club membership now stands at 121 members.Majority
of the members are based in Metro Manila, but membership
from the Luzon provinces has increased. We now have
members from the following: Cavite (5), Laguna (3),
Bulacan (1), Bataan (1), Pampanga (4), Nueva Ecija
(3), La Union (2), and Benguet (1).Outside of Luzon,
we have members in Cebu (7) and Davao (2). The WBCP
also has 7 members based abroad: US (2), Canada
(1), UK (3), Singapore (2) & Japan (1).
expected, most members are Filipinos. However, foreign
nationals based in the country and abroad have also
signed up as club members. Among these were British
(6), American (5), Canadian (1), Danish (2), Indonesian
(1), Singaporean (2) & Indian (1).
TRIPS, Guided and Club
Trips - 24 trips
first half of the year showed a big increase in the
number of guided trips. The figures include the monthly-guided
trips for first-timers, organized trips upon request
from different institutions and trips with visiting
WBCP is committed to conduct monthly-guided tours
for the general public to introduce bird watching
to more people. For these introductory trips, the
sites visited were usually in Metro Manila. Among
these sites were the American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio
(3 trips), Tambo mudflats in Parañaque (1 trip),
UP Diliman campus in Quezon City (4 trips), Rizal
Park and Pasig riverbanks in Manila (1) and the first
guided trip in Cebu held at the Royale Cebu Estates
in Casili, Concepcion.
WBCP was also invited to conduct bird-watching activities
for the DLSU Eco-camp in Mt. Makiling (Laguna), the
Slow Food Convivium at Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), a
class of Environmental Journalism students at the
UP campus (Quezon City) and for WWF members who attended
Figaro Foundation's coffee farm tour at the IIRR compound
in Silang, Cavite.
club played a key role in promoting bird watching
in the country by providing assistance and bird guides
In January, club members took Singapore-based photographer
Edsel Ramos to the Tambo mudflats for a photo shoot.
Four Taiwanese birders led by Scott Lin, from the
Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou, Taiwan,
came on a 3-week bird watching trip.
February, nine birders from the Wild Bird Federation
of Taiwan led by its president, Dr. Tseng Guo-fang,
also spent 3 weeks birding different sites in the
islands of Luzon, Mindanao and Palawan. Davao-based
birders Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Glick, & visiting
American birder Ron Martin were shown around the UP
campus in Quezon City while Canadian birder Todd Pepper,
on his last business trip to the Philippines, asked
to see the Tambo mudflats.
birder Marc Boss who came in April to attend the International
Parliamentary Union conference joined club members
on a birding trip with to Mt. Makiling.
started with a request by the Philippine Eagle Foundation
in Manila to accompany American birder and author
Dr. William Clark on a half-day birding within Manila.
Japan-based UP Geology graduate Allan Fernando, who
first birded with the club 2 years ago, was shown
around newly discovered sites in his old alma mater.
Singapore businessman & bird photographer Ivor
Lee went on his first trip to Subic in the company
by 3 birders. Another Singaporean, Yong Ding Li, visited
sites in Luzon, Bohol, and Palawan with new-found
birding buddy, Mark Villa.
Club Trips - 26 trips
WBCP regularly conducts bird watching trips for club
members. From January to June 2005, 26 trips were
organized. These trips include joint trips with the
DENR for bird counts during the Asian Waterbird Census.
club scheduled one trip each to the following sites
in Metro Manila: Tambo Mudflats (Parañaque),
Arroceros Forest Park (Manila), University of the
Philippines (QC), Ateneo de Manila University (QC)
& the parking lot of the Burger King in Welcome
Rotunda (QC) to watch a pair of Peregrine Falcons!
Metro Manila, the club scheduled one trip each to
Westgrove Heights (Laguna), Mt. Makiling (Laguna),
Boso-boso (Antipolo), Tanay (Rizal) & Sta. Cruz
(Zambales). Four trips to Mt.
Asian Waterbird Census
cooperation with the Manila Bay Environmental Management
Project (MBEMP) of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR), the WBCP contributed to
the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) with data from six
year, the WBCP led the first census for Manila Bay
sites within Metro Manila. This year, the club led
again the census for two Metro Manila sites --Navotas
WBCP also initiated the first joint AWC with DENR-Region
3 at Bgy. Simang, Candaba, Pampanga.. The club also
conducted a joint 2nd quarter bird count with the
DENR in April in Bgys. Simang & Paralaya in Candaba.
Cebu-based WBCP birders also contributed data from
two new wetland sites not previously covered by the
DENR --Binlod in the town of Argao, and the South
Reclamation Project in Cebu City.
January, UK-based WBCP birder Jon Hornbuckle gave
a lecture on Birds of the Philippines before 60 birders
and students at the University of the Philippines
birder Todd Pepper on his last business trip in March
turned over three pairs of used binoculars to the
May, the president had the opportunity to meet with
Philip Round, ornithologist and author of Birds of
the launching of the World Bank's annual state-of-the-environment
publication, the Philippine Environment Monitor (PEM)
2004, the WBCP was chosen as one of the Environmental
Champions. PEM 2004 recognized environment champions
"who have relied largely on their own resources
and have demonstrated strong commitment
to become pioneering champions of environmental protection."
The awards, given out for the first time this year,
was held at the Visitor's Center of the Ninoy Aquino
Park on June 20, 2005. The awards were handed out
by Secretary Mike Defensor of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) and Mr. Joachim von Amsberg,
the Country Director of the World Bank office in Manila.
the same month, the Babuyan Expedition led by Carmela
Espanola was awarded a British Petroleum Conservation
Programme research grant award in the silver category
for their project that seeks to conserve the Calayan
had requested the Mayor of Candaba to publicize the
Asian Waterbird Census in January. The nation's leading
newspapers (Inquirer, Bulletin and Star) and major
news networks (ABS, ABC, GMA & RPN) featured the
Candaba birds were also featured in TV shows, Magandang
Gabi Bayan & Jessica Soho Reports. Senator Pia
Cayetano of the Committee on Environment also attended
the bird count.
Bulletin's Picture Perfect column by Raffy Paredes
featured the bird photographs of Gerry de Villa on
May 11 and Romy Ocon on June 15.
Philippine Daily Inquirer posted an article on June
23 written by Delfin Mallari, Jr. on the Philippine
Ducks and other wild birds found inside the Mirant
power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon. The writer was accompanied
by WBCP founding members Mike Lu and Ricky de Castro,
who also works for Mirant.
June 26 issue of the Starweek magazine of the Philippine
Star featured the Babuyan expedition members - Lala
Espanola, Carl Oliveros & Mads Bajarias - in the
article, Crusaders of the Wild by Ann Corvera.
Club Affairs & Future Plans
January 8, the WBCP held an election to select officers
for the year 2005. The new members of the Executive
Committee are Mike Lu (President), Jon Villasper (Vice-
President), Kitty Arce (Secretary) and Albert Ramos
(Treasurer). As stipulated by the club by-laws, a
fifth member should be elected by the newly elected
Execom. The Execom's unanimous choice was Nilo Arribas,
Jr., who is based in Cebu.
club is planning to hold the first-ever Philippine
Bird Festival in November. The festival hopes to bring
to attention the country's avifauna diversity to the
general public. We plan to mount photo and art exhibits,
conduct lectures and bird watching trips.
the WBCP has initially set itself out to be a bird-watching
club, it eventually has to be involved in conservation
work. Apart from its participation in the AWC, the
WBCP also attended a consultative meeting at the DENR
to draft an action plan to preserve the Candaba marsh.
also continues to monitor the government's plan to
reclaim parts of coastal Parañaque & Las
Piñas where over 100 species of resident and
migratory birds had been recorded by club members
in the last two years.
it seems that the DENR-NCR has given up hope on saving
Tambo mudflats, we were assured that the mangroves
and mudflats on Freedom Island has taken the interest
of the local governments of Las Piñas and Parañaque.
We hope to present a plan to both local government
units to save the island and will continue to monitor
WBCP hopes to bring media's attention to the continuing
destruction of the only primary forest left in Cavite.
A highway being constructed through the Mt. Palay-Palay
National Park, the only Important Bird Area (IBA)
in Cavite has momentarily been stopped due to lack
of government funds.
less than two years of bird watching in this site,
the WBCP has recorded more than 130 species of birds,
a record that easily rivals those in the over-birded
Mt. Makiling and the Subic Bay mountains.
The WBCP was recently invited by Robert Cereno, program
leader of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems
for a meeting to get input from club members on how
the park could be more birder-friendly