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Bicol River Estuary, Camarines Sur

SITE/LOCALITY: Bicol River Estuary
BARANGAY:
CITY:
PROVINCE: Camarines Sur
ISLAND: Luzon
START DATE: 1/17/2012
END DATE: 1/19/2012
START TIME:
TIME IN FIELD: 18 hours
NAME OF BIRDER(REPORTER): Felix Servita
OTHER BIRDERS PRESENT: Leni Sutcliffe, Menandro Benavides Jr, Cristina Cinco, Arnel Telesforo, and local guides Awe & Lito
# OF BIRDERS PRESENT:  7
ENVIRONMENT CONDITION: Generally sunny
TRIP NOTES: Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) – Bicol River Estuary


Fishponds at Calabanga

The Bicol River Estuary AWC covered the Camarines Sur towns of Cabusao, Calabanga, and Magarao.  The Bicol River Estuary includes mangrove forests, marshes, fishponds, rice fields and a long stretch of coastal mudflats along San Miguel Bay.  The brackish waters of San Miguel Bay are rich with small shrimps (alamang) and anchovies (dilis).  Roads along the coastal towns are either covered with palay or small shrimps being sun dried.  Thousands of migratory ducks mostly Northern Shovelers, Garganeys and Northern Pintails were in feeding frenzy across San Miguel Bay probably feasting on small shrimps and anchovies.  The resident ducks - the Philippine Duck and the Wandering Whistling Duck - are mostly found in inland marshes and lagoons. The coastal mudflats, rice fields and fishponds teem with waders, egrets and other shorebirds.  Just like the waterbirds, the livelihood of thousands of small fishermen and farmers depend on the good condition and health of the Bicol River Estuary.


(L-R) Arnel Telesforo, 2 guides,
Leni Sutcliffe, Felix Servita,
Tinggay Cinco

In Magarao town, a local doctor and farmer informed us that he saw a spoonbill last October; this was likely to have been a Eurasian Spoonbill based on his descriptions.

The Magarao marshland was sadly lacking in birds.  This was caused by the preparations for a barangay fiesta, which included hunting/fishing with dogs for crabs and shrimps in the wetland., and the frequent use of firecrackers to keep birds away from the ripening rice.  The area planted to rice has expanded greatly since the WBCP’s last visit.  We understood from a local farmer that other areas are for sale.

In the bird list below, the species listed in the AWC count form are underlined; the total count for them is 21,186.  The overall count for the entire trip is 22,175.

BIRDLIST:

  1. Great Frigatebird Fregata minor - 1
  2. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea - 8
  3. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea - 21
  4. Great Egret Ardea alba - 25
  5. Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia  - 1
  6. Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes - 2
  7. Little Egret Egretta garzetta - 50
  8. Little Heron (Striated Heron) Butorides striata - 1
  9. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis - 56
  10. Rufous Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus - 1
  11. Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus - 1
  12. Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis - 3
  13. Egret sp. Egretta sp. - 900
  14. Pond-heron sp. Ardeola sp. - 7
  15. Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata  - 106
  16. Northern Pintail Anas acuta - 90
  17. Philippine Duck Anas luzonica - 10
  18. Garganey Anas querquedula - 560
  19. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata - 2150
  20. Duck sp. – 8800, spread across San Miguel Bay too far for identification
  21. Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus - 2
  22. Eastern Marsh-Harrier Circus spilonotus  - 1
  23. Barred Rail Gallirallus torquatus - 5
  24. White-browed Crake Porzana cinerea - 2
  25. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus - 4
  26. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus - 24
  27. Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio  - 6
  28. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola  - 34
  29. Asian Golden-Plover (Pacific Golden-Plover) Pluvialis fulva  - 2000
  30. Little Ringed-Plover Charadrius dubius - 54
  31. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus - 71
  32. Greater Sand-Plover Charadrius leschenaultii  - 5
  33. Little Curlew Numenius minutus  - 1
  34. Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus - 1
  35. Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica - 1
  36. Common Redshank Tringa totanus  - 5
  37. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia  - 458
  38. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola  - 60
  39. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis  - 120
  40. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos  - 18
  41. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinerea  - 19
  42. Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes  - 3
  43. Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres  - 6
  44. Rufous-necked Stint (Red-necked Stint ) Calidris ruficollis  - 12
  45. Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus – 80,
  46. Wader/ Shorebird sp. - 2500
  47. Sandpiper sp Tringa sp. - 1000
  48. Snipe sp. Gallinago sp. - 7
  49. Stint sp. Calidris sp. - 50
  50. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus  - 1200
  51. Black-headed Gull (Common Black-headed Gull) Larus ridibundus  - 8
  52. Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica  - 1
  53. Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus  - 300
  54. Tern sp. Sternidae sp. - 400
  55. Pink-necked Green-Pigeon Treron vernans - 25
  56. White-eared Brown-Dove Phapitreron leucotis - 1
  57. Philippine Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia tenuirostris - 2
  58. Red Turtle-Dove (Red Collared-Dove) Streptopelia tranquebarica - 95
  59. Spotted Dove (Spotted-necked Dove) Streptopelia chinensis - 29
  60. Zebra Dove Geopelia striata - 8
  61. Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus - 1
  62. Philippine Coucal Centropus viridis - 5
  63. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis - 1
  64. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis - 1
  65. White-collared Kingfisher (Collared Kingfisher) Todirhamphus chloris - 9
  66. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica - 56
  67. Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica - x
  68. Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis  - 4
  69. Golden-bellied Flyeater Gerygone sulphurea -1, more heard
  70. Clamorous Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus - 4
  71. Oriental Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis - 3
  72. Tawny Grassbird Megalurus timoriensis - 2
  73. Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris - 7
  74. Grey-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus derbianus – 6, HO
  75. Warbler sp. Syllvidae sp. 5
  76. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava - 1
  77. Richard's Pipit (Paddyfield Pipit or Oriental Pipit) Anthus richardi - 3
  78. White-breasted Wood-swallow Artamus leucorynchus - 75
  79. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus - 6
  80. Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis - 1
  81. Lowland White-eye Zosterops meyeni - 2
  82. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus - 151
Chestnut Munia (Black-headed Munia) Lonchura malacca - 481