5 lifers and counting

thousands of birds, beautiful sunrise and new friends. glad to be back in the Candaba Wetlands.

joined fellow volunteers from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines last Sunday to conduct the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) in this ecologically important bird sanctuary. an annual endeavour since 1987, the AWC aims to identify and monitor wetlands of international and national importance.

data collected every census are use to determine and monitor important wetland areas under the Convention of Wetlands. the more number of wetland birds and priority species documented also indicates the status of the said ecosystem.

this year, the AWC will run from January 14-29 and here in the Philippines, one of the primary sites of the census is the Candaba Wetlands.

this natural rain catch basin of Central Luzon is comprise of freshwater ponds, swamps, marshes, agricultural farms and grasslands. during the rainy season most of the area are submerged in water but dries out during the month of September until May, which coincidentally is also the peak of bird migration in the country.

after five hours of counting and birding, official WBCP tally: more than 10,454 birds belonging to 42 species – 3,000+ of egrets and herons, 3,000+ ducks, etc.

on my personal list, got 5 lifers yey! wonderful Eurasian Widgeon, Green-winged Teal and op course our very own Philippine Duck. (mental note: count your life list Rei!)

special thanks to Charlie, Paula and Ruth for the wonderful roadtrip.