November 13, 2005
Site: South Reclamation Project, Cebu
Site Qualifier: Lake Area
Time: 1520H to 1700H
Weather: One half cloud cover, hot afternoon
Observer: Nilo Arribas Jr., and Frederick
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Equipment Used: 10x42 binoculars, Kennedy
et al. guide book
initially planned a birding trip with my 1-year old son
in the South Reclamation Project (SRP) here in Cebu City.
It turned out that I will have to do it myself for some
reason. I got an SMS message confirmation from Fred Kintanar
earlier about the SRP birding trip. I thought he would not
show up based on my experience with first time birders who
make last minute cancellations even while in Manila. I was
wrong, he was there in the meeting place way ahead of me!!
I took the boat ferry from Mactan to Pier 3 of Cebu.
I wanted to take advantage of the good weather and
the boat ride to take a peek at the mangrove patches
between Mactan and Cordova. Just as I suspected, there
were a lot of bird activities starting from Mactan
Naval Operating Base towards the general direction
of Cordova. This should be a good place to visit later
for another survey .
ferry route gave me a pair of Whiskered Tern, a lone
Brahminy Kite, a Common sandpiper, White-collared
Kingfisher and flocks of flying egrets and terns too
distant for positive IDs.
a few minutes the SRP-scape is already in sight. I
spotted a Lesser coucal along the tall grasses and
a flock of Zebra doves foraging on the ground. Construction
materials can be seen along the highway leading to
the Sugbo bldg.. This is a clear signal that major
development in the area is already in the pipeline.
short walk to the bldg., gave me a close view of a
pair of Yellow wagtails.
was not so difficult to spot Fred since his car is
the only one parked just outside the bldg. Unlike
the past trips where SRP is alive with picnickers
and enterprising vendors, this time its practically
deserted except for the guard on duty.
a brief introduction, we wasted no time and proceed to the
mini lake. In our leisure walk, I learned that Fred is also
into outdoor activities before. He was also prepared for
this trip with his Kennedy guide and binoculars. The first
bird for us is a Brown shrike followed by Whiskered terns
and Wagtails. We also spotted the initial flock of about
21 Chestnut munias. Barn swallows were also abundant.
the bird that really made my day... a group of three Philippine
ducks suddenly appeared from the east. At first I can't
believe that I'm seeing the endemic duck here. This is Cebu
city which has a healthy community of game hunters. I was
even thinking if I should write this sightings here. Last
year, I posted a report about the nine Whistling ducks and
they all vanished afterwards. It is unfortunate that some
people have invested much in hunting gears while a good
pair of waterproof and nitrogen-filled binoculars can
be had for a fraction of the cost. These should allow them
to hunt indefinitely without blood. Or if they really are
up to the challenge, move to wild bird photography!!
of these hunters are professionals, managers even,
but for some strange reasons, can't comprehend the
fact that these wild birds should be given space
to breed and increase their dwindling population.
rest of the afternoon was spent exploring further
the banks of the mini-lake. Birding is sometimes
not about the number of species seen but the quality.
The sight of the Philippine ducks really made this
one of the best birding trips at SRP. Now I know
that we need not travel 3 hours to Argao just to
see these wonderful ducks found only in the Philippines.
NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME)
Little Egret [ Egretta garzetta ] - 7
2. Yellow Bittern [ Ixobrychus sinensis ] -2
3. Philippine Duck [ Anas luzonica ] -3
4. Brahminy Kite [ Haliastur indus ] -1, seen
near the pier
5. Barred Rail [ Gallirallus torquatus ] -H.O.
6. Common Moorhen [ Gallinula chloropus ] -1
7. Common Sandpiper [ Actitis hypoleucos ] -1, along a fuel
8. Whiskered Tern [ Chlidonias hybridus ] - 15+
9. Zebra Dove [ Geopelia striata ] - 5
10. Lesser Coucal [ Centropus bengalensis ] -1
11. White-collared Kingfisher [ Todirhamphus chloris ] -2
12. Barn Swallow [ Hirundo rustica ] - 10+
13. Striated Grassbird [ Megalurus palustris ] -3
14. Yellow Wagtail [ Motacilla flava ] - 100+,
seen singly or in huge flocks
15. Brown Shrike [ Lanius cristatus ] - 5
16. Eurasian Tree Sparrow [ Passer montanus ] - 4
17. Scaly-breasted Munia [ Lonchura punctulata ] -3
18. Chestnut Munia [ Lonchura malacca ] -50+