Sampaloc Lake, San Pablo, Laguna
Date: September 11, 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm,
Weather: 60 percent cloud cover, light breeze
Birders : Ned Liuag and Angelo Carandang
report & birdlist by Ned Liuag
in San Pablo to visit family this weekend, I managed
to squeeze in a few hours to survey Sampaloc Lake and
meet a prospective Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
(WBCP) member. WBCP president Mike Lu earlier put me
in contact with Angelo Carandang, another San Pablo
City resident, who read about the Club in the Philippine
Star. Angelo, who works for an Intramuros-based ship
crewing agency, is a "reformed sportsman"
and familiar with wild birds and their habits. I mentioned
that his tracking and stalking skills would come in
handy during future expeditions.
weren't too many people at the lake when we visited
this afternoon. Mount San Cristobal provided a perfect
backdrop, a dark blue mass rising to the clouds. From
the newly rebuilt promenade on Trece Martires Street,
we could easily see the silhouettes of herons sitting
on the bamboo floats of abandoned fish cages.
for Brahminy Kites, we took the colonial-era stairs to the
shoreline and started counting from one of the view decks.
To my surprise, the number of LITTLE HERONS found fishing
in Sampaloc Lake reached 22. This number
only represents the herons visible from the western
section of the lake.
doing a recount, we decided to move to the less disturbed
area fronting the Aling Meding mansion. While discussing
the diverse bird life in the Carandang yard in the eastern
section of the city, we added a single white EGRET to
our list, which was likely to be an Intermediate Egret.
A soft whistle drew our attention to a migrant COMMON
KINGFISHER, perched on the bamboo fence of a lakeshore
fish pen. It sat there for us to admire until a fisherman
in a fiberglass canoe paddled by to cast his nets.
PACIFIC SWALLOWS flew out and back, occasionally dipping
to drink from the lake surface, while Little Herons
flew back and forth between the fish cages or in the
direction of the grove behind us. A juvenile BLACK CROWNED
NIGHT HERON flapped overhead to the southeast.
migrant BROWN SHRIKE uttered its chattering call among
the trees in Aling Meding's garden and was challenged
by another occupying the neighboring property. Angelo
noted that he had not seen any Brown Shrikes yet though
the lanzones had already ripened. Occasionally, the
soft trill of a PHILIPPINE PYGMY WOODPECKER would filter
from the tree-shaded lot behind us. North of our position,
an OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD and a RED-KEELED FLOWERPECKER
were vocalizing from their perches.
was pleased to add an ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE to my Sampaloc
Lake species list. This newest addition was spotted
flying east across the lake towards Concepcion, where
Bunot Lake is.
was telling me about his encounters with Barred Rails, White-
Breasted Swamp Hens, Coucals and even species of Imperial
Pigeon in and around the city so we missed the much-awaited
passage of the crows. We spotted the tail end of the party
consisting of three LARGE-BILLED CROWS en route to tree roosts
somewhere in the area of Malamig.
It was getting dark when we decided to head home. As the sun
began to disappear below the horizon, I glanced at our neighbor's
television antenna and spotted my first Brown Shrike for my
city record this season.
Another cycle had become complete.
1. White Egret Species - 1 in Sampaloc Lake, possibly Intermediate
2. Little Heron - 22
3. Black Crowned Night Heron - 1 juvenile
4. Oriental Pratincole - 1, new species for San Pablo birdlist
5. Island Swiftlet - 1 in our backyard
6. Asian Palm Swift - 1 in Sampaloc Lake
7. Common Kingfisher - 1
8. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker - 1 heard trilling
9. Pacific Swallow - 4
10. Large-Billed Crow - 3
11. Brown Shrike - 3, of this number only 1 male was seen
12. Olive-Backed Sunbird - 1 heard in Sampaloc Lake
13. Red-Keeled Flowerpecker - 1 heard in Sampaloc Lake
14. Pygmy Flowerpecker - 3 feeding in chico tree behind our
15. Lowland White-Eye - at least a dozen in the Laurel compound
near house, pairs seen in yard
16. Eurasian Tree Sparrow - scattered groups everywhere, but
17. Scaly-Breasted Munia - heard only in trees in backyard