Sampaloc Lake environs and Bunot Lake
Date: April 7
Time: 5:45 am to 9:00 am
Weather: Mist and clouds in early morning,
later with sunny skies and high humidity
Liuag and Harvin
In lieu of a hike in the Makiling forest, I decided to take
Harvin on another of our rigorous early morning hikes around
the lake. We covered five kilometers, two villages and two
lakes between 6:45 and 9:00 am.
I added seven new species to my San Pablo list and gained
a better understanding of the bird life in the area. The San
Lucas I and Concepcion area above Sampaloc Lake was especially
alive with birds this morning, but conspicuously there were
no egrets or terns in Bunot Lake. The only bird I saw in this
lake appeared to be an immature night-heron.
We also heard the same "chuck-chuck-chuck" calls
from the resort area beside Sampaloc Lake and in the papaya
plantation above the site of the 1970s landslide. This bird
could not be located but it might be a coucal.
Of coucals, my barber mentioned that he snared a white morph
coucal back in the 1950s in their coconut plantation in San
Crispin on the boundary between San Pablo and Alaminos. The
village elders said the white morph is the "king of the
coucals." Removing its third claw and burying this in
your yard with the appropriate oraciones will protect your
house from robbers by making it appear less noticeable. He
set the "coucal king" free but not after it had
paid its fee, of course.
1. Little Grebe - 12 in Sampaloc Lake, with a pair seen well
near the western shore.
2. Grey Heron - 5 standing on dilapidated fish pens with white
egrets in Sampaloc Lake
3. Great Egret - at least 2 were observed
4. White Egret species - at least 30, likely to be Little
5. Little Heron - at least 10 were seen hunting in the floating
fish pens or flying across the open water
6. Black-Crowned Night Heron - 1 immature seen flying in the
San Lucas I side of Sampaloc Lake
7. Duck species- a flock of 5 flew in among the Little Grebes
then quit Sampaloc Lake in a southerly direction. Uniform
grayish-brown bodies in flight, with high probability of being
Philippine Ducks. These were also seen swimming very fast
in an east-west direction in the open water.
8. Black-Winged Stilt - A first for my records anywhere. A
pair observed standing still in fish pen with a Great Egret
and several smaller unidentified waders.
9. White-Eared Brown Dove - 1 heard calling in stand of bamboo
at the top of steps in crater wall in San Lucas I
10. Philippine Coucal - 2 seen, 2 heard in San Lucas I. The
first was seen very well in stand of bamboo at top of steps,
the second perched high in bamboo stand beside road near the
Concepcion-San Lucas boundary marker and flew into coconut
11. Asian Palm Swift - 5 seen in Sampaloc Lake
12. White-Collared Kingfisher - 1 seen in mango tree in coconut
plantation in Concepcion, between road to Nagcarlan and Bunot
13. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker - At least 2 seen in tree
beside San Lucas-Concepcion road several meters from the steps.
This species was easily located because of its trills as Harvin
and I emerged from the cluster of houses at the edge of the
bamboo stand. We observed a female at length as it chased
other birds away from the palm and the tree it was feeding
14. Striated Swallow - 2 seen between 5:30 am and 6:00 am
perched on TV antenna near the IFI church a block from our
15. Pacific Swallow - at least 2 in town and around Sampaloc
Lake 16. Yellow-Vented Bulbul, a total of 10+ seen in all
sites. Of these an individual was seen from the house in neighbor's
17. Elegant Tit - Harvin identified this from the book but
the calls approximate the Kennedy description. It was one
of several species in the bamboo stand. I was distracted from
finding this bird by efforts to reinsert the thong of my flip-flops
which had come undone.
18. Oriental Magpie Robin - 1 male seen in coconut plantation
in San Lucas, but at least 4 were heard in the bamboo at the
top of the steps and in plantations all the way to Concepcion.
19. Golden-Bellied Gerygone (Flyeater) - 2 heard singing,
in garden beside Sampaloc Lake and in Concepcion coconut plantation
near Bunot Lake
20. Tawny Grassbird - 1 seen in scrub in coconut plantation
in San Lucas I where Oriental Magpie Robin and Philippine
Coucal were spotted.
21. Brown Shrike - 5 of which two were in San Lucas I plantation
in vicinity of Magpie Robin site; and three were in cultivation
and gardens in Concepcion
22. Asian Glossy Starling - 4 of which 2 were seen atop their
favorite telephone pole south of Laguna College and another
pair were seen in tree beside the colonial stairs from Trece
Martires street promenade
23. Olive-Backed Sunbird - 3 seen of which one male was in
neighbor's yard at dawn and two males were seen singing in
madre de cacao tree in plantation near the San Lucas-Concepcion
boundary marker. Common and heard in all sites.
24. Red-Keeled Flowerpecker - the first species of the day.
3 seen, with one in the chico tree behind the orchidarium
and two in Concepcion gardens near Nanny's house.
25. Lowland White-Eye - Common, but only heard in trees in
all sites visited. Only an individual was seen in flight in
Concepcion. I spent a quarter of an hour before 6:00 listening
to the dawn chorus of the flock roosting in trees in our backyard
and neighbor's but failed to see the birds leaving.
26. Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Common in all sites visited.