Saturday, November 24, 2012

Candaba - 24th Nov

A good day at Candaba with Mark Wallbank. We got there just after sunrise on a very sunny and cloudless morning which turned out to be an absolute scorcher. There was a lot of water around, with large expanses of flooded grassland. The ricefields were being prepared for the next crop, and many were in the process of being ploughed leaving large expanses of wet mud. This activity was attracting huge numbers of birds, particularly all the Egrets (Great, Intermediate, Little and Cattle), Whiskered Terns and Barn Swallows all of which were very numerous in the farmed areas. The muddy fields were not as productive for waders, with the only birds present being Black-winged Stilt (100+), Wood Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint (1), Greenshank (5) and Snipe sp (10+).

The flooded grassland had a huge flock of ducks. We estimated at least 10,000 birds. The largest proportion were Garganey (5000+), with Philippine Duck (4,000+), Tufted Duck (200+) and Shoveller (200+) making up the rest. There were only a few individuals of other species, with a dozen or so Eurasian Teal,  3 Pintail and a lone female Wigeon

Other migrants included a pair of White-shouldered Starlings were near the mayor's house and several Arctic Warblers in the trees.

Aside from this Candaba was its usual self, with amazing numbers of roosting Grey Heron, Purple Heron and Black-crowned Night-Heron around the mayor's pond, and loads of rallids including Barred Rail, Buff-banded Rail, White-browed Crake, White-breasted Waterhen, Purple Swamp-Hen and Common Moorhen. Yellow Bitterns were in good numbers, but only one Cinnamon Bittern.

Male Red Turtle Dove. Loads of these beautiful doves today.

 Oriental Reed Warbler

Juvenile Lesser Coucal catching the early morning sun
Zebra Doves

Part of a large concentration of Egrets. Great, Intermediate and Little Egrets here in big numbers, with plenty of Cattle Egrets as well.
(Philippine) Purple Swamp-Hen
Wandering Whistling Duck
Purple Heron
Part of a huge flock of duck. Mostly wintering Garganey, there was also a large proportion of resident Philippine Duck, as well as a few other species.
Arctic Warbler
The tail-end of a snake crossing our path on the way out


  1. Great photos! The last time we were there, we were able to see quite a big monitor lizard crossing the road! =)

  2. Any sign of any STREAKED REED WARBLERS at Candaba? There have been very few recent sightings anywhere , I believe..... but Candaba is supposedly (formerly at least) a good winter site for this species?

  3. The most recent record was a bird ringed there in April a couple of years ago. The area of suitable habitat has been almost completely destroyed at Candaba, with only very small patches of reeds in scattered locations. It's a bird I have yet to catch up with, and I feel my chances of finding it now are slim to none.