Tonette Orejas, Inquirer
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:23:00 01/14/2010
Filed Under: Animals, Environmental
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Two new species
of globetrotting birds have been seen at the Candaba Swamp
ahead of the 2010 Asian Waterbirds Census on Jan. 17.
Mallard (with green head) amongst a flock of Philippine
Ducks and Garganey.
The additions to the swamp’s rare,
or new, residents are a Mallard (wild duck) and a Grey-headed
Lapwing, said Michael Lu, president of the Wild Bird Club
of the Philippines (WBCP).
The Mallard was photographed by Tonji and
Sylvia Ramos, while the Lapwing by Luis Limchiu, according
to a report from Leny Manalo, chief of staff of Candaba Mayor
The birds were seen in late December until
the first week of January, Lu said in a telephone interview.
While new in Candaba, the Mallard and Lapwing
have been seen on three different occasions in various parts
of the Philippines .
The Great Bittern, on the other hand, was
seen again in Candaba starting last year, Manalo said. Photographed
by Romy Ocon, it was the fourth time that it has been found
roaming in the Philippines .
Lu said the population of migratory birds,
while down to 12,613 last year in three major spots here,
has grown to be “more diverse.”
He said more species have been seen because
there are more bird watchers now.
“Also the structure of the habitat
has changed. There are more rice fields now but there is a
concentration of marshlands,” Lu said.
The Pelayos stopped cultivating the property,
devoting it as home to birds escaping winter in China , Siberia
, New Zealand and other parts of Asia from October to February.
The census on Jan. 17 will be done jointly
by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the WBCP.
The census, which started in 2006, is held before Candaba’s
Ibon Ebon Festival on Feb. 5 and 6.
The sighting of the rare Black-faced Spoonbill,
Pied Avocet, Black-browed Reed-warbler and Eurasian Spoonbill
gave the Candaba Swamp and the Philippines records in bird
The Candaba Swamp is one of five wetlands
in Central Luzon . The others are the Paitan Lake in Cuyapo
and Pantabangan Dam, both in Nueva Ecija; Puerto Rivas in
Balanga City; and Consuelo in Macabebe, also in Pampanga.
In Bataan, the wetlands in Balanga City counted
18,679 birds on Sunday, up by almost 4,000 from those found
in 2009, DENR records showed.
Among the common species found in the park
are the Asian Golden Plover and Kentish Plover.
Seen also in the coastal villages of Tortugas,
Sibacan, Puerto Rivas Ibaba and Puerto Rivas Itaas were Whiskered
Tern, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Heron and Black-headed
Lu said the increase in the number of birds
in Balanga City may have been due to the establishment of
a wetland park there by Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III and
the city council.