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Tanza Mudflat Adventure

Location: Tanza, Navotas
Date: September 18, 2004
Time start: 7:55am
Time exit: 4:15pm
Weather: 4 - 2 - 6/8 CLOUD COVER, thundershower in the afternoon, wind: 0-6 m/sec, Clear visibility, + 29-31 C

Birders: Arne Jensen, Mark Jason Villa and Mads Bajarias
Notetaker: Mads Bajarias

The tidal flats, mangroves, esteros, and the waterways of Tanza is wonderful because it reminds me of how the Spaniards described early Manila when they first came upon it.

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Our entry point was Dampalit River which we reached after taking a banca (arranged by Arne) from Navotas Fish Wharf. Along Dampalit River, most mangroves have been converted to fish ponds except for the narrow strip of land where the sea meets the beachline. We entered through one of the fishponds and walked seawards to the tidal mudflats where the mud was so soft in places I sank to about hip-level at one point. Stuck in the mud, I thought so this is what Tagalogs mean when they say "kumunoy."

Needless to say, the garbage was amazing, most of it plastic bags and discarded footwear--one can go there barefooted and just chhose from a wide array of slippers and sandals that litter the beachline.

The furthest point of the mangroves (in the direction of Bulacan) retains some mangrove trees along the beachline, in contrast to the beach of Tanza where the mangrove trees have been obliterated, perhaps fed to the 24-hour charcoal-making factories the place seems to be famous for.

Common Redshank
Common Redshank

Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern

Aside from the destruction of the mangrove trees, on our way back I encountered a group of hunters--apparently inebriated. No sustenance hunters these--their guns were equipped with silencers--bad sign for the already vulnerable Chinese egrets.

 

BIRD LIST:
1. Eastern Reef Egret [Egretta sacra] - 2
2. Chinese Egret [Egretta eulophotes] - 1 in transition to winter plumage
3. Little Egret [Egretta garzetta] - 81
4. White egrets [Egretta sp] - 11
5. Little Heron [Butorides striatus] - 19
6. Black-crowned Night-Heron [Nycticorax nycticorax] - 22 flying south
7. Rufous Night-Heron [Nycticorax caledonicus] - 1 AD flying south
8. Cinnamon Bittern [Ixobrychus cinnamomeus] - 2
9. Yellow Bittern [Ixobrychus [sinensis] - 1
10. Asian Golden-Plover [Pluvialis fulva] - 26
11. Little Ringed-Plover [Charadrius dubius] - 14
12. Lesser Sand-Plover [Charadrius mongolus] - 12
13. Common Redshank [Tringa tetanus] - 15
14. Common Greenshank [Tringa nebularia] - 28
15. Wood Sandpiper [Tringa glareola] - 4
16. Common Sandpiper [Actitis hypoleucos] - 25+
17. Marsh Sandpiper [Tringa stagnatilis] - 24 (1 in summer plumage)
18. Rufous-necked Stint [Calidris ruficollis] - 1
19. Common Tern [Sterna hirundo] - 2 AD
20. Little Tern [Sterna albifrons] - 3
21. Whiskered Tern [Chlidonias hybridus] - 6,750
22. Spotted Dove [Streptopelia chinensis] - 1
23. Zebra Dove [Geopelia striata] - 6
24. Pied Triller [Lalage nigra] - 1
25. Common Kingfisher [Alcedo atthis] - 2 heard
26. White-collared Kingfisher [Halcyon chloris] - 31
27. Bee-eaters [Merops sp.] - 6
28. Barn Swallow [Hirundo rustica] - 30
29. Yellow-vented Bulbul [Pycnonotus goiavier] - 2
30. Golden-bellied Flyeater [Gerygone sulphurea] - 15+
31. [Acrocephalus sp] - 1
32. Striated Grassbird [Megalurus timoriensis] - 1
33. Pied Fantail [Rhipidura javanica] - 6
34. Grey Wagtail [Motacilla cinerea] - 6 flying south
35. Brown Shrike [Lanius cristatus] - 18+
36. Eurasian Tree-sparrow [Passer montanus] - 10+