April 9, 2015 – Guided Trip at LPPCHEA LPPCHEA, Las Pinas Members of the WBCP went to Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecosystem Area. They observed that Pond 2 was bone-dry but Pond 1 still had enough water to attract 20-plus moorhens, a crake, a sandpiper, a kingfisher and one mad-looking night-heron. A flock of Philippine Ducks flew overhead. They saw all of these from a blind or “hide” that was built by DENR-NCR. At the beach area, there was at least one Little Egret with reddish facial skin, indicating its transition to breeding plumage. It must be getting ready to fly north very soon! I heard there are still efforts to wipe out this green space and pour concrete over it so that some businessmen can make a profit, which would be a shame. The idea that green spaces must be sacrificed to achieve economic prosperity has been demolished years ago by Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore (and other visionaries before him)! Senator Cynthia Villar was also present in the guided trip. (Mads Bajarias) April 12, 2015 – Club Trip Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club Carmona, Cavite The Wild Bird Club was invited to do a bird survey of the resort facility since Manila Southwoods is an accredited Audubon Cooperative Santurary-the first golf course in the Philippines to have such a certication. Sunday birding was at a leisurely pace on a sunny and breezy afternoon. Golf carts were used to take you around the fairways, manicured grounds with wild grass patches in between and the gracious company while doing the survey. The group’s Sunday birdwatching ended at the roosting site of some 1000 eastern cattle egrets where they met Mr. Bob Sobrepena, Manila Southwoods’ Chair. He proudly told WBCP members that they had an environmental consultant who resided there for 10 months so bird friendly trees can be planted in the resort complex while this was still being constructed. The group indeed saw the birds feeling real comfortable with the golfers. The blue tailed bee eaters were on the fairways unmindful of golf balls flying about. They witnessed the spectacular view of a nesting large billed crow chasing away a Western Osprey while the white breasted woodswallows joined in the aerial melee. The crow won and it was able to protect its nest from the attacking osprey. They capped the day with dinner and doing the list , before heading back to the city to end another delighful week-end of birdwatching. The event was attended by 8 birders. Species seen include Western Osprey, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Cinnamon Bittern, Collared Kingfisher (Cristina Cinco and Mike Lu) April 19, 2015 – Earth Day celebration Bulwagang Kalikasan Cultural Center of the Philippines Wild Bird Club of the Philippines joined the Cultural Center’s Earth Day celebration at Liwasang Kalikasan, April 19, Sunday morning. The group set up a coloring booth for kids, and a birdwatching station. Jops Josef was able to train the scope on Brown Shrike, Spotted Dove, Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker. And the end of the session, they saw more than ten species of birds just from the back of our tent. Jops Josef, Maia Tañedo, Karen Ochavo and Gina Mapua and Mike Lu volunteered for this activity. (Mike Lu) April 24, 2015 – Guide Trip Camp Explore Tanay, Rizal Participated by 14 campers and 4 guides Species seen include Grey-streaked Flycatcher, White-throated Kingfisher, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Chinese Sparrowhawk WBCP conducted activities in Camp Explore in Antipolo last April 24, 2015. Volunteer guides for the activity were Maia Tanedo, Jops Josef, Jun Osano, and Mitz, who had just signed up as a WBCP member after a UP Mountaineers guided trip.
April 29, 2015 – Forum on Birdwatching and Bird Photography Ethics Biodiversity Management Bureau Quezon City Bird watching and bird photography is a growing recreational activity in the Philippines in the past few years. Such activity when guided by scientifically sound standards to safeguard birds and their environment can potentially promote the aesthetic values of birds that would bring sustained benefits to conservation as well as contribute to economic welfare of local communities. For this reason, the Biodiversity Management Bureau convened a one-day forum to discuss and explore the possible development of national standards and protocol on birdwatching and photography in the Philippines. The forum became a venue to exchange information on current practices and experiences on birdwatching and photography, examine the conservation issues surrounding said activities, and solicit views on how these issues can be addressed as input to the development of set of standards and protocols on said concerns. Following the forum, the BMB envision the creation of a multisectoral Ad Hoc Technical Working Group to draft the said standards and protocols.