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Mirant Power Station and Mangrove Forest in Pagbilao

Date: June 10, 2004
Pagbilao, Quezon trip report
Birders: Aldrin Mallari, Jun , Ricky de Castro, Nilo Arribas, Jr., Mark Villa

Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest

Ricky invited us to bird at Mirant Power Station at Pagbilao, Quezon because Aldrin was to do an environmental management plan, so Nilo and I happily tagged along. It was a long trip so we left Manila early in the morning around 4:30am and we got at the site at around 10am. The first place that we visited was Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest. The forest is said to contain one of the biggest and most diverse mangrove plantation in the country. They also had a nursery of different mangrove species. They built a wooden bridge inside the mangrove forest where one can walk through. It was a low hanging bridge so visitors were at about ground level among the trees. There were tall trees and also short trees. The forest floor was muddy and small crustaceans (crab-like species) could be seen hiding in holes in> the mud. It felt like an altogether different kind of forest from forests on mountains because we could hear a different set of bird calls. Nilo and I would occassionally stop to identify what were making the calls, we would peer down or look up but a lot of times we wouldn't see the birds. But of course the birds would just unexpectedly show up. Sunbirds were very common and we would see them on the bridge itself. At the end of the bridge was a tall deck used for viewing the place. The view from up there was superb. Noteworthy for me were the blue-throated bee-eaters and a cute nesting lowland white-eye. The nest was simple, tiny, and round seen from up a medium height tree.

Bay View Accommodations

After the mangrove forest, we had lunch and proceeded to Bay View Accommodations, where we stayed. The security was tight and we had to surrender our id's to get in. It was a nice, big place, like a hotel. We each had our own rooms, complete with a/c and cable tv. They also had a nice, big canteen where they served eat-all-you-can buffet. The food was good, I especially liked the kaldereta. To top it off, they also had an entertainment center with a bar, billiards and fooz ball. Get this. Beer was 14Php a bottle. :) On the birding side, there were only the regular residents: collared kingfishers, sparrows and swallows. But I found a whole new respect for the swallows. Just outside the lobby, I noticed a swallow flying to and from a concealed corner of the ceiling of the walkway. I looked and I found a small, half-cup shaped nest. There were 5 chicks inside and we would see the parents taking turns to feed the chicks. It seemed to us that they were feeding the chicks non-stop. I just thought that that was really awesome. That night, we saw both swallow parents at each side of the nest sound asleep as if guarding the babies.

Mirant Philippines Pagbilao Power Station

That afternoon we went to the power station. The security was even tighter. Nilo was advised not to get out of the car because short pants were not allowed inside. It's a good thing we didn't get out of the car that much. The place was a huge expanse and we were accompanied by a guide. We toured around the place but I did not notice any sign of pollution. We passed by what they called the ash ponds where there used to be ducks and egrets. We stopped at another pond site where we heard "quack quack quack". We stayed there for agood bit and counted 300+ Philippine ducks.

I thank Ricky again for the really fun trip.


Site:Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest
Date: 06-10-04
Time: 10am to 12pm

1.Cattle Egret [Bubulcus ibis] - 1 ricefield
2.White-eared Brown-Dove [Phapitreron leucotis] - heard
3.dove sp.
4.swiftlet sp.
5.White-collared Kingfisher [Todirhamphus chloris]-5+ lots more heard
6.Blue-throated Bee-eater [Merops viridis] - 10+
7.Blue-tailed Bee-eater [Merops philippinus] - 2
8.Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker [Dendrocopos maculatus]- 5
9.Pacific Swallow [Hirundo tahitica] - 5+
10.Pied Triller [Lalage nigra] - 6
11.Yellow-vented Bulbul [Pycnonotus goiavier] - 2
12.Black-naped Oriole[Oriolus chinensis]- heard
13.Large-billed Crow[Corvus macrorhynchos]- 1ricefield
14.Oriental Magpie-Robin [Copsychus saularis] - 7
16.Golden-bellied Flyeater[ Gerygone sulphurea]-many heard
18.Striated Grassbird -[Megalurus palustris]- 2ricefield
19.Philippine Tailorbird-[Orthotomus castaneiceps]-1
20.Mangrove Blue Flycatcher [Cyornis rufigastra]-2
21.flycatcher sp.
22.Pied Fantail[Rhipidura javanica]-3 more heard
23.Black-naped Monarch [Hypothymis azurea]- 1female
24.White-breasted Wood-swallow[Artamus leucorynchus]-5
25.Crested Myna [Acridotheres cristatellus]- 1 bathing
26.Olive-backed Sunbird[Nectarinia jugularis]-10+,common, many heard
27.Lowland White-eye[Zosterops meyeni]-3, 1 nesting
28.Eurasian Tree Sparrow[Passer montanus]-common
29.Chestnut Munia [Lonchura malacca]-2 in ricefield

Site: ricefields, from car on the road to Bay View Accommodations
Date: 06-10-04

1.Purple Heron 1 flying
2.Buttonquail sp. 1 crossed the road
3. White-collared kingfisher 1+

Site: Bay View Accommodations
Date: 06-10-04
Time: 2pm to 3pm

1.White-collared Kingfisher [Todirhamphus chloris]-2
2.Pacific Swallow [Hirundo tahitica] - 10+ including a nesting pair feeding 5 chicks in nest
3.Yellow-vented Bulbul [Pycnonotus goiavier] - 2+
4.Pied Bushchat [Saxicola caprata]-1 male, white on spots not seen
6.Eurasian Tree Sparrow [Passer montanus]-common, nests in corners of ceilings also seen

Site: ricefields/forest, from car on the road to Mirant Philippines Pagbilao Power Station
Date: 06-10-04

1. Pacific swallow 5
2. Black-naped Oriole 2
3. White-breasted wood swallow 5

Site:Mirant Philippines Pagbilao Power Station
Date: 06-10-04
Time: 4pm to 6pm

1.Bittern sp.
2.Philippine Duck [Anas luzonica] 337
3.Zebra Dove [Geopelia striata] 1
4.Island Swiflet [Aerodramus vanikorensis]1+ many other swiftlets seen
5.swift sp.
6.Pacific Swallow [Hirundo tahitica] present
7.Yellow-vented Bulbul[Pycnonotus goiavier] present
8.Large-billed Crow [Corvus macrorhynchos] 1 huge
9.Pied Bushchat [Saxicola caprata] 2 pair
10.Striated Grassbird[Megalurus palustris] 1+
11.Bright-capped Cisticola [Cisticola exilis]1 male breeding
12.Richard's Pipit[ Anthus richardi]-1
13.White-breasted Wood-swallow [Artamus leucorynchus] 4
14.Crested Myna [Acridotheres cristatellus] 4+
15.Eurasian Tree Sparrow [Passer montanus] present
16.Chestnut Munia [Lonchura malacca] - 3

Site: Bay View Accommodations
Date: 06-11-04
Time: 7am

1.Philippine Duck [Anas luzonica] 4 seen flying
2.White-collared Kingfisher[Todirhamphus chloris] 2 more heard
3.bee-eater sp. 1 seen flying
4.Pacific Swallow[ Hirundo tahitica] 10+, another nesting swallow seen
5.Eurasian Tree Sparrow [Passer montanus]common