New country wildfowl records from Candaba Marsh

Here Carlo explains how he discovered a new country record in January confirming the ecological importance of Candaba Marsh:

“I was conducting the regular bird count at Candaba Marsh. I arrived there just after 5:30 am and waited for dawn to break. The front pond of the Pelayo property was already full of ducks by the time I started the bird survey. The majority of the duck species were in the emergent vegetation. I noticed some of the ducks were quite different from the ones I had previously surveyed. I observed for the first time Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) and Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca Penelope) . I also observed a new wildfowl species and I couldn’t identify it as it wasn’t in my field guide for the Philippines! It was quite distinct, and I managed to take a photograph through my spotting scope.

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Falcated Duck (Mareca falcata): Francis C. Franklin

I posted the image on the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines’ Group webpage. I was pleased that they confirmed that it was a new country record of Falcated Duck (Mareca falcata). This species is listed as Near Threatened due to declines in its range, possibly due to high levels of hunting.

Robert Hutchinson also got a new country record a few days later with Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa). The fact that two waterfowl species are found in Candaba at the same time may suggest some weather phenomenon causing this or that the site is not regularly surveyed. However, it demonstrates the importance of the site in Luzon as a wintering ground for rare migratory species. In recent years, Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) and Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri) have also been observed in the area.”

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Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa): Robert Hutchinson

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