21 to 24, 2003
was at a church camp in Cabuyao, Laguna from April 21-24.
We stayed at the Institute of Foundational Learning in this
town to the north and is less than an hour's commute from
Los Baños. The place being run and maintained by orphaned
or abandoned children and a few adults is quite interesting.
The community raises chickens, ducks, goats and tilapia and
grow vegetables and rice in their organic farms and plots,
which provide for their daily needs.
businessman owns a very large fishpond beside the community.
The surrounding area is rice fields and criss-crossed by irrigation
canals. Most of my bird watching was done during break time
in the morning after breakfast and before dinner. During the
last day of camp I had the entire afternoon free but the heat
was so intense that I spent only a couple of hours bird-watching
Cinnamon Bittern - seen near the fish ponds in the morning
around 8AM and at dusk starting around 4:30PM. I usually see
at least three individuals in the morning and again at sunset.
I have seen both a female with the heavy brown streaks on
the breast and a male with more solid buff underparts. What
bothers me is that I have seen one flying with white crural
feathers near the heel. The Kennedy book didn't mention any
white feathers on the heel.
2. Dark-Colored Rail spp. - Seen diving into a thick scrub
beside an irrigation canal. Probably a Plain Bush-hen because
it was entirely dark but I remember that the bill was also
dark and not lime green.
Watercock- saw one leisurely walking along the dikes between
two rice paddies. I originally thought it was a common moorhen
but I didn't see any white on the flanks.
White-eared Brown-dove - saw one flying slowly across a field
from a thicket. It could also be an Amethyst Brown Dove since
it had a white line below the eye. It was surprising since
the place was rather barren and dry for brown doves.
Dove - heard around the vegetable garden early in the morning.
Tern spp.- since I didn't bring my Kennedy book I wasn't able
to take note of the diagnostic features that would differentiate
the species. I however think that one of the species I saw
was a White-winged Tern because unlike other terns that plunge
into the water to catch prey, it dips to the surface to pick
up fish with its bill. Some terns were predominantly black.
Many of the terns were seen somersaulting over rice fields
and some were flying very low.
Bee-eater - saw at least two gracefully flying above a grassy
Lesser Coucal - three were seen perched on dried okra plants.
Another was seen perched on top of a tall clump of grass.
They call back in answer to "pishing."
Swiftlet spp. - many seen flying very high. The glare was
so intense that I didn't bother identifying the species.
Barn Swallow - numerous and flying gracefully over rice fields.
Other swallows with less forked tails were also seen.
Bulbul - in small noisy flocks around the vegetable garden.
Striated Grassbird - very noisy and bold. I saw one up close
vocalizing in a small tree. I wonder whether they also walk
on the ground in short grass because I saw two large brown
birds mating on the ground in a newly harvested rice field.
They certainly looked like warblers.
Zitting Cisticola - a dainty bird that gives out a clicking
call in flight. It flies in a jerky motion and shows its characteristic
white-tipped tail. It most often perches on rice stalks. When
disturbed it alights and runs on the ground between rice plants.
Wagtail - seen near an irrigation canal.
Shrike - seen perched on fences and low-lying branches.
Tree Sparrow - countless and feeds on rice grains about to
Munia - saw four flying low across a field.