Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tadlac Lake in Los Baños Laguna: Birding On The Fly

I'm writing this post coming off the doldrums of being house- and bed-bound due to a bout of food poisoning.  Maybe, recalling some sunshine from a week ago to remind me that perhaps, sunnier days await the dark days.  Anyway, I'm also posting this to update my bird list (not that I'm keeping a tight count) spotted during trips.  As I wasn't feeling well during the assist-work days, I decided to sleep right after a late dinner on our penultimate shoot day so I can perhaps go down to the lake in the early morning to spot some of the wildlife before the resort overnight guests awaken after a rather-long-in-the-night revelry and the daytrippers arrive in droves.
Little Egret (?)
We were lucky to catch a good sunrise, considering that it has been raining on and off the past two days.   The blue and red kingfisher was there alright.  I was able to shoot him closer than my Nikon B700 middle of the range zoom but alas, the drybag where I stored it overnight wasn't sealed properly, hence the perfunctory drying off period.  The bright plumed bird flew off to the edges of the lake, never alighting on any of the huts in the middle.  Incidentally, he has a mate but they keep to themselves (can't blame them as the din of the resorts would keep any wildlife away anyway).  With the help of Ma'am Alice Villa Real of Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, we were able to positively ID him along with the other birds.
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Considering that Lake Tadlac is fringed with resorts, we managed to spot several birds up close.  There were the Egrets that glided to and fro the edges of the lake.  The Eurasian tree sparrows were noisy, visiting the fruit-heavy mango trees every chance they get.  Ditto, the Yellow Vented Bulbuls.  There were Grebes waddling and diving in the lake, evidence of much food available down there.  From time to time, there would also be Juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons splashing near and over the bamboo rafts.   

Their presence could perhaps be explained by the roosting places and food available (birds learn quickly that wherever humans are, food remnants would likely be following close behind).  There are still a lot of trees surrounding this, once-called Alligator Lake, this side of Los Baños in Laguna; the Indian mango trees in the resort are laden with ripe fruits; there are also fishes, mainly tilapia, in the lake water as evidenced by some fish pens.

Come 7:30-8AM, the place would be noisy again, the birds opting to fly out to perches elsewhere around the lake, away from all those rambunctious tourists.  But it's a happy moment to catch the sunrise and the birds before the resort hubbub resumes for the day.
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Little Grebe
Philippine magpie-robin


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