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Libingan ng mga Bayani
( National Heroes Memorial)

Date: August 30, 2003 - 5-6.30pm
Late afternoon sun with a cool breeze
Birders: Sean Co, Lala Espanola, Geb Broad, the Descanzo birding family, the Hezelots, Ivor Lee, Jason Villa and Mike Lu

This is a continuation of the American Cemetery trip report. Ned and Mads begged off while the rest of the "birding expedition" continued on to the National Heroes Cemetery. As our group alighted from our cars, the trees around the memorial seemed to burst with the calls of the Yellow-Vented Bulbuls, Pied Fantails and the Golden-Bellied Gerygones. Farther away Zebra Doves and Spotted Doves try to "out-coo" each other. I did not mind them and led the group towards the creekside. We followed the grassy trail that ends on a promontory on the edge of the creek. In the past, we have surprised a barred rail, a yellow bittern and recently a White-Throated Kingfisher. No such luck this afternoon, and the rest of the group went back to the main trail. I was left with Lala, Ivor and Gen listening to the poo-poo-poo calls of a coucal when I noticed what seemed to be brown leaves was actually a Philippine Coucal perched on the talahibs ! The coucal flew a bit further and came to perched once more to give us good views before fading into the grass.

Back on the main trail, Yellow-Vented Bulbuls dominated the scene and probably scaring off the other birds. What used to be productive birding area turned out to be a dud. The group compared birding notes and experiences stopping only when a flock of Scaly-Breasted Munias flew by and a Cinnamon Bittern flew out from the shadows. I think the Cinnamon Bittern is a first record for this site. As we made our way back to the car, I suddenly saw a movement on the leafless tangle of a dry bush. It can't be ... earlier in the morning, James recorded the first Brown Shrike for the year ... now it is Lala and my turn to see this migrant bird ! Lala and I congratulated oursleves for seeing this species less than 24 hours after James took the record !

BIRD LIST: - <seen only>:
1. Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus - 1
2. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis - 1 seen
3. Zebra Dove Geopelia striata - 3 seen
4. Philippine Coucal Centropus viridis - 1
5. Yellow-Vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier - 10+ across creek
6. Golden-Bellied Flyeater Gerygone sulphurea - 2
7. Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica - 2
8. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus - 1
9.Scaly-Breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata - 8+