MANILA, Philippines – Several new bird species found a new haven in Metro Manila’s La Mesa Ecopark.
Bird watchers from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines recently spotted rare bird species called Ashy Thrush Zoothera cinerea at the vicinity of the La Mesa Ecopark (LME), a 33-hectare public park within the La Mesa Watershed in Quezon City.
Ashy Thrush’s discovery at the La Mesa Ecopark was accidental. The group of bird watchers was actually looking for a Red-bellied Pitta Pitta erythrogaster that was also reported to be in the park when they spotted the small, elusive, ground dwelling thrush whose natural habitats are on subtropical or tropical moist lowland and mountain forests.
They said the bird is very uncommon and only recorded 56 sightings from 2004-2009 at merely seven sites including Mt. Makiling.
At least five Ashy Thrushes have been recorded in the LME since its first sighting. Birdwatchers were able to observe and document up close the behavior of the bird such as gathering of food, feeding and nesting.
Aside from the Ashy Thrush, other bird species like the Emerald Dove Chacophaps indica and Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata were found nesting within the area.
There are also newly fledged and young species of Red-bellied Pitta Pitta erythrogaster, Grey-backed Tailorbirds Orthotomus derbianus and Mangrove Blue Flycatchers Cyornis rufigastra among other more species.
The continuous presence of Ashy Thrush as well as other bird species in the La Mesa Ecopark highlights the importance of green places within the city that can serve as sanctuaries for wildlife.