Sunday, January 17, 2016

Watching Wildlife at a Parking Lot

The lone dove in a long parking lot
The bird was first trying to flee my attention 
It is not the ideal pastime I know.  But every time I see wildlife in an urban setting I could not help myself. This time I saw some local doves which are much smaller than the domesticated pigeons used as pets.  I believe they are locally named bato-bato but I am not sure as I heard there are several pigeons and doves native to the Philippines.  But most Pinoys find them drab or don't mind them and probably could not tell them apart from the common maya bird. 

Bato-bato are small but are larger than the ubiquitous maya. They are still quite numerous around Manila. You just have to be a little observant to spot them, as I am that hot Sunday afternoon. As I alighted my sister's car I caught glimpse of one hopping around the parking lot in the CCP complex. I try to get a better view of it but once it saw me it tried to flee and create more distance between the two of us. When it reached the back end of another vehicle, a red SUV, it was joined by another bato-bato
Another dove showed up!
I was probably about 50 meters from the two doves and at the corner of my eye I could see a feral cat entering my field of view. It was creeping in slow, probably watching the pair of birds with a keen eye.  It went under a stainless vehicle a few slots away from the SUV. The cat was thinning out its distance from the birds.  
The pouncing cat
I am a cat person, but of course this time I am at the side of the birds.  It reminded me of the Tweety-Bird and Sylvester-Cat chases in the Looney Tunes cartoons of my childhood. But with wildlife as a rule you could never interfere with interaction, even if it is happening in an urban setting.  But it appears the birds do not need my help as before the cat could approach the nearest vehicle to the SUV, they were already scampering and eventually flying away from the scene.  Seems like the bato-bato doves have more challenges apart from habitat loss to urbanization  But fortunately they manage. A good thing to know especially because my sister and I did not find anything great in the flea market we went to and this was the excitement of my afternoon. Hahaha!     

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