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AquaSur Fish Farm, Toril, Davao City
0600 - 0830 Hrs.
Overcast sky, slight drizzle till 0700 Hrs
Bird Watchers: Brian and Laureen Powell (with Ruth)
Roberto "Dr. Bo" Puentespina, DVM
Report by Brian Powell
Bird List By Dr. Bo

Laureen and I visited these ponds briefly a few weeks ago (having spotted them from the aeroplane landing in Davao). We were told then by the guard that we needed to obtain permission to visit again. With the help of Alex Tiongco, we were able to get permission from the owners

We arrived at 6:00am, shortly after day break, and the birds were already active. The site is a 24 hectare bangus farm with individual ponds of around 2 hectares each. One pond was completely dry, and two others were recently drained so were just like tidal mudflats at low tide.

At first one just saw many egrets and terns around the full ponds (though not as many egrets as last time), but closer inspection revealed pond herons, little herons, water hens and a few odd shore birds. The dry pond appeared empty at first, but closer inspection revealed at least 30 Asian golden plovers whose plumage camouflaged them perfectly with the earth they were standing on. There were also flocks of chestnut munias flying around the grasses there.

Chestnut Munia
Chestnut Munia

The best watching, though was in the recently drained ponds, where there were huge numbers of Asian golden plovers, little ringed plovers, terns and various other birds. We saw one lone grey heron and one solitary Eurasian curlew.

Javan Pond Heron
Javan Pond Heron

On the far bank of one of the ponds was a small flock of largish shore birds that didn't move for a long time. Doc Bo and I walked precariously along the edge of a canal to get closer to them. After a while they took off in a flock (apart from one that decided not to join them) and we clearly saw the longish slightly upturned beak and the yellow legs which along with the other general size and colouring led us to believe they were commong greenshanks (life-time firsts for both of us).

All in all, our 2 and a half hours seemed to fly by and we hope we can return sometime.

Bird List:
1. Grey Heron - 1
2. Great Egret - 2
3. Chinese Egret - 2
4. Little Egret - 85
5. Pond Heron (Javan) - 30 (2 or 3 in breeding plumage)
6. Little Heron - 2
7. Cattle Egret - 15
8. Cinnamon Bittern - 1
9. Barred Rail - 1
10. White-browed Crake - 3
11. White-breasted Waterhen - 4
12. Asian Golden Plover - 150
13. Little-ringed Plover - 100
14. Eurasian Curlew - 1
15. Common Greenshank - 24
16. Common Sandpiper - 5
17. Tern, Great Crested - 5
18. Tern, Whiskered - 100
19. Zebra Dove - 5
20. Philippine Coucal - 1
21. Kingfisher, Common - 2
22. Kingfisher, White-collared - 5
23. Barn Swallow - 20+
24. Pacific Swallow - 20+
25. Pied Triller - 1
26. Yellow-vented Bulbul - 2
27. Clamorous Reed-Warbler - 2
28. Zitting Cisticola - 2
29. Pied Fantail - 5
30. Grey Wagtail - 3
31. Brown Shrike - 5
32. Crested Mynah - 7
33. Eurasian Tree Sparrow - 50
34. Chestnut Munia - 100