Attention all bird watchers — 11 new migratory birds have been spotted in Pampanga province this week.
Conservationist and photographer Juanita Santos-Ancheta, said Siberian white tail, Chinese white wagtail, grey-faced buzzard, common kestrel, Chinese goshawk, red jungle fowls, brown shrike, brown-breasted kingfisher, common kingfisher, Artic babbler and grey wagtail have all arrived in the area.
The new birds have flown to the Philippines to seek better climate with the onset of winter from their places of origin.
However, Ms Ancheta warned that the country no longer provides an ideal sanctuary for the migratory species.
In particular, the Candaba swamp which used to be an ideal feeding ground for migratory birds is no longer what it used to be.
“There is less food available in the area today,” she said.
The yearly migration of birds to Candaba used to be a tourist draw because of a programme called “Ibon-Ebun” Festival initiated during the time of former Mayor Jerry Pelayo.
The project was abandoned by Pelayo’s successor, Rene Maglanque. And now the current Mayor Danilo Baylon reported to be reluctant to revive the festival.
Ms Ancheta cited at least three destinations in Pampanga, namely Candaba, Clark and Lubao, as hot-spots for bird watchers.
In Clark, she said, some of the new birds have landed and taken up residence near a four-star hotel by a stream.
Earlier, she said, the hotel management had requested the state-owned Clark Development Corporation to clear the area, but the arrival of the birds has ruled that out.
She added that she will not disclose the exact location for fear that hunters will target the birds.
Back in 2015, we reported how one of the world’s rarest species of duck Baer’s Pochard – Ahthya baeri – had taken up residence in Pampanga. Only 700 of the species are believed to be exist across the world.