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Candaba Rice Fields and Fish Pond

Birding Site: Candaba rice fields and fish pond
4 January 2005, 630am-2pm ; Cloudy with intermittent sun
Birders: Romy Ocon, Patty Adversario, Herbert de la Rosa
Trip Report and Birdlist by: Patty Adversario


1. Black-Winged Stilts busily foraged on ricefields while Garganeys dominated the fish ponds. We were treated to a wondrous air show of 500+ stilts flying over rice fields. It was amazing to see how they moved in perfect motion as they swerved and curved the air in synchronized flight. From the ground, the shape of their fluttering black wings reminded me of the herring bone stitches I used to agonize over in grade school sewing class.

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

The male stilts appeared to be breeding as some had mottled grey or black patches on their white heads and on their hindnecks. (Check out the pictures in the gallery.)

The flock of stilts and egrets were most active in the fields where farm hands were plowing the earth with hand-held tractors. They foraged on the upturned earth of the rice fields elegantly walking about on their long thin red stilts. Egrets mingled with the stilts both on the air and on the ground. A few Common Sandpipers also mingled freely among the stilts.

2. Behind the mayor's house is a dirt road lined with trees. While we walked, we noticed the ground was speckled with white-colored bird poo and a few grey feathers. We suspect the trees lining the path were a roosting ground for the colony of Grey Herons that were peeping out from everywhere on grassy land on the right side of the dirt path. This area was just teeming with birds!

3. Along the same path, Romy saw a Peregrine Falcon chase a lone Garganey. This must be the year's first record of the P Falcon in Candaba by a WBCP member. Romy said he also saw the P. Falcon in a previous visit to Candaba on December 30. His camera also caught an Eastern Marsh Harrier that flew low over grass near the edge of a big pond. It seemed to be looking for prey.

4. We spotted a huge cage behind the mayor's house. Unfortunately, the mayor keeps a Crested Serpeant Eagle in a cage.

Northern Shoveller

Northern Shoveller

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis -1 (we were wondering why there was only one)

2. Grey heron Ardea cinerea -30+

3. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea -10
4. Great Egret Ardea alba -4
5. Intermediate egret Ardea (Mesophoyx) intermedia- 10+
6. Little egret Egretta garzetta-common
7. Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis -10+
8. Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis -3, heard several
9. Northern Pintail Anas acuta -3 (flying with a flock of Garganeys)
10. Garganeys Anas querquedula -800+
11. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata - 50+ (mingled among the Garganeys)
12. Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus -1
13. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus-1
14. White Browed Crake Porzana cinerea -4, heard several
15. White Breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus -3
16. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus -common
17. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius -- 8
18. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia -1
19. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola -2
20. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis-1
21. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos -15+
22. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinerea-2
23. Black winged stilts Himantopus himantopus-- 500+
24. Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus-common
25. Zebra Doves Geopelia striata -2
26. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis -2
27. White Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris -1
28. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica -common
29. Yellow vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier -1
30. Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata --1
31. Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis -1
32. Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris -common
33. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach - 1
34. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus -2
35. EurasianTree Sparrow Passer montanus -common
36. Chestnut Munia Lonchura Malacca -10 (in flight)

PLUS: A caged Crested Serpeant Eagle Spilornis cheela