Sunday, March 11, 2012

Candaba - 11th March

A good day out at Candaba with Mark Wallbank. We got there early looking for recently recorded Streaked Reed Warbler. No luck there, but we did locate an obliging Oriental Reed Warbler in the first patch of long grass. Near the lakes a flock of White-shouldered Starling were our first target. They've been wintering here this year, and soon showed themselves. Very flighty and difficult to photograph. Next stop was the deep ponds at the western side for diving ducks, and soon a female Tufted Duck was found. With a large white base to the bill the possibility of Greater Scaup was discussed (recently seen here by visiting birders), but this wasn't it. Other noteworthy birds on this patch included Black Bittern, several Chinese Pond Heron, and many Philippine Swamphen.

We checked the ponds at the northeastern edge for the flock of wintering ducks, which were still largely present. No more Pintail or Wigeon, but lots of Garganey and Philippine Duck, with smaller numbers of Shoveller and Wandering Whistling Duck. Many Pheasant-tailed Jacana here, some in breeding plumage.

White-shouldered Starling. One of about 8 birds present all day in a flock moving between the trees on the southern side of the lakes.
Female Tufted Duck. Quite a lot of white at the base of the bill of this individual.
A small tuft clearly visible...
Philippine Swamphen (Purple Gallinule) Porphyrio (p.) pulverulentus. Very pale head, neck and breast, and dark brownish markings on the back and upperwings. A very distinctive race/ species depending on taxonomy.

Arctic Warbler, looking very worn, the wing bar is barely visible on this bird.

Clamorous Reed Warbler
Snipe spp.
An interesting comparison between three egrets. The darker gape extending behind the eye is clearly visible on the Great Egret. The paler gape extending to the eye (but not beyond) and the tiny dark tip to the end of the bill signifies the Intermediate Egret at the back. The darker billed Little Egrets illustrate the size differential.
Part of a large flock of wintering ducks still at Candaba. In this photograph are Garganey and Shoveller, along with resident Philippine Duck.

1 comment:

  1. Great photo showing the three species of egrets and your descriptions explaining their field marks! =)