December 2015 Roundup

December 2, 2015 – Press conference for the 10th Philippine Bird Festival – Bataan
Kamuning Cafe, Quezon City

Press conference for the 10th Philippine Bird Festival – Bataan at the Kamuning Cafe on December 2 with Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III, former Senator NIkki Coseteng, WBCP president Gina Mapua and moderated by Wilson Lee Flores

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December 8, 2015 – Welcome Dinner for 10th Philippine Bird Festival Delegates
Quezon Hall, Orchid Garden Suites
Manila

The Orchid Garden Suites at night. Welcome Dinner for the delegates of the 10th Philippine Bird Festival on Tuesday evening, December 8, 2015

 

December 9, 2015 – Mayor’s Night
Plaza Mayor de Balanga
Balanga, Bataan

The Mayor’s Dinner at the Plaza Mayor de Balanga floored the delegates with its magical Christmas setting and amazing cultural dances. There were speeches and dancing and singing amidst good food during the event. Here are some more photos from that wonderful evening.

 

December 10-11, 2015 – 10th Philippine Bird Festival
Balanga City, Bataan

Day 1 of the 10th Philippine Bird Festival started with a rest-stop at the Total Gas Station near the San Simon NLEX exit and a warm welcome at the Bataan Tourism Center in Balanga. The afternoon activities included a Conservation Forum and a tour for delegates to cultural sites and birdwatching sites around Balanga.

The 10th Philippine Bird Festival officially started with a ribbon-cutting by guest-of-honor Senator Cynthia Villar at the Bataan capitol Oval grounds. The senator went around to visit the booths of all participating organizations.

The Opening Ceremony of the 10th Philippine Bird Festival was held at the People’s Center at the Bataan Provincial Capitol.

Festival ground activities include coloring, origami, games, book signing, merchandise sales, and more !

Watch this video of the 10th Philippine Bird Festival by Malaysian travel writer/blogger Pamela Lim

The festival was attended by delegates from Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore, USA, Germany and Malaysia, and expat members in Philippines from France, the Netherlands, Denmark. Local Philippine delegates came from the different provinces Palawan, Isabela, Cagayan, Zamboanga, Davao, Cavite and Negros Oriental. This festival was organised by the Wild Bird Club of Philippines with the hosting city’s municipal council at the request of Mayor Joet Garcia of the City of Balanga, Bataan back in 2010 when the festival was first held.

The grand finale had all the performers dancing simultaneously. They thought it was the end of the program but no one wanted to go home yet

No one wanted to go home, no wanted wanted to go to bed, no one wanted to say goodbye. All wanted to be together for just a bit longer, they just cannot let this wonderful moment end so soon.

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December 26, 2015 – Christmas Get-together
Villa-Real residence, Quezon City

WBCP Post Christmas Get-together. Potluck dinner, white elephant raffle, planning session, plus lots of laughter and fun !

The white elephant raffle where you place your name only on the items you want. Members donated items they received but had no use for – calendar, diary, mug, CD, and the hotly-contested adult coloring book !

 

December 27, 2015 – Club trip to Colegio de San Juan de Letran
Abucay, Bataan

Eight members of the club went to Bataan to see the green-faced parrotfinch. They were Harry and Nenita Miller, Willem and Tintin in one car. Gina, Karen, JonV and Rose in another.

They decided to check out the Total gas station before heading for Mt. Samat. It was too dark yet so they had breakfast instead. There were so many people and cars on NLEX and at the gas station!!

They saw pheasant-tailed jacanas and a lot of moorhens. Then it was off to Mt. Samat. Gina observed that Samat was totally ruined by too many two-stroke motorcycles and cars. She mentioned that at least the hikers and bikers were too breathless to add to the noise. They birded around the area where the Luzon tarictics were sighted during the PBF. Their best sighting was what we believe to be an Oriental Hobby sitting out in the open on a dead tree. They never reached the peak. Mt Samat might be better birding on weekdays.

After a side trip to Balanga to fetch the merchandise the club forgot behind, they took off for Samal where the green-faced parrot-finches were first reported three years ago. No flowering bamboo, no GFPF. But it is a very birdy area and needs more exploring. The bad part is that there are now three houses where there were once none.

After a nice lunch at the Abucay Garden Cafe that serves only instant 3-in-1, they headed for our primary target – the area just north of the Letran Bataan campus where Christian, Ruben and Jasmin sighted a large murmuration of GFPFs last Dec 11.

They followed the road into the area and found a walled area where they got permission to park the cars. They walked the rest of the way and reached the spot where Christian had to turn around. It isn’t a very long walk before we reached the end of the road. They met Mang Miguel Roque, whose house and rice fields are at the very end. He asked them if they were friends of Christian. They said yes. They explored the whole area to the left of the road, tottering on the pilapils to reach the areas where they hoped to see flowering bamboo.

There were some bamboo clumps that showed signs of having flowered earlier this year and some bamboo showed signs of imminent flowering. But none actually flowering. Tintin found a good spot and waited. We joined her. At one point she thought she saw some rustling and Nenita said she saw something red but they can’t confirm anything. And there was no sign at all of any murmuration.

In the dying light of the afternoon, they rushed over to the Letran campus hoping really hard. No luck.Biggest sighting was one overly-curious pregnant cow.

But Gina think the area we explored deserves another looking into in January. Mang Miguel says he sees the murmurations all the time.

Despite not seeing any GFPFs, it was wonderful to be out in the fields. My favorite moment was standing on a pilapil, in the middle of fields of newly planted rice, completely surrounded by green and fresh clean air, and seeing Manila Bay and the metropolis in the distance through a break in the trees. It must be a very interesting sight at night too. (Photo credits: Christine Telesforo and Willem van de Ven)

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