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Caylabne Bay Resort

Location: Caylabne Bay Resort
Ternate, Cavite
February 14- 15, 2004
4:00pm-6:30pm, 5:00am-2:00pm
by Arne Jensen, Mark Jason Villa, & Mike Lu

Trip report by
Mike Lu
Birdlist by
Arne Jensen

I caught up with Arne and Mark at the pond in front of the staff housing area of Caylabne Bay Resort at 4:00pm. Both of them have left Manila earlier that day. The usual waterbirds were nowhere to be found and we dread that it might be the same for the other waterfowl that we came to look for - the elusive Philippine Ducks !

Previously I have arranged with the Resort Marketing Director Cristine Urbanozo-Ibarreta to go birdwatching within the resort in preparation for the class of DLSU Biology students who are going to stay overnight the following week. Cristine provided us a room and appointed the Grounds Supervisor Romy Benitez to take us around. We asked Romy the best way to access the hidden bend of the estuary to see the ducks and he led us to the fringes of the helipad. Within minutes of walking through the vegetation lay a vision I have longed to see these past few years ... a quiet body of water with a large flock of ducks ! Arne had the scope and went to work counting the PHILIPPINE DUCKS ... 20, 40, ... 100 ... 200 ... 260+ !!! He even pointed to us a male Northern Pintail amongst the resident flock ! We did not stay too long so as not to distract the ducks.

We followed the road leading to the pond encountering PHILIPPINE BULBULS, BLACK-NAPED ORIOLES, EMERALD DOVES along the way while PHILIPPINE COUCALS sounded off their boop-boop-boop. Arne who was ahead of us even got to see the resident albino Philippine Coucal. It was getting late and BRAHMINY KITES were taking their last swings above the ridge. We took the short-cut through the private villas of Las Casas de Cala Buena when a male RED JUNGLEFOWL flew across our path. Jason and I thought it was a Red-Crested Malkoha but Arne and Romy both pointed out to the white feathers near the base of the tail that proved otherwise. Stopping over at the bridge that connects to the resort, we heard an eerie wail and saw the silhouette of 3 huge birds flying towards us and overhead. The bird calls and reddish-brown plumage color indicated they were RUFOUS NIGHT-HERONS.

The next day, Arne took off at 5am in search of his owls. Jason and I followed at 6am, heading for the employee housing again. Arne had guessed that there must be a forest trail behind the houses. The trail just went for a short distance and we found ourselves on the steep side of the slope. A noisy feeding frenzy above the trees turned out to be RED-KEELED FLOWERPECKERS, COLASISIS, & COLETOS. We paused above the edge of the ravine, to admire 2 GUIABEROS that flew towards a magnificent mango tree. Arne pointed out 2 SLENDER-BILLED CROWS on the upper reaches of the ridge as they made a seemingly mad dash towards the safety of the trees. I raised my binoculars just in time to see a BRAHMINY KITE flew after them and hovered for a while above the spot before flying off again.

We decided to head downhill towards the stream. We followed the stream, stepping on stones and ducking the low overhanging trees until we reached a clearing on the banks and decided to do some exploring. There were still no forest trails to be found. Suddenly Arne pointed again to the top of the ridge where a Brahminy Kite was passing by: "Hornbills !" The TARICTIC HORNBILLS were acting animatedly and jumping from branch to branch. It turned out that a PHILIPPINE HAWK-EAGLE was the cause of their alarm as it did not want to leave its perch near the hornbills. Further upstream, we encountered a couple of ELEGANT TITS before deciding to head back to the resort for brunch. On the way back we stopped to admire dapdap trees crowned with fiery red blooms which proved irresistible as they continue draw OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRDS, STRIPE-HEADED RHABDORNIS, & PHILIPPINE BULBULS. I was carefully making my way back when Arne suddenly pulled me back and whispered "Pitta!" I looked ahead and could not see anything. Arne had to drag me to his side and pointed to a jumping bird on the right most side of the riverbanks. Although it seemed oblivious to our presence, it stayed just a few more seconds and disappeared. It was a HOODED PITTA, a lifebird for all of us including Arne and the resort supervisor !!!

While having a bruch buffet at the El Patio restaurant, an immature WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE came to view as it seemed to pluck fish from the waters in the distance. Cristine Ibarreta's 10-year old son showed interest in the scope and I took him out to the parking lot just outside the restaurant. The first bird we saw was a showy YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL that perched on a street sign. Soon Cristine and her 3-year old kid and a driver on the parking lot also joined us. Arne bade us farewell as he felt the urge to further explore a new forest trail he discovered yesterday. Mark and I stayed on to point out the adult and juvenile ASIAN GLOSSY STARLINGS with the streaked chests that came out in full force and a couple BLACK-NAPED ORIOLES that finally gave us good views.

It was an exhilirating trip with new species seen for the site. As we left the guardhouse, a RED-CRESTED MALKOHA flew across the road as if to tease us to stay longer. I will be back next week to guide the DLSU students and hope to record more species for Caylabne Bay !



Locality : CAYLABNE BAY RESORT (including nearby forest areas along stream and ridge)
Date : Saturday February 14 – Sunday February 15, 2004
Time : Sat: 16.00 – 18.30 and Sun: 05.00 – 14.00
Weather : NE, 4-10 m/sec, 0- 4/8 cloud cover, clear visibility, + 28-30 C.
Observers : Mark Jason, Mike Lu and Arne Jensen

1. Little (Striated) Heron - 1
2. Night-Heron sp (call indicating Rufous Night-Heron) - 3
3. Cinnamon Bittern - 2
4. Yellow Bittern - 1
5. Northern Pintail male - 1
6. Philippine Duck - 260+
7. Brahminy Kite ad - 12 (10 + immature 2)
8. White-bellied Sea-Eagle immature - 1
9. Philippine Hawk-Eagle adult - 1
10. Red Junglefowl 2-3, 2
11. White-breasted Waterhen - (2)
12. White-eared Brown- Dove - (4)
13. Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove - (2)
14. Emerald Dove - 2
15. Guaiabero - 2
16. Colasisi - 1
17. Scale-feathered Malkoha - (1)
18. Red-Crested Malkoha - 1
19. Philippine Coucal (4) + 2 (1 white morph: ivory-collared w blue eyes) 6
20. Lesser Coucal - (2)
21. Philippine Hawk-Owl (1) Philippine Nigthjar (1)
22. Glossy Swiftlet - 130
23. Common Kingfisher - 1
24. White-throated Kingfisher - 2
25. White-collared Kingfisher - 2
26. Tarictic Hornbill 3-4, 3
27. Coppersmith Barbet - 2
28. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker 1 + (1), 2
29. Hooded Pitta (in semi-dry stream) - 1
30. Barn Swallow - 2
31. Pacific Swallow - 17
32. Striated Swallow - 5
33. Pied Triller - 1
34. Yellow-vented Bulbul - 8
35. Philippine Bulbul 15-20, 15
36. Balicassiao 6 Black-naped Oriole - 14
37. Slender-billed Crow - 3
38. Elegant Tit - 3
39. Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (2)+3, 5
40. White-browed Shama (2)
41. Golden-bellied Flyeater (2)
42. Arctic Warbler 1 Grey-backed Tailorbird (3)
43. White-breasted Wood-swallow - 4
44. Brown Shrike - 2
45. Asian Glossy Starling including 2 juveniles 14
46. Coleto - 2
47. Plain-throated Sunbird female - 1
48. Olive-backed Sunbird male - 2
49. Sunbird sp 1
50. Red-keeled Flowerpecker - 15
51. Buzzing Flowerpecker - 1
52. Lowland White-eye - 17