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La Vista, Quezon City

Date: May 8, 2004
Time:
6:00am - 8:00am
Location: La Vista Subdivision, Quezon City
Trip Report: Mike Lu
Birdlist: Patty Adversario

WBCP birders: Mike Lu, Kitty Arce, Jeanette Bagaman, Patty Adversario,
Alice Villa-real, Greg Yan, & Crysta Rara
La Vista birders: Georgie Encanto, Ronnie & Marisa Romero, Andy & Felice Sta. Maria,
Annie Guerrero, Floy Aguenza, Liza Gatmaitan, Kiko & Aida Josef, Emilie
Cruz

White-collared Kingfisher
White-collared Kingfisher

It’s unusual for me to wake up at 4:30am to go birding on a Saturday. But the WBCP was invited by the La Vista Ladies Association on a recon trip to identify bird watching sites in their village.

While driving down the main village road towards the La Vista clubhouse, I almost run over my first bird, a ZEBRA DOVE (batu-bato) standing motionless in the middle of the road.

At the clubhouse parking lot, PIED FANTAILS (Maria Capra) called out to each other in tinkling melodies while opening and fanning their tails up and down like delicate Spanish abanicos.

I was told that five residents had signed up for the bird walk. But resident Lita Logarta’s story on bird watching in the La Vista newsletter dated May 5, incited some interest so that 11 residents showed up for the early summer morning walk.

I gave a short talk on the amazing diversity of birds found in the Philippines and what birds we could expect to see in La Vista. We split the group into two, as big groups are likely to disturb the birds.

We concentrated on the strip of greenery where the clubhouse is located. First on the list, were the very visible and highly-urbanized EURASIAN TREE SPARROWS (Maya). YELLOW-VENTED BULBULS (Malipago) were at first elusive, but they gradually accepted our presence by perching on the electric cable lines long enough for everyone to admire. The wheezy tunes of the GOLDEN-BELLIED FLYEATERS occasionally filled the air, but these birds were more heard than seen.

A flock of seven LITTLE EGRETS (Tagak) in late northward migration flew in V-formation high above the trees. A WHITE-COLLARED KINGFISHER (Salaksak) pierced the air with its raucous calls and taunted us to look for it.

We also kept hearing the seep-seep calls of the COLASISI, the smallest Philippine Parrot. The name Colasisi, which means mistress in Tagalog, raised a few eyebrows among the ladies. I explained that because these birds hang on tightly to branches while feeding (sometimes upside down), they could be likened to mistresses who latch on tightly to illicit male partners.

Our next birding site was the portion of Gaddang Road that borders Loyola Grand Villas. There is a creek that runs parallel to the road, where I saw at least four Barred Rails (tikling) last year. Unfortunately, a house was being built across the creek and the noise probably scared most of the birds away.

Further on, we saw a WHITE-COLLARED KINGFISHER flash its aquamarine wings in flight. We also glimpsed an OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (tamsi) and a solitary CHESTNUT MUNIA (mayang bukid) crossed the path of a birder in frantic flight. As we rounded a bend, we saw a BROWN SHRIKE (tarat) prominently perched on a tree for everyone to admire.

It was getting hot and everyone had worked out a good sweat. Georgie Encanto graciously invited the hungry birders to have breakfast in her garden. As we entered the gate, GOLDEN-BELLIED FLYEATERS beckoned with their whiz whiz calls.

The regular birders were worried that the birds had put on a poor show, but the residents seemed happy to learn something about their feathered neighbors. Georgie was thrilled that she saw the yellow in the yellow-vented bulbul while Felice Sta. Maria said: "Now we know what bird makes the calls we have been hearing in our garden." Over breakfast, the residents seriously discussed what fruit trees they should plant to attract more birds to their gardens.

The La Vista group invited WBCP to conduct another bird walk in their village next month.

BIRD LIST:
1. Little Egret [Egretta Garzetta] --7
2. Zebra dove [Geopelia striata] -- 2
3. Colasisi [Loriculus philippensis]-- heard
4. White-collared Kingfisher [Halcyon chloris] -- 2
5. Yellow-vented bulbul [Pycnonotus goiavier] --common
6. Golden-bellied Flyeater [Gerygone sulphurea] -- heard
7. Olive-backed sunbird [Nectarinia jugularis] -- 1
8. Pied fantail [Rhipidura javanica] --4
9. Brown Shrike [Lanius cristatus] -- 1
10. Eurasian Tree Sparrow [Passer montanus] -- common
11. Chestnut munia [Lonchura malacca] -- 1