Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Local Name(s) : Lawin (Luzon), Da-pay (Negros)
Photographed @ Mount Palay Palay, Cavite, Philippines
November 8, 2009

This bird is rarely seen perched, unless you are in a zoo, and is commonly seen soaring way up high during mid-day sun-bathing while in flight. But me and a birding buddy got lucky! 🙂

It was after lunch, and almost 2pm already, when we realized that we have yet to shoot our first bird for the day. We have been out on this sortie  since 4:00am driving from Manila to Cavite together with other bird photographers from PBPF.

Disappointed and tired, Dennis and I said “tara … uwian na”. With the camera on my lap, we decided to drive by the area we thought the Mt Palay Palay fairy keeps her treasures before we start driving back home. As I slow down the vehicle as we approach the area, all of a sudden,  a loud flapping of wings and a huge shadow pass by overhead. With still engine on, we were left motionless as the shadow flew away. “@#$%^ .. sayang yun a!!!” was all we could whisper. A familiar raptor, flew and disappeared.

But as I peer through my side of the open window, something looked familiar perched on a tree and is staring at me. With the rush of adrenalin, pulled the handbrake and KACHUG .. instant silence ..  engine noise went dead… I forgot to put the gears on neutral when I released the clutch!!!.

Then “pare meron pang isa”. And there was a total rush of adrenalin for me and my birding buddy Dennis. I instantly reached out the camera on my lap and there a burst of shutters drowned the silence as the large raptor hops from one branch to another. Then I said to Dennis, “pare … exposure check!” and resumed the shooting spree until the beautiful raptor flew. We could not believe what just happened. We were able to photograph a Brahminy Kite on a perch.

We decided to call it a day as the captures that we had of the raptor were more than enough to energize us for a week. But as we thought we were about to go home, the good fairy of Mt. Palay Palay just showered us with her avian treasures. We thought it was time to go home, but it was actually just the start of our birding day. We finally called it a day more than 3 hours later.

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