Date: October 17, 2004
Location: Mactan Naval Operating Base, Mactan Island, Cebu
Time in the field : 0600H-0815H
Weather: 3/4 Cloud cover, low
Observers: Nilo Arribas Jr., Ann Arribas, Tiny Baguio
Contact information of the observers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Equipment Used: 12x50 binoculars, Kennedy et al Guide
Barangays Looc and Canjulao are located on the Western part
of the Island of Mactan. The important landmarks of this place
are the huge petroleum tanks of Caltex and Petron depot. I
always wanted to take a closer look at the mangrove patches
around this area often seen from above commercial aircraft
on the final approach to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
On Saturday evening, my friend informed us that she can arrange
an early morning trip to the compound of the Mactan Naval
Operating Base which is located between Looc and Canjulao.
This is restricted area and we need prior permission to do
bird site survey activity or any activity for that matter.
go-ahead signal came at around 9.00PM or roughly nine
hours before the birding activity!
friend, Tiny Baguio came as scheduled at our meeting
place at exactly 5:45AM. It took us only a few minutes
and there we were at the entrance gate of the Naval
Base. We headed straight to the Bachelor Officers' Quarters
(BOQ) to park the car. On our way, I was amazed by the
view of mangroves on both sides of the road leading
to the Headquarters Naval Forces Central Philippines.
was the way this area was reclaimed that caught my attention.
I noticed that instead of covering the whole area with
land fills, only the road and the building area were
technically paved. The patches of mangrove were retained
in their original state. This gave me some reassurance
that wildlife was also preserved in the process. Outside
of the perimeter fence of the base, however, I can see
settlers building semi-permanent housing structures
didn't expect much on those areas.
started at around 6.00AM and it was also low tide which
exposed much of the coral bottoms and mudflats. Small,
active and colorful crusteceans were all over! The first
bird of the day was a lone Intermediate egret fishing
along the small ponds left by receded tides. While Tiny
and Ann moved to take a closer look at the egret, I
noticed a flock of Asian Glossy Starlings perched on
the adjacent electic post as if saying good morning
birders! There were at least 5 with streaks on a light
colored underparts which indicates that these are immature
prominent features of the White-collared Kingfisher
also caught our attention. Just like the egret, it is
also keeping an eye on small ponds created during low
tide. In less than 1 hour, we managed to list more than
15 species. One of the benefits of a restricted area
like a military base is that it also offers birds and
other wildlife temporary refuge from local hunters.
This may not be true in other bases but at least here
in MNOB they are protected.
Asian Glossy Starling
of the trip:
As we walked towards the grassy lot, Tiny pointed at
a group of green birds apparently feasting on the "mansanitas"
tree. As I approached for a closer inspection, I realized
that we are looking a flock of Pink-necked green-pigeons.
I also can't believed my luck since the birds are literally
a stone-throw away! This is by far better than the hide-and-seek
experience we had with these birds in Caylabne Bay Resort
in Ternate, Cavite during my previous trips.
They feed on the fruits of the mansanitas (local name
of the tree) and I've seen at least 5 males with the
distinctive pinkish color on the neck and some patch
of yellow on the breast. These birds seem to be a regular
visitor since the guard on duty at that time mentioned
seeing the "punays" in the base quite often.
The Headquarters of the Naval Forces Central Philippines inside
the Mactan Naval Operating Base (MNOB) offers a lot of potentials
for urban birdwatching. In just about two (2) hours, we were
able to list 26 species which represents grassland/park as
well as shorebirds. However, due to camp restrictions which
by the way benefited the birds, this site may not be able
to provide full access to the general public.
LIST: (COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME)
1. Intermediate Egret [Ardea (Mesophoyx) intermedia] -4
2. Little Egret [Egretta garzetta] -7
3. Little Heron [Butorides striatus] -4, seen in different
4. Rufous Night-Heron [Nycticorax caledonicus] -1 immature
5. Barred Rail [Gallirallus torquatus] - 2 seen, more heard
6. Common Sandpiper [Actitis hypoleucos] - 12+, the most number
seen in a group is 3.
7. Whiskered Tern [Chlidonias hybridus] -3
8. Pink-necked Green-Pigeon [Treron vernans] -9+, seen at
least 5 males flying between "masanitas" trees.
9. Zebra Dove [Geopelia striata] -7+
10. Glossy Swiftlet [Collocalia esculenta] -15+
11. Common Kingfisher [Alcedo atthis] -5+, seen singly in
12. White-collared Kingfisher [Todirhamphus chloris] - 12+
13. Barn Swallow [Hirundo rustica] - 3
14. Pacific Swallow [Hirundo tahitica] -5+
15. Pied Triller [Lalage nigra] -2
16. Pied Bushchat [Saxicola caprata] -1 male
17. Golden-bellied Flyeater [Gerygone sulphurea] -H.O.
18. Oriental Reed-Warbler [Acrocephalus orientalis] -3, 2
seen 1 heard.
19. Pied Fantail [Rhipidura javanica] -3
20. Yellow Wagtail [Motacilla flava] -5
21. Brown Shrike [Lanius cristatus] -3
22. Asian Glossy Starling [Aplonis panayensis] -25+
23. Olive-backed Sunbird [Nectarinia (Cinnyris) jugularis]
-1 seen, more heard
24. Eurasian Tree Sparrow [Passer montanus] -common, average
flock of 10-12 seen
25. Scaly-breasted Munia [Lonchura punctulata] -3
26. Chestnut Munia [Lonchura malacca] -7, 1 immature