Mangrove interior of Paniman beach, Puerto Azul, Cavite
Dates: Feb. 21, Sat, 4:30pm to 6pm,
Feb. 22, Sun, 8am to 1pm
Birders: Kitty Arce,
Mads Bajarias, Lala Espanola
February 21, Saturday morning, we spent birding in Pico de
Loro trail and roadsides near the DENR station with Rene Bajit
and party. At around 4pm, Rene's party had to go back to Manila
leaving Kitty, Lala and me to explore the river and mangrove
interior next to the Paniman beach inside Puerto Azul resort.
In a past email, Kitty had mentioned this area might be worth
exploring since it was well-hidden and due to the resort's
regulations against non-members, it seems no one ventures
into those parts.
At 4:30pm, Saturday, we entered Puerto Azul thanks to club
member Kitty and proceeded to Paniman beach. Along the way,
we passed a family of monkeys and we saw nice, quiet scrub
which could be perfect for ground birds.
found the beach empty except for the 3 of us and a slightly
belligerent shotgun-wielding security guard and what I assume
was his "aide." Kitty showed us the mouth of the
river that drains to the sea but we could not find an easy
way to the interior which was blocked by dense, prickly scrub.
the way, this was not newly-reforested mangrove; this was
a dark and gloomy place dominated by big, towering, unfriendly-looking
trees on muddy ground. Everything seemed gray and smelled
of brine and decay. A setting for a Conrad story, and it reminded
me of the phrase "even the jungle wanted him dead"
for some scary reason.
we haven't identified an entry point we were determined to
explore the interior the following morning. While we rested,
I noticed that there was a score of bancas on the water--about
a kilometer from shore--the bancas were evenly-spaced and
then a heard a loud BOOM!
after another, the fishermen hurled objects to the water which
resulted in explosions followed by tall spouts
of water. This was the first time I've witnessed dynamite
asked the security guard what has he done to stop the blasting
and the guard made some flimsy excuse about not being able
to do anything about it.
next morning, family picnickers were already present when
we arrived. The sea was serene; no evidence of the crimes
committed the previous day.
persistence, we were able to squeeze through the prickly scrub
and managed to enter the mangrove area and was pleasantly
surprised to see that the river was well-stocked with bangus/milkfish
(Chanos chanos)! This seemed to provide the milkfish a nice
birds nicely seen were mangrove blue (v curious and looked
right back at us!) and a perched crested serpent-eagle.
1. Purple heron - 1
2. Little heron - 1
3. Brahminy kite - 50+. The brahminys flew low over the water
in a dense flock, apparently feasting on the fish killed by
the dynamite fishers. This dense flock also
included other raptors we could not ID.
4. Accipiter sp. - ?
5. White-bellied sea-eagle - 1. perched.
6. Phil. hawk-eagle - 1
7. Crested serpent-eagle - 1 perched. 1 in flight.
8. Barred rail - 1
9. Peregrine falcon - 1
10. Plover sp. - a flock kept close to the dynamite fishers
11. Tern sp. - a flock kept close to the dynamite fishers
12. Pink-necked green-pigeon - 2 (pair)
13. White-eared brown-dove - 5
14. Glossy swiftlet - 10+
15. Pygmy swiftlet - 5-10
16. Asian palm-swift - 2
17. White-throated kingfisher - 2
18. White-collared kingfisher - 1
19. Phil pygmy woodpecker - 1
20. Red-crested malkoha - 2
21. Phil bulbul - 10+
22. Yellow-vented bulbul - 10+
23. Black-naped oriole - 10
24. Large-billed crow - 5-10
25. Elegant tit - 6
26. Stripe-headed rhabdornis - 1
27. Golden-bellied flyeater - HO
28. Grey-streaked flycatcher - 3
29. Mangrove-blue flycatcher - 6
30. Pied fantail - 10
31. Black-naped monarch - 6
32. White-breasted wood-swallow - 1
33. Brown shrike - 1
34. Olive-backed sunbird - 4