom Island by 10:15 a.m., and the last bird that I personally saw was an egret.
All in all, we heard two species of birds, the White-eared Brown-dove, and Philippine Coucal, and saw 31 other species. The species that I was flabbergasted to see was the White-throated kingfisher because of its colorful feathers. It was such a great sight to see this kind of bird up close, especially with my trusted binoculars.
During the activity, I was hoping to see a Philippine Duck because I hear they are to be found in LLPCHEA. During the last 30 minutes of the activity, we were still in search for the duck. And so I accepted the fact that we may not be able to see any on that day.
But when we were about to go back to our starting point—‘lo and behold—we saw the Philippine Duck. Not just one, but there were four of them—and flying, too. I may not have seen them up close, but at least we have seen a flock.
I had a great time in my first activity as a Haribon member, not to mention that I have a number of lifers. I am grateful to become part of Haribon, and I am looking forwarding to more activities next year!