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Residents of UP Diliman

Date: May 16, 2004
Time: 6:00 am - 9:30 am
Location: NIGS, Hardin ng Rosas and Betaway in UP Diliman campus

Birders: Jon Villasper, Mads Bajarias, Mike Lu, Voltaire Veneracion, Nilo Arribas, Raffy Paredes, Patty Adversario, Crysta Rara, Ann Lim, Joan Gabutero

Trip report & birdlist by Mike Lu

I thought it would be a good time to look for waterhens at the the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) - Math birding site in UP Diliman just before the rains come and the area becomes muddy and the grass grows tall. In the midst of summer and with all the migrants gone, I was not expecting much. Although the counts were low, a foray into unbirded territory on a tip by a friend proved productive and added new bird species to our list for the UP campus.

NIGS-Math grasslands and creek

A pair of Richard's Pipits manning the grounds had everyone's attention as Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Striated Grassbirds called for attention in the trees. We headed for the back of the Marine Science Institute where a small patch of ground remains swampy and the grass grows tall. Along the way, a couple of Long-tailed Shrikes were seen but they kept to the shade. Suddenly we heard the repeated calls of the black-naped oriole in the trees. Nilo and Jon decided to wait for this noisy yellow bird to come out. It finally flew out and perched deliberately near the group to afford us all a good look at its bright yellow body. Mads and Voltaire led the way through the grass and flushed out a White-breasted Waterhen. A Scaly-breasted Munia was seen picking nesting materials and a Cinnamon Bittern made a brief appearance. Not bad at all for an hour of birding but we wanted to see the "ricefields" across the street in Pook Aguinaldo.


1. Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus - 1
2. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus - 1
3. Zebra Dove Geopelia striata - 2
4. Island Swiftlet Collocalia vanikorensis - 3
5. Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica - 5+
6. Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier - common
7. Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis - 1
8. Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris - 4+
9. Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica - 2+
10. Richard's Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae - 2
11. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach - 4+
12. Crested Mynah Acridotheres cristatellus - 1
13. Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata - 1

Hardin ng Rosas housing complex, Pook Aguinaldo

Raffy Paredes, an occasional birder in UP, had suggested that the group take a look at Pook Aguinaldo which is located across the street from the NIGS. The rows of houses on the right finally gave way to a slope where one overlooks vegetable fields. A man with a pair of binoculars turned out to be Raffy and he guided us down to his birding area. A sweeet, sweeet call by the roadside had us searching for a sunbird which turned out to be a male Olive-backed Sunbird. By the edge of the fields, one can see rains in th distance and the half arcs of 2 rainbows. Raffy motioned for us to head for the "swamp". at the end of the housing complex misleading called Hardin ng Rosas (I was naively expecting a rose garden !) was a watery patch with water hyancinths and other water plants. Raffy related that waterbirds were very active earlier in the morning and pointed out to a Cinnamon Bittern with its head jutting out from the vegetation. Further away, a Common Moorhen with its red frontal shield was also seen through the spotting scope. A White-Browed Crake decided to perch on top of a bamboo pole and a Barred Rail and a trio of Chestnut Munias afforded us a quick glimpse. It was getting very hot and we decided to call it a day.


1. Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus - 1
2. Barred Rail Gallirallus torquatus- 1
3. White-browed Crake Porzana cinerea - 1
4. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus - 3
5. Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis - 1
6. Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica - 4+
7. Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis - 1, male
8. Chestnut Munia Lonchura malacca- 3


Jon reminded me that we had to take some pictures at the Betaway, an expanse of greenery between the school buildings, for our club files on urban birdsites. The White-Collared Kingfisher called out loud and finally flew out in a flash of aquamarine while tiny Golden-bellied Flyeaters called continuously. Joan tried to mimic the bird calls and we finally saw 3 birds jumping just above our heads in a low hanging acacia branch. Later on over breakfast at Chocolate Kiss, we went through our birdlist for the day. We had much more on our list than expected. Voltaire declared happily that he had 12 lifers for his first birding trip and signed up to become a member. Joan revealed that she came all the way from San Pedro, Laguna that morning just to bird with us and will be going to back afterwards. She promised to join the club when she moves to Manila in a couple of month's time. We missed out on the resident colasisis and woodpeckers but we had enough for the day :)


1. White-collared Kingfisher Halcyon chloris - 1
2. Golden-bellied Flyeater Gerygone sulphurea - 3