Monday, February 4


that is the astounding awc count for balanga for january of 2013!

city administrator rudy de mesa proudly adds up the awc numbers at the city hall
after going for the parrotfinch in samal and birding the letran campus in abucay, next on the agenda (and on the map-literally! check out the map for bataan) was balanga for the asian waterbird census!

it is such a joy to do the awc for balanga because the mayor's office is soooo supportive and the balanguenos sooo welcoming. ever since their participation in the very first philippine birdfair, their contribution to birding and to wetlands conservation has snowballed, making balanga one of the most bird- (and birder-) friendly places i've been to.

always a warm welcome from balanga
for the nth year in a row, i was assigned to do the count in tortugas at the balanga city wetland and nature park.  we arrived there as dawn was breaking. 

morning light reveals low tide... and LOTS of waders
and what did the morning light reveal??? the lowest low tide ever i had experience there for an awc!!!

a collared kingfisher scans the mudflats at low tide
i peered fearfully into the scope. and there they were: like the earth was moving, like mice scurrying around, like... waders galore!!! oh why o why did i not volunteer to count egrets, terns or gulls?

terns and egrets: i did not have to count
but setting aside my initial reaction, i took a deep breath and started counting. plovers, stints, greenshanks, redshanks, sandpipers. blast from the past.

greenshanks and redshanks were the least of my problems when it came to id

the morning cool was soon replaced by the white heat of being by the ocean at midmorning, and thankfully, as the sun rose in the blue sky, we were done.

as out team mates were consolidating our counts, adri took a quick scan of the gulls, with a particular bird in mind. and he was not disappointed.

which of these gulls is not a gull?

in the middle of a flock of black headed gulls preening on a mudflat several meters from the beach were 6 great crested terns!!!

a great crested tern!

my 5th lifer for 2013! thank you adri!

i heart balanga.


  1. i heart Balanga too! Congratulations on the Great Crested Tern! Pwede mo na din sya gayahin =P

    1. Thanks maia! Hehe. Kaso ung nakita ko nag aaway habang *insert action here*. Dapat may kasama akong manggaya. :)