May – June 2019 Roundup

Collated by Mike Lu
With photos from Vincent Alinan, Ramon Gayas Jr., Jops Josef, Mike Lu, Gwen So, Mariel Uyquiengco, and Alice Villa-Real

May 4 Global Big Day 
In celebration of the Global Big Day, members of the Club organized a trip to the Marilaque Highway in Infanta (Quezon Province).  The roadside birding is located high up in the Sierra Madres and is known for Luzon mountain forest birds. More than 40 species were recorded on this day and was submitted to eBird was our contribution for this global event.

Group shot of WBCP members
Mountain White-eye

May 7-8 Ocular trip to General Santos City
Led by WBCP president Willem van de Ven, the Club touched base with the LGU of General Santos City to discuss the possibility of holding an Urban Biodiversity Fair in the city.  City Tourism Officer Leonard Flores was very enthusiastic and promised full support from the city government as well as asked for guidance from the Club in helping the city develop their ecotourism potential in the Buayan coastal area and the freshwater Lake Tagacan.     

WBCP ocular team headed by WBCP president Willem van de Ven with Mary June Bugante and Mike Lu with Tacurong City Tourism Officer Emelie Jamorabon, Gregorio Velos of Gen San Tourism Division and representatives of DOT XII.
Chinese Egrets, whimbrels and other late migrants were seen at the Buayan mudflats. 

May 11 & 12 – Birding with visiting birder, Garrett Majlinger
The Club welcomes visiting birders to join trips with club members to foster friendship amongst birders and learn from each others experiences.  On a weekend visit, members took American birder Garrett Majlinger to La Mesa Ecopark and to the Caylabne Bay Resort in Cavite.  

May 12 – “How to lead a guided trip” by Mike Lu
WBCP founding member Mike Lu met up with fellow members at the Arroceros Forest Park to give tips on how to organize and lead a guided trip.   With more and more trips requested by different organizations, the club is in need of more volunteer guides and need to standardize our guided trips.

Mike Lu giving tips on organizing guided trips

May 19 – Guided trip at UP
The University of the Philippines campus is one of the best sites in the city to introduce first-timers to birdwatching.  Our guided trip this month was attended by more than 30 participants. It was the peak of summer, the morning was hot and humid and most birds only gave fleeting views but everyone went home happy after seeing the resident Philippine Scops Owl. 

Participants started bird watching from the parking lot of the Marine Science Institute
Resident Philippine Scops Owl gave everyone a thrill

May 26 – Club trip – Canyon Woods 
Former WBCP VP Alice Villa-real invited club members to Canyon Woods in Batangas for an afternoon of birdwatching.   The presence of many bird species on the property is an indicator that the habitat has been preserved and the birds are not threatened. 

June 9 – Club trip to Nuvali
Club members organized a trip to Nuvali in Santa Rosa (Laguna).  The group first birded at the Rain Garden Evozone catch basin where the highlight were Little Grebes with their young and then they proceeded to the Nuvali Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary.

Birders at the Rain Garden Evozone in Nuvali
Little Grebe with babies

June 11 – Guided trip to Camp John Hay, Baguio City
Led by WBCP Execom Jops Josef and with support from the Baguio-Benguet Birders, a guided birdwatching trip was held at the Camp John Hay in Baguio City.  Montane forest species such as the Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Red Crossbill and Citrine Canary Flycatcher were among the species seen.  Hopefully the Club can conduct more out-of-town guided birdwatching trips in the future.    

Jops Josef organized the guided birdwatching trip at Camp John Hay
Sulphur-billed Nuthatch 

June 19 – 1st Urban Biodiversity Day at General Santos City
With the enthusiastic support of the General Santos City LGU, the club launched the 1st Urban Biodiversity Fair at the Plaza Heneral Santos. More than 300 grade school students participated in the educational activities such as story-telling, habitat identification, nest locations, bird beaks and feet adaptation.  A series of guided birdwatching activities and tree walks were also conducted at the plaza.  There were fun activities such as coloring and face-painting.  A lecture followed by a multiple choice game was eagerly participated by 200 high school students, a lecture on avian tourism was held for Tourism students and a Conservation Forum was conducted for stakeholders of birdwatching sites.      

Willem van de Ven led 19 guided birdwatching trips for students at Plaza Heneral 
Gina Mapua teaching students about different ecosystems 

June 21- 22 – 5th Tacurong Bird Festival
The 5th Tacurong Bird Festival started with a street parade around the Tacurong City Hall participated by contestants for the street dance competition, bird costume competition, float competition as well as institutions and the WBCP.  To continue the second leg of the Urban Biodiversity Fair, WBCP members conducted educational activities for school children and other festival goers.  WBCP members also conducted a Conservation Forum for stakeholders and visited the Baras Bird Sanctuary.  

Tintin Telesforo introducing the common bird species found in Tacurong
Teatro Balintataw dancers of the Notre Dame of Tacurong College performing Lapay Bantigue or the dance of the seagull

June 26 – Katala Festival 
WBCP members Arnel Telesforo and Jops Josef took part in the 13th Katala Festival held in Narra (Palawan). More than 250 students participated in simultaneous activities ~ face-painting, coloring, birdwatching, a quiz bee, extemporaneous speaking, group chanting, pictionary and modified snakes and ladders game. Arnel also introduced a group art collage representing the Katala using recycled materials.  Indira Lacerna, COO of Katala Foundation shared the good news that Philippine Cockatoo sightings in other municipalities have steadily increased, attributable to the efforts initiated in Narra.

Schoolchildren eagerly line up at the face-painting booth
Mascots representing Palawan wildlife entertain the participants

June 29 – Field Notes Workshop
Club members organized a workshop on writing field notes and making bird illustrations at the auditorium of the College of Fine Arts at UP Diliman. The speakers were Karen Ochavo of the WBCP and Aissa Domingo, artist illustrator at the National Museum of Natural History. The main topics discussed were the importance of taking field notes during birdwatching and the basics of illustrating a bird and its habitat.

Sketch done by Mariel Uyquiengco 

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