Tamino, Mike Lu, Jon Villasper and Allan Fernando
Time: 5:45am-8:00 am
Weather: Fair weather with clear skies
remembered my friend Larry made a joke about the blue eagle and
asked if I knew an animal with the scientific name Ateneos azureus.
I wasn't able to get the joke because I was thinking that it was
a serious question. How slow of me...
to Mike Lu who managed to pick me up at 5am in Ortigas, we were
able to reach Ateneo campus before sunrise. Fortunately I was able
to see a tall guy lugging a backpack and a pair of binocs at the
admin building after fetching a pair of sneakers at the dorm. Well
if I didn't see the binoculars I would have left geographer Jon
Villasper figuring out where we were from the campus road map. But
then the binocs were a dead give away. We joined Allan (whom I met
for the first time) and Mike so we could head out to the wildlife
sanctuary near the main gate but after observing some LONG-TAILED
SHRIKES. For first time birders I really do recommend Ateneo or
UP birding since the common birds really fly so near, you can see
a lot of detail and study diagnostic characters easily.
WILDLIFE SANCTUARY AT GATE THREE
(southern edge of the baseball field):
saw the WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN really quick at the lagoon drainage
of Lambingan bridge (that's what my students call that small arc
of concrete walk). It was really elusive as compared to accounts
of the waterhens in UP Diliman. Then we went back to meet with Gil
who at first said he was lost in the middle of the parking lot?
drove us to the Manila Observatory and we birded the area at around
6:45. Spotted two ZEBRA DOVES right ahead of the narrow cemented
path. Then we went nearer the clump of acacia, star apple and mango
trees. At one of the grass clusters was an immature BROWN SHRIKE,
which may get some confused since it seem to be like a grass bird
in color, shape and form. But diagnostics such as the black mask
on the eye is unmistakable and the movement of the tail which seem
to look like it's being rotated in a circular motion was observed,
while grassbirds move their tails up and down in a vertical axis
only. At a flowering acacia tree were 4 flowerpeckers, one with
white belly and lime-green and brown upper parts, the other three
with all yellow belly and the same colouring on the upper parts---the
Pgymy Flowerpeckers? which need to be IDed again since they were
flitting so fast we couldn't see them well. Musical birds were the
PIED FANTAILS numbering more than 5 individuals, YELLOW-VENTED BULBULS
numbering more than 10 individuals, some EURASIAN TREE SPARROWS
and more Long -tailed Shrikes. Of course the shrill cries coming
from a pair of WHITE-COLLARED KINGFISHERS caught our attention.
We were able to see more details of its form: the crown is really
glossy and really dark blue and the size is bigger than 5 inches.
Our last ID was for 2 STRIATED GRASSBIRDS perched on an open electrical
we didn't want to take a shortcut through the barbed wire fence,
we went back and drove to the Jesuit Residence. At least I am relieved
to have more than 5 species on the list since I was short of being
embarrassed by the paucity of birds. In 1998, Perry Ong and company
recorded 27 species for the Ateneo including an 4 escaped Colasisis
(published in Science Diliman 1st half of the year, 1999).
(north east from the intersection at Gate 3):
the JR we did birding at the forest patch alongside and heard the
call of a BLACK NAPED ORIOLE. I think I'll wait for Allan to confirm
his sighting for a certain bird. Was it in this area that you saw
the emerald dove? Some silence then, the sound of a Black-naped
Oriole again, yellow-vented bulbuls and Pied Fantails in flight.
I heard a soft familiar sound somewhere and the drilling sound of
a PHILIPPINE PGYMY-WOODPECKER. Suddenly I knew that the best bird
we are about to see was at the private zone (at the back of the
infirmary or the JR building itself). It was my first time to be
in this area so if you reach the no entrance sign, ask permission
from the caretaker that you'll be birding and don't flash a smile
because he might think you're up to no good.
guess I'll leave the WHITE COCKATOO details to Gil who was happy
to have seen such exotic species thrive in this little forest patch
with the grounds of Loyola Memorial Garden down below on the east.
Imagine being in the Ateneo since 2000 with 100% risk of being birdnapped
mainly because of an attention seeking loud "waak-waak." In December
2000, my breadgirl friend and I even named the noisy one as Cocka-one
and its silent partner Cocka-two.
account of the Indonesian Cockatoos
must have been 7:20am when I caught a glimpse of a large white bird
in the ravine as it was gliding away from us northeastwards towards
the perimeter of Loyola Grand Villas. We did not see it again until
a little later and not before we were apprehended by somebody at
the JR garage, saying that we were on private property. Fortunately,
Annette had already requested and received permission from one of
the fathers seated at the entrance of the residence when we arrived.
saw the white bird again, gliding around, not long enough to have
a good look but positive to know that it is a WHITE COCKATOO. I
was already satisfied with the ID and did not expect to see it further.
But Allan excitedly pointed to a banana tree some distance away
in the ravine, and there was Cocka-One perched ona banana leaf and
nibbling on the leaf as well. And partly hidden by the fringes of
another banana leaf was Cocka-two, somewhat less mobile.
two birds stayed on the banana tree for some time for the group
to really look at them, all of smooth white feathers and gray beaks
and feet. We did not see Cocka-three, rumored offspring of Cocka-one
and two, which Annette reported earlier, but I was not only happy,
I was elated !
also saw 4 BARRED RAILS calling like ducks (short, shrill honks)
at the same time down below a little gorge in the same area. More
White-collared Kingfishers here (more than 5 individuals). Calling
the attention of Mike, the small birds we saw with the hanging nest
were probably LEMON THROATED LEAF WARBLERS. You were actually correct
in your description. The diagnostic characters were the whitish-lime
colour of the upper eye and eyebrow rim and the lemon throat (we
agreed it wasn't white) and the tail longer unlike the short rumps
of flowerpeckers. I also checked that it was in the bird list compiled
by Perry Ong et al. in 1998. Their nest was made of soft material,
more like long blades of dry cogon and talahib grass that hung on
the stuck-up leaves of an acacia tree. We also saw a nest made by
the Pied Fantail that was pasted on a tree trunk, this time it was
made of broad dried leaves.
called it breakfast time at 8:00 am with 15 species on our list
and two nests.
1. Barred Rail- 4 in gorge behind Jesuit Residence
2. White-breasted Waterhen- 1 adult, found in vicinity of Wildlife
Sanctuary along Gate 3
3. Zebra Doves- 2, found at the Manila Observatory
Cockatoo- 2 adults, found at the Jesuit Residence
5. White-collared Kingfisher >5, numerous in vicinity of the
6. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker- heard at Jesuit Residence
7. Yellow-vented Bulbuls >10 found except at the SEC area
8. Black-naped Oriole- heard at Jesuit Residence
9. Lemon-throated Leaf Warbler- 2 adults with nest at Jesuit Residence
10. Striated Grassbirds- 2 , found at the Manila Observatory
11. Pied Fantails >5, found MO and Jesuit Residence
12. Brown Shrikes- 2 (1 immature, 2 adult), found only in Manila
Observatory and Jesuit Residence
13. Long-tailed Shrikes >10, found in all 4 areas
14. Eurasian Tree Sparrows >5, except in the Jesuit Residence
15. Pygmy Flower Peckers- 4 at the MO*
not 100% confident ID