Sunday, January 6, 2013

Olango - 5th & 6th January

The start of a week long trip encompassing Cebu and eastern Mindanao in the company of Richard. We kicked off with a visit to Olango, arriving there at 10:00 on 5th January. We returned in the afternoon of the 6th after a successful visit to Tabunan forest.

There were plenty of waders in evidence. Of the larger species the most obvious were the large number of Whimbrel, with fewer Far Eastern Curlew. A total of 9 Eurasian Curlew were also present, and were strikingly different, particularly in flight. The white back was obvious, but more interesting was the overall plumage tones which had a more silvery sheen. This was especially clear when in flight in company with other Numenius spp. Bar-tailed Godwits were also quite numerous.

Further down the size scale Calidris sandpipers were represented by Great Knot, several Red Knot, a solitary Curlew Sandpiper and small flocks of Red-necked Stints. Other waders included many Grey-tailed Tattler and Common Redshank, a few Common Greenshank, some Terek Sandpiper and one Common Sandpiper. On the drier areas above the tideline Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover and a small number of Lesser Sandplover were present.

Terns were represented by 100+ Gull-billed Tern, about 20 Little Tern and a couple of Whiskered Tern. 20+ Black-headed Gull accumulated during the day.

The most numerous heron was Little Egret, with 3+ Chinese Egrets, a few Little Heron and Rufous Night Heron and a single Yellow Bittern.

Other birds included quite a few White-collared Kingfishers, a Common Kingfisher, lots of Yellow-bellied Gerygone calling and a Pink-necked Green Pigeon on the way out.

Far Eastern Curlew, outnumbering its Eurasian cousin by quite a margin, though Whimbrel was by far the commonest Numenius.
A pair of Terek Sandpipers. Quite a few scattered along the tideline

Grey-tailed Tattler. Numerous, one of the commoner waders
Great Knot. Many birds on this visit.
Red Knot. Quite scarce in The Philippines, these were hidden amongst the other waders and it was quite a while before I spotted them.
Great Knot (left) and Red Knot (right) together, illustrating the slight differences, with a Ruddy Turnstone in the background.

Curlew Sandpiper. Also fairly scarce, this was the only one we found.

Greater Sandplover, in small numbers along with many Kentish Plovers and a few Lesser Sandplovers on the sand above the tideline.
Common Redshank. Numerous.
Gull-billed Tern . Over 100 birds counted.
Little Tern. Only really visible when the tide came in, there were a dozen or so in flight at any one time.

Rufous Night-Heron. Several birds flew in during the course of the afternoon, this one roosts just behind the visitor centre and is fairly approachable.
Little Heron.
Chinese Egret. At least three birds in amongst the Little Egrets
What looks very similar to a Decorator Crab, but in extremely shallow water

1 comment:

  1. guys anyone of you interested in the study of an invasive species of bird that literally eats the brain of "the mountain white eye birds" as their prey, location:itbayat island, batanes.