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Raptor Count - April 5, 2012

SITE/ LOCALITY: Tanay PAGASA station
BARANGAY:  Mayagay, Tanay
CITY:
PROVINCE:   Rizal
ISLAND:

START DATE:  05 April 2012
END DATE:      05 April 2012

START TIME:   0800H to 1600H
TIME IN FIELD:  8 hours

Name of Birder (REPORTER):  Alex Tiongco
Other Birders Present:  Marites Cervero, Martin Johnson, Boy Ochavo
# of Birders Present:   4


April 5, the weather was mostly sunny but with scattered
showers.... and we were blessed with a rainbow !
The cumulus clouds were ideal for raptor movement.

Weather:
Wind was almost constant varying between 7-11 kph, blowing NE in the morning then E at 1100H then SE from 1130 onwards.

Cloud cover -In the early morning the sky was almost cloudless but at 8AM some clouds developed in all the horizons covering 20% which moved up to 80% cover as the day progressed,  dark rainclouds around noon. Rain developed in some parts at 1 PM first on the west then north then northeast.

Temperature - varied little at around 80 degrees throughtout the watch. Atmospheric pressure also varied little at around 940 - even with rain on the other parts of the area.

BIRDLIST:  Total number of Raptors sighted - 2,676

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus    4
Oriental Honey-buzzard  Pernis ptilorhyncus  689
Chinese Goshawk  Accipiter soloensis  1,873
Grey-faced Buzzard  Butastur indicus    82
Crested Serpent Eagle  Spilornis cheela   1 (seen many times and at different places but we agreed to count them only as one).
Unidentified  raptor sp.   27

Other migratory birds seen:
Blue throated Bee-eater   Merops viridis   29 (many were heard between 1100H to 1400H but we did not look for them so only 29 were seen heading dead north)
Barn swallow  Hirundo rustica    4  

Observations:

All the birds seen in the morning were heading NE and were noticed on the eastern side of the tower. Only the Ospreys were heading N and flying overhead.

First sighting 0814H - 80 Oriental Honey-buzzard
Last sighting 1545H -- around 200 Chinese Goshawk

There could have been more prior to 0814H but we were not there nor were we set up before 0800H. There definitly were more after 1545H but we were all so battle weary and too thirsty to hang on - more volunteers are needed.

Between 1130-1545H birds were noticed flying overhead towards the north but the flights on the eastern side towards the NE continued. We would have missed some earlier flights overhead as we were concentrating on the easter side. So it would help to send somebody around to observe in a regular basis.  

On one occassion there were many Oriental Honey-buzzard  thermalling over head then one was seen floating west as the others headed north. On another occassion, one went back south as the others headed north. We also observed 2 Oriental Honey-buzzard displaying the classic wing windows and much elongated necks streaming north.

The most number of Oriental Honey-buzzards were seen between 0800-0900 H and from 1400-1500H
The most number of Grey-faced Buzzards were noted beween 1100 and 1200H
The flow of Chinese Goshawks  were pretty well distributed throughout the day.
Ospreys were active mostly in the morning.