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Birding at Toyota Sta. Rosa

Location: Toyota Motor Philippines, Sta. Rosa Laguna
Date: 27 August 2005
Time: 5:30am – 8:30am
Weather: Overcast to sunny; dry
Birders: Benedict Lu, Michael Lu, Leni Sutcliffe, and Lala Aguilera of Toyota Philppines

Trip report by Leni Sutcliffe

Brown Shrike

Brown Shrike

We had noticed that Toyota Motor Philippines had advertised its premises on the road to Tagaytay at Sta. Rosa, Laguna as a “bird sanctuary”. We got in touch with one of their Administrative Officers and were told to write to the Toyota Motor Philippines Development Foundation for permission to go birding.

Lala Aguillera, the Company’s forestry officer, was assigned to accompany us. She showed us a planted wooded area to the left of the parking lot near the Tagaytay Road entrance, a landscaped space past a little creek with a man-made lagoon, and a large grassland area which had been partly cleared. We were also driven down a track past another creek to the perimeter fronting one of the phases of Bel-Air Estate. A rather clogged river flowed along the perimeter on this site.

In general the areas that were least disturbed had the most wildlife. The grassland and the mature trees dotting it yielded the biggest number of birds.

Mike pointed out to Lala Aguilera the benefits to wildlife of maintaining the grassland. We recommended the planting of “native” tree species where trees were being grown, particularly fruit-bearing species, including Ficus. No to gmelina and exotic mahogany, we said; yes to native gumamela and Heliconia, . One of Toyota’s environment-related ventures is to plant a tree in the area for every Toyota vehicle sold; this is one of the activities of the company’s Development Foundation.

Barred Buttonquail

Barred Buttonquail

Pied Triller

Pied Triller

We also stressed that setting up a “butterfly sanctuary” was not such a good idea. Wild-butterfly gardening was the better bet.

We hope to return to Toyota Sta Rosa, not least to check out the “blue bird” that a company employee had seen while biking in the early morning. And he said there were Colasisis in the trees at the perimeter to see.

Bird list by Mike Lu
1. Yellow Bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis 1
2. Barred Buttonquail, Turnix suscitator, female 1
3. Barred Rail, Gallirallus torquatus 1
4. White-breasted Waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus 1
5. Snipe (Gallinago sp.) 10+
6. Zebra Dove, Geopelia striata 20
7. Philippine Coucal, Centropus viridis 5
8. White-collared Kingfisher, Todirhamphus chloris 1 heard
9. Pacific Swallow, Hirundo tahitica 5+
10. Pied Triller, Lalage nigra 2
11. Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier 15+
12. Large-billed Crow, Corvus macrorhynchus 1
13. Pied Bushchat, Saxicola caprata 2
14. Golden-bellied Flyeater, Gerygone sulphurea Heard everywhere
15. Striated Grassbird, Megalurus palustris 5+
16. Grey-backed Tailorbird, Orthotomus derbianus 1
17. Bright-capped Cisticola, Cisticola exilis 10+
18. Zitting cisticola, Cisticola juncidis 2
19. Pied Fantail, Rhipidura javanica 2
20. White-breasted Wood-swallow, Artamus lecorynchus 6+
21. Long-tailed Shrike, Lanius schach 1
22. Brown Shrike, Lanius cristatus 2
23. Lowland White-eye, Zosterops meyeni 8+
24. Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus 70+
25. Scaly-breasted Munia, Lonchura punctulata 5+


25 species in all, of which 22 resident, 2 migrant, 4 endemic.