The Day is Warm, the Birds are Wet

The Hagonoy Pumping Station in Taguig City is a project of the MMDA to help during floods by pumping the flood water towards Laguna Lake. The lake is now filled with reeds and vegetation, a great home for many water birds, like Bitterns, Swallows, Moorhens, Terns and much more.

Hagonoy Pumping Station Area
<Photo by King Pandi>

The warm sun came out of the dark clouds after the long days of rain and flood.The heat of the sun gave life to the birds and birders alike. Tristan (Cousin) told me about Hagonoy Pumping Station and about the birds he found there, but the bird that made me most excited was the Black Bittern, being an uncommon bird, some birders have not even seen one :).

It was Saturday when me, my Dad, and my Sister packed up our gear and went there with enthusiasm on the birds that we might see. We arrived at about 4:30 in the afternoon, and already I got a Lifer. Whiskered Terns were flying around everywhere; it was my first time to see a tern and I love the way they flew, gracefully diving down to catch fish.

We met up with Tristan and his family and almost immediately we saw Yellow Bitterns and Cinnamon Bitterns, in the vegetation. I was so shocked to see so may Bitterns in one place. Pacific Swallows flew above us as we kept looking for birds, then we saw a huge black bird with a long neck. It is what I have been waiting for, Black Bitterns, they were very common in this area and we ended up seeing more than 5 of them. I have another Lifer :). Another black bird then revealed itself to us as we continued birding, Common Moorhens. A lifer, again :).

Black Bittern in Flight < Photo by Jerome Manalad>

Common Moorhens <Photo by King Pandi>

As the sun started to set we saw a lone Little Egret in the distance and Black-crowned Night Herons were starting to appear. Some Glossy Swiftlets flew above me while we were observing the Black Bitterns and we saw a Striated Grassbird coming out of the vegetation and going on a pole.

Little Egret
<Photo by Jerome Manalad>

Before we left we saw some birds that we could not ID, a Tern with a black body with whitish wings, and a Bird that was yellowish, looking like a Heron.

We left the place filled with happiness that we saw all these water birds, and especially the uncommon Black Bittern. When we got home, I saw two WBCP activities next weekend so expect me to post very soon :).

Bird List

  1. Whiskered Tern
  2. Cinnamon Bittern
  3. Yellow Bittern
  4. Black Bittern
  5. Common Moorhen
  6. Little Egret
  7. Black-crowned Night Heron
  8. Pacific Swallow
  9. Striated Grassbird
  10. Glossy Swiftlet
  11. Heron sp.
  12. Tern sp.

8 responses to this post.

  1. I find the legal ramifications of this category quite interesting. Thanks for the information.


  2. Lovely .. do you have any photos of these beautiful birds??? thanks


  3. A tern with white wings and black body – White-winged Tern in breeding plumage yet !


    • Were not 100% sure on the black body. It looked so from a far 🙂


      • Posted by Tristan Manalad on August 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

        But Charles, the tern we saw with black body was with other whiskered terns and they looked
        far from each other so im pretty sure of it as a White-winged tern.

      • Tristan, the black body might be because of the light, remember it was late, the sun was setting. It could have looked like a black body, but might not be.

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