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Birding Magalang, Pampanga

Date: June 4, 2005
Place: PAC (Pampanga Agricultural College), Magalang, Pampanga
Time: : 6 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Birders: Rene & Beth Bajit, Linda Gocon, Jo Solis, Trinket Canlas, Dr. George Villamil (Head, PAC Wildlife)
Weather: sunny with clear skies

Rene, Beth and I met Jo and Trinket at the Caltex station in Magalang and proceeded to PAC. Upon arriving at the Veterinary Studies bldg., we immediately began bird watching across the road from the bldg. There's some wetland/grassland and a bunch of trees next to that, leading to a forest. Rene identified the call of the White-collared Kingfisher and we all tried in vain to find it. Striated Grassbirds, Zebra Doves and Yellow-vented Bulbuls were plentiful.

Black-naped Oriole
Black-naped Oriole

Dr. Villamil arrived around 6:15 and took us in his Pajero to a forest road where we all got out and heard several bird calls. A Lesser Coucal flew out of a tree by our side and we could hear a Philippine Coucal further away, never being able to locate it. Sunbirds, Philippine Bulbuls and Red Turtle Doves could be heard. I was the only one who saw the 2 Olive- backed Sunbirds at the top of the trees, though.

From here, Dr. Villamil drove us to another area of the college grounds that are being rented to some VIP's and were restricted. Driving by, though, we saw many Chestnut Munias in a Mango grove. A large grassland provided us sights of Cinnamon Bitterns and a Lesser Coucal again plus Scaly-breasted Munias. We also heard a Cisticola.

Oriental Magpie-robin

Oriental Magpie-robin

Since we had come primarily to see forest, Dr. Villamil drove us to a nice forest that had trails behind the college and we hiked in there for around an hour or so. White Collared Kingfishers were in abundance. In an Acacia tree, we could hear several birds but it took awhile for us to spot them. When we did, we were thrilled to see that they were Black- naped Monarchs. Oriental Magpie Robins were also flying around in the trees around there. Both of these were lifers for most of the group. Blue- tailed Bee-eaters circled overhead. Further on into the forest, a Black- naped Oriole flew into a tree near us, giving us a great view of him. Jo was the first to see it and was so excited. We could also hear Tawny Grassbirds.

Dr. Villamil left us half way through this hike. He had had no idea what bird watching was all about and was dressed as if he was going to a business meeting. I think the mosquitos and mud quenched his desire for more though he told us later that he enjoyed the new experience. He met up with us again after we emerged from the forest. While we were standing around, a dove flew to the top of an Ipil Ipil tree far into the forest. It looked bright pink in the sunlight. We concurred that it was a Red Turtle Dove after exhausting Kennedy's dove section.

From there, we went back to the Vet. Studies bldg. and freshened up. Dr. Villamil provided a nice lunch for us and we talked with him about planting trees that would be butterfly and bird friendly. Darwin, a masters student in Forestry Wildlife, joined us and we strongly encouraged the 2 of them to join the club. A tentative hike up Mt. Arayat was planned for later

Olive-backed Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbird


1. Cinnamon Bitterns - 2
2. Barred Rail - 1 (seen only by Trinket and Dr. Villamil)
3. Red Turtle-Doves - 4, more heard
4. Zebra Doves - 3, more heard
5. Lesser Coucal - 2
6. Philippine Coucal - 3 heard only
7. White-collared Kingfishers - 8 +
8. Blue-tailed Bee-eaters - 10 +
9. Yellow-vented Bulbul - common
10. Philippine Bulbul - several heard only in forest
11. Black-naped Oriole - 1
12. Oriental Magpie Robins - 5
13. Golden-bellied Flyeater - heard only
14. Tawny Grassbirds - several heard in forest
15. Striated Grassbirds - 3, more heard
16. Pied Fantails - 3
17. Black-naped Monarchs - 6-7
18. White-breasted Woodswallow - 1
19. Long-tailed Shrike - 1
20. Olive-backed Sunbirds - 3
21. Eurasian Tree Sparrows - common
22. White-bellied Munia - 1 (seen only by Trinket)
23. Scaly-breasted Munias - 7
24. Chestnut Munias - 8+