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WBCP Roundup of Club Activities: July-September 2022

Compiled by Mike Lu

JULY 2022

July 3 – Guided trip for Philippine Fauna Arts Society
Members of the Philippine Fauna Arts Society (PHILFAS) were given a guided birdwatching trip at the Ninoy Aquino Park with lead guides Mike Lu, Jops Josef and Tinggay Cinco.  A good selection of resident species showed up such as the Striated Heron, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Common Moorhen and Lowland White-eye to the delight of the artists.  After the 2 hour guided trip, the artists sat down to begin working on their paintings with Tinggay Cinco, being an artist herself, giving tips on painting birds.

PhilFAS artists start working on their paintings.
The blue wings of the Collared Kingfisher always get the attention of first-time birdwatchers.

July 10 – Club trip to Caylabne Bay Resort (Cavite)
Club members Mike Lu, Ruben Bala and Canada-based member Zeny Lloyd-Mills together with her family visited the Caylabne Bay Resort in Ternate (Cavite).  The resident flock of Philippine Ducks were nowhere in sight but the usual Luzon lowland forest endemics such as the Red-crested Malkoha, Philippine Falconet, the Guaiabero, Philippine Serpent-Eagle were seen. The   seldom-seen (in the resort) endemic Indigo-banded Kingfisher made a brief appearance.       

The endemic Indigo-banded Kingfisher perched in the open briefly.
The scenic view of Caylabne Bay Resort.

July 23-24  –  33rd Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race (Malaysia)
The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines represented by incoming VP Karen Ochavo, Diuvs de Jesus and Jasmin Meren were part of the 70 teams and 210 birdwatchers who took part in the 33rd Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race in Pahang (Malaysia).  WBCP members participated in the Advance Category for participants who have been birdwatching for more than 3 years even though it was the first time for all three participants to go birdwatching in Fraser’s Hill. Karen Ochavo and Diuvs de Jesus also gave a joint presentation entitled Birding in the New Normal: a Birdtual tour of selected sites in the Philippines highlighting Balinsasayaw Twin Lakes in Negros Oriental and Bislig in Surigao del Sur.

WBCP members Karen Ochavo, Diuvs de Jesus and Jasmin Meren with Henry Goh.
Participants of the 2-day bird race exploring the lush highland forests of Fraser’s Hill.

July 24 – Guided trip at Ninoy Aquino Park for homeschoolers
A guided trip was conducted for a group of home-schooled kids at the Ninoy Aquino Park with lead guides Maia Tanedo and Mike Lu. The kids were studying birds and most of them have copies of the Photographic Guide to the Birds of the Philippines.  They were thrilled to see that one of the authors, Maia Tanedo, was guiding them and they readily asked her to sign their books and took photos with her.  The birds did not disappoint as well. The Purple Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Common Moorhen, White-breasted Waterhen and Striated Heron all gave good views.   

Lead guide lowered the spotting scope for the kids to look through.
The resident Purple Heron is always a treat for first-time birders.


August 7 – Guided trip at Tagalag Fishing Village (Valenzuela)
The WBCP guided trip for the general public led by Mike Lu was held at the Tagalag Fishing Village in Valenzuela City with over 20 participants.  The first-time birdwatchers saw Purple Heron, Common Moorhen, Pheasant-tailed amongst other resident species during the 2-hour activity.  Even without the migratory bird species, Tagalag is a good site for introductory birdwatching as the resident species are easily seen. 

August 14 – 19th Club anniversary
The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines celebrated its 19th founding anniversary at the La Vista Clubhouse in Quezon City.  The annual General Assembly started at 3:00 pm with the annual report by Club President Mike Lu, followed by the financial report by Jops Josef, the Records Committee report by Arne Jensen and the Rarities Committee report by Christian Perez.

The second half of the party was the launching of the Wild Birds of the Philippines coffee table book sponsored by the Team Energy Foundation, and presenting the new batch of Execom officers for 2022-23 led by re-elected president Mike Lu, vice president Karen Ochavo, secretary Bambi Martinez, and 5th officer Janina Castro.  Other members of the Execom are Jon Villasper, Gina Mapua and Willem van de Ven. 

Group photo after the party.
Contestants for the Bird of the Night.

August 20 – Club trip to Luntiang Republika
Club VP Karen Ochavo organized a trip to the organic farm, Luntiang Republika Ecofarms in Alfonso (Cavite) owned by new WBCP member, Hilda Cleofe. The organic farm is also planted to native trees and bounded by the Catmon River gully. More than 30 bird species were heard and/or seen including the Red-Crested Malkoha, Guaiabero, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Spotted Wood Kingfisher, among others.

August 26 – Environmental Champion’s Lunch at Masungi Georeserve
The Embassy of Canada led by H.E. Ambassador Peter McArthur and the Masungi Georeserve Foundation tendered an Environmental Champion’s Luncheon at the Masungi Georeserve to present the results of the watershed expedition conducted by Buhay-ilang Research, Education and Conservation followed by a briefing on forest landscapes in the Philippines by Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, Executive Director of the Forest Foundation Philippines.  A panel discussion followed the presentations as well as a guided tree walk on the Legacy Trail.

WBCP president Mike Lu with the Canadian Ambassador H. E. Peter McArthur and other guests.
Nikki Dyanne Realubit of the Buhay-ilang presenting the results of the watershed expedition.

August 28 – Guided tree walk at Ayala Westgrove in Silang (Cavite)
WBCP member Leni Sutcliffe invited fellow members for a tree walk at the Ayala Westgrove in Silang (Cavite) where she had spearheaded the planting on native tree species as chairperson of the subdivision’s Environment Committee.  Leni had also written 2 books on the native trees of Westgrove.  WBCP members Mike Lu, Michele Logarta, Helen Ongtenco and Caleb Ongtenco were shown the katmon, mangkono, balitbitan, balai  lamok,  mountain agoho, mangachapui and many more native tree species.


September 2, 2022 – Ang Tinig Klima radio program interview
Ang Tinig Klima radio program on DZXL 558 invited WBCP president Mike Lu as one of the guest speakers for the topic on: Ang LPPWP bilang waterbird sanctuary.  The one-hour program hosted by DENR Climate Change Service Director Elenida Basug highlighted the importance of wetlands to migratory birds and tackled the threats to Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park as a  bird sanctuary.    

September 9 – LPPWP PAMB 3rd Quarter Meeting

September 18 – LPPWP Coastal Clean-up
Consecutive typhoons brought more garbage to the shores of the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park just as the migratory birds are starting to arrive.  WBCP invited the general public, a day after the International Coastal Clean-Up Day, to clean-up the often-overlooked Long Island.  30+ volunteers picked up the trash in the area for more than 2 hours.  An introductory birdwatching session was conducted later for interested participants.   

Volunteers picking up the trash at Long Island.

September 25 – Guided trip at LPPWP
Thirty-two participants showed up for WBCP’s monthly guided birdwatching activity at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park despite the threat of an approaching typhoon.  With WBCP guides Mike Lu, Ravi Iyengar, Linda Gocon, Tsarina and Ronnie Agcaoili, the group started the Wetland Center and split into two groups with one heading for Freedom Island and the other one exploring Long Island.  Among the migrant birds seen were Grey-tailed Tattler, Whimbrel, Black-winged Stilt, Whiskered Tern and Little Egret.

The annoucement for the guided trip featured the
Grey-tailed Tattler.
Linda Gocon guiding the group at the Wetland Center

September 25 – World River’s Day
In celebration of World Clean Air Day and World Rivers Day, the Ilog Pasig Coalition is launching the Filipino Youth Against PAREX.  The PAREX or Pasig River Expressway is a proposed 19.37 km., 6-lane, all elevated expressway to traverse the entirety of the Pasig River.  Mike Lu was invited as resource speaker to speak about biodiversity, highlighting the different species of birds that depend on the Pasig River.   

Whiskered Terns resting on the lines spanning the Pasig River in downtown Manila.

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