Welcoming the Winged Migrants

Joined the recent ocular trip of the Wild Bird Clubof the Philippines (WBCP) in Bataan Peninsula to welcome the newly arrived flocks of winged migrants from the North.

First stop, a visit to the City of Balanga Weland and Nature Park.

This 11-hectares coastal and estuarine in Barangay Tortugas is a locally declared protected area and recognized by the Department of Tourism as one of the newest birdwatching sites in the country. To boost ecotourism, the local government constructed birdwatching towers, a natural museum and other facilities in one portion of the park.

We arrived at 10am and the weather is hot. Still, we saw flocks and flocks of waders busily foraging food in the mud and shallow waters. We saw spectacular winged migrants such as Common Greenshank, CommonRedshank, Common Sandpiper, Asian Golden-Plover, egrets and herons.

After a delicious lunch, we went to Mt. Samat to check if the site is ideal for raptorwatching.

Towering the town of Pilar, Mt Samat is a well-known tourist destination because of the giant 92-meters cross and war museum located at the top of the mountain – the Dambana ng Kagitingan.

The Dambana commemorates the heroism of Filipino and American forces that chose to put a last stand rather than surrender against the invading Japanese Imperial Army during the 1942 war.

Sadly, we didn’t saw any migrating raptors during this visit. Yet, the 36-stories trip up to the top of the cross is still a winner.

And the day is still full of surprises! On the way back, along SCTEX, we saw flocks of magnificent Black-winged Stilts and WoodSandpipers foraging food in the fields. And finally, saw my first Brown Shrike (tarat) for this migration, yes!

A very nice trip indeed with fellow birders.

Balanga and Pilar, Bataan

The Wildbird Club of the Philippines organizes monthly free birdwatching trips. For upcoming club activities, or if you are interested to become a member, just click this link

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