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News from the Field – September 16, 2009 to March 15, 2010

Edited by Arne Erik Jensen, OBC Representative
Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

First country record of Demoiselle CraneOne new country record was reported for the period: a Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo photo- documented on Calayan Island, Babuyan Islands, Luzon on 30 September. The bird, captured by a local farmer in October 2008, was later released but was still around in the area where it was first observed (CO, CL). Records of rare or accidentally occurring migrant species included a 2nd country record of Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschistos: a pair observed at Subic, Zambales on 24 February (SW), and the country’s 4th and 5th records of Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus: one bird photo-documented at Consuelo, Masantol, Pampanga on 11 October (AT) and two birds at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, Laguna in November (PB).

Among rare wetland birds are a record of Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris on 25 November at Candaba Marsh, Pampanga (RO), and the 2nd country record of Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus on 10 January at San Juan, Batangas (CE). The same wetland hosted a Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus on 30 October (NR, RO) and on 27 December this species was found in Candaba Marsh, Pampanga (LL). A Temminck´s Stint Calidris temminckii was observed on 3 October at IRRI, Los Banos, Laguna (PB, TF), and again on 10 February when two birds were found in a wetland at Narra, Palawan (JH). The country’s 3rd Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna roosted in a newly identified wetland site at Consuelo, Macabebe, Pampanga from 10 to 17 January (LG). A Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo resided in the same wetland from 14 January to 22 February (CP, ET); 5 to 10 Caspian Terns Sterna caspia, together with an immature Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris, were spotted there on 17 January (LG). On 22 February an impressive 2,000 Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus also roosted in the wetland (CP).

At Candaba Marsh rare and accidental records included a single male Mallard Anas platyrhynchos and a Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha together with no less than 1,000 Grey Herons Ardea cinerea on 6 December (TF).

In January 2010 18,700 waterbirds were counted at the wetlands of Balanga, Bataan. The count included 900 Pacific Golden Plovers Pluvialis fulva, almost 4,000 Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus, more than 2,000 Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus and about 4,600 Whiskered Terns Chlidonias hybrida (AJ, WBCP).

The water reservoirs of Metro Manila hosted good numbers of raptors, including up to 10 Ospreys Pandion haliaetus (suspected breeding attempt) on 19 December at La Mesa Dam and Watershed, Quezon City/Rizal. The same locality had a pair and an immature Grey-headed Fish-Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus on 19 and 30 December (GC). This species was also reported from Ipo Dam, Rizal within the Sierra Madre Mountain Range on 13 November (AP). The raptor migration along the Sierra Madre Mountains started traditionally in 2010 with good numbers of Grey-faced Buzzards Butastur indicus migrating north in March; e.g. 222 individuals in the morning of 22 March at Tanay, Rizal (JV).

Storms and low pressures brought seabirds to the shoreline in Metro Manila on 4 and 6 October, when Great Frigatebird Fregata minor and Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus could be observed at close range in the coastal lagoon of Parañaque and at the Mall of Asia, Pasay City (HN). Around and within Metro Manila a large influx of Blue-and white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana was noted in Mt. Palay-Palay National Park, Cavite where at the least five birds were recorded on 25 October (JB). The species was also found in January in Quezon City, Metro Manila (JN). Metro Manila’s first Pond-Heron Ardeola sp was spotted at the university campus of Diliman, Quezon City on 2 November (TC) and Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica, normally not known from Luzon, was photo-documented at Mt. Banaue, Laguna on 20 February (NR). Other rare passerines observed for the period include 11 Japanese Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurata on 17 April at Laoag City, Ilocos Norte (RR) and a Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte on 18 October (HN).

At Dalton Pass, Nueva Vizcaya, a search for the Streaked Reed Warbler Acrocephalus sorghophilus in October to December brought no results, but an endangered Japanese Night-Heron Gorsachius goisagi caught by local trappers was released on 16 October (PR). From 15 to 24 November no less than 10, mainly immature, Brown-banded Rails Lewinia mirifica were caught and released in the same area together with a Spotless Crake Porzana tabuensis on 24 November (DA).

Several records of rare starling species were reported from different localities. The records include White-shouldered Starling Sturnus sinensis with one record on 20 September at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna (RA, NR), two birds observed on 19 October at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte (HN), and five on 28 November in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte (RR). Laoag City also hosted five Red-billed (Silky) Starlings Sturnus sericeus on 28 November and a single individual was recorded at Basco, Batanes on 28 January (CP).


Arne Jensen (AJ), Alain Del Pascua (AP), Alex Tiongco (AT), Carmela Espagnola (CE), Carl H. Oliveros (CO), Cynthia Layusa (CL), Christian Perez (CP), Ely Teehankee (ET), Geodino Carpio (GC), Herman Nuytemans (HN), James Biron (JB), Jeremy Hurley (JH), J.V. Noriega (JN), Jonathan Villasper (JV), Linda Gocon (LG), Luis Limchiu (LL), Neon Russell (NR), Paul Bourdin (PB), Philip Round (PR), Rey Sta. Ana (RA), Romy Ocon (RO), Richard Ruiz (RR), Stijn de Win (SW), Trinket Canlas (TC), Timothy Fisher (TF) and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP).

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