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Birding at Boracay

RCI Vacation Package
November 23- 30, 2003

Birders: (not the whole trip but here's the list of the people with us)
Nino Belardo, Roxane Belardo, Pia Belardo, Renzo Ball, Trish Belardo, Binky Belardo, Stephen Ball and Jackie, Ali Sotto Bsaies, Omar Bsaies, Steve Tajanlangit, Claus and Lisa

Nov. 23, Sunday

We arrived at Caticlan Airport, Aklan in a bit of a rain shower - the beautiful rainbow greeted us as we alighted from Asian Spirit's Airbus at 8:45am. We were 6 in all - my parents, a brother (Renzo), and two other sisters (Trish and Binky) - we took a short trike ride to the Caticlan Jetty, from where we were going to take a bangka (motorized fishing boat) to Boracay's Station 3. The 5 of them needed a short yosi break - so we took our time.. (am the only one who doesn't smoke hehehe). Across from the jetty office we spied a couple of PIED FANTAILS playing around in the puddles.

Boracay Map

With that done we got out tickets and got into a bangka- excited to get to boracay unfortunately we were held up for 2hours, the boat ahead of us capsized and people were thrown into the water - lots of screaming and confusion abounded. It was a good thing the porters were on hand - all of them started jumping into the water to save those people and all their belongings - imagine all your electronic equipment soaked through - cell phones, palm pilots and even laptops haaay! As usual the Coast Guard arrived waaaay after the event - and closed the jetty for 2 hours while their divers searched for luggage (since there were "balikbayans" and foreigners on board). After 2 hours we were allowed to make our way to the island of Boracay - my mom spied a bird diving for fish - looking thru the binocs and the help of the Kennedy and Strange Guides we deducted it to be an OSPREY.

We got to Station 3 at about 11:30am & we took the shuttle to Laguna de Boracay which is located on the other side of the island - the windsurfing area of the island - yehey! It felt like we were on safari - the birding bug hit them all hehehehe - we stopped to view a lone CATTLE EGRET atop a lone white cow. As we lazed the lunch time under the coconut trees infron of the Steak House where we had just had our lunch - my mom spotted a small yellowish green bird with a curved beak in the fronds of the coconut tree making whistling sounds - we were with some English birders whom we had met on the bangka ride and they pointed them out to be OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRDS.

Olive-backed Sunbird (male)

As we returned to Laguna de Boracay for a dip in the pool we saw 3 YELLOW-VENTED BULBULs, a couple of LOVELY SUNBIRDS, 5 PACIFIC SWALLOWS. Later the whole bunch of us including the 3 UK birders - walked the length of Bulabog Beach till the next cove - there we saw 2 OSPREYS, 2 smaller unidentified raptors and a big nest made out of twigs high up in a barren tree with in the Dead Forest Reserve.. the gate was locked so we didn't get to go inside to take a closer look.

Nov. 24, Monday

Snorkeling! Kite Surfing! Para-sailing = Butanding and a sea turtle!

Nov. 25, Tuesday

An early morning mangrove forest trek with some fellow birders ( it was a short walk since I had to get back to cook breakfast for them hehehehe) we got to see - 5 GOLDEN-BELLIED FLYEATERs, a mangrove tree snake, 5 common toads, 1 unidentified snake, 1 BLUE ROCK THRUSH near the limestone caves.

Later after breakfast we walked to the white beach.. and had fun wading in the shallows, making sand castles - in the late after noon we spied 2 OSPREYS, 1 BROWN SHRIKE, lots of ASIAN GLOSSY STARLINGS - they were converging on this lone duhat tree behind Hey Jude Bar, and we also spotted 1 unidentified sea bird.

Nov. 26, Wednesday

A boat trip around the island - we left Station 2 at 9:00am - we didn't see any of the birds - we got to see flying foxes roost of Puka Beach. We usually get to see those giant bats leave for Caticlan or places beyond everyday at sunset. We got to see flying fish and another turtle.

Nov. 27, Thursday


At about 10am my friend Steve Tajanlangit who owns Boracay Terraces invited us to have lunch at his Forest and Marine Sanctuary - 5 hectares of primary forest and 3 hectares converted into Boracay Terraces and Camp Puka Bora. At 11am Steve's van picked us up and we were on the way to Puka Bora - getting there we got to see BLACK-NAPED ORIOLEs, Flying Foxes, Monkeys, ASIAN KOELs, chickens and roosters, PIED TRILLERs, OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRDs and LOVELY SUNBIRDs.

He also showed us a couple of sea turtle nests which had been laid just last week. Those areas on the beach had been cordoned off to prevent people stepping on them or animals ransacking them. We also got to see some really big monitor lizards the prime consumer of bird's eggs and turtle's eggs. Their beach was really interesting - it was made up of coarsely crushed puka shells. Great exfoliating for your skin hehehehe -
Lunch was fabulous - we had grilled prawns, chicken and liempo and loads of CRAB! Yumm!

Met Omar Bsaies husband to Ali Sotto - he's asking if we can accomodate US Embassy birders on our tours.. we just need to make a bulletin and he will post it in their newsletter, which is provided to all the US Citizen residents.

As Ali and my sisters and I were swimming we saw some PACIFIC SWALLOWs riding the wind... and an unidentified sea bird, a PIED FANTAIL, and some fireflies.

Nov. 28, Friday

More early morning Mahjong - and a pair of BLUE ROCK THRUSHes, some giant fat EURASIAN TREE SPARROWs, some STARLINGS, 1 unidentified raptor - looked like a white bellied sea eagle but I can't be too sure. More snorkeling on the other islands - during our boat ride there we saw 1 turtle and 2 orange octopuses, 1 big blue starfish.

Nov. 29, Saturday

I heard a weird honking sound during my morning walk it sounded like "haaawwwwwk-haaawwwwwk EK!", this was repeated 3x - I don't know what it was. Got to see more sunbirds, pied fantails and bats and the starlings..

We spent the afternoon swimming in the pool - Mom and Trish got to see a LARGE BILLED CROW.

Nov. 30, Sunday

Packing up and leaving for the ferry boat at 9am since our scheduled flight was 10:50 am. Getting to the Caticlan Airport we found our our flight was delayed to 12:20pm - so we checked in our luggage and meandered to the Asian Spirit Lounge.
The flight arrived on schedule and we touched down in Manila at 1:45pm.

Now am back for some regular birding in Manila.


1. Little Egret
- 6 individiduals
- (Airport Lounging area, Caticlan, Aklan)
2. Cattle Egret
- 1 individual sitting on a cow
- (Nov 23 - 11:30am - Dead Forest Reserve, Boracay)
3. Osprey
- 2
4. Asian Koel
- 2 (1 male & 1 female)
- Camp Puka Bora, Boracay (Forest and Marine Sanctuary)
5. Common Kingfisher
- 1
- Dead Forest Reseve, Boracay
6. Barn Swallow
- 22
- Laguna de Boracay, Crocodile Island, Caticlan Airport
7. Pacific Swallow
- 13
- White Beach (from Talipapa to Fridays)
8. Pied Triller
- 2
- both Male, one in Puka Bora and the other in Fairways and Blue Water
9. Yellow vented BulBul
- 5
- Laguna de Boracay, d'Mall
10. Black-naped Oriole
- 19
- about 9 female and the rest male in 3 trees
- Camp Puka Bora, Boracay (Forest and Marine Sanctuary)
11. Large Billed Crow
- 1
- Laguna de Boracay
12. Blue Rock Thrush
- 5
- 3 f, 2vm
- Laguna de Boracay (2 pairs) and the other in Puka Bora
13. Golden Bellied Flyeater
- 8
- Laguna de Boracay (3), Mangrove Forest
14. Striated Grassbird
- 3
- on the way from Boracay Terraces to Club Panoly
15. Mangrove Blue Flycatcher
- 1
- Dead Forest Reserve
16. Pied Fantail
- 3
- Laguna de Boracay
17. Yellow Wagtail
- 2
- Fairways and Bluewaters
18. Grey Wagtail
- 1
- 9th hole of Fairways and Bluewaters
19. White-breasted Wood Swallow
- 1
- Boracay Terraces (housing dev. area)
20. Brown Shrike
- 2
- near Brent Boracay
21. Asian Glossy Starling
- 100 min
- a single durian tree with excess spilling off to the coconut trees
- Hey Jude! Bar, D' Mall Boracay
22. Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)
- 34
- 5 males, the rest female
- D'mall, Laguna de Boracay, The Green Yard, Club Panoly, Puka Bora, Dead Forest, Willy's Resort, everywhere
23. Lovely Sunbird
- 4
- Laguna de Boracay, Camp Puka Bora
24. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
- 3 only!
- Laguna de Boracay

1. Big raptor-like bird sounds like haawwwwwk-hawwwwwk-EK, repeated 2x (Willy's Rock, Boracay)
2. a white bird a little bigger or about the same size as the black-naped oriole, sounds like eeeek-eeeek (Camp Puka Bora, Boracay)
3. i didn't see the bird or whatever it was but it sounded like : chirrrrrr-chup-chup-chup 3x eeeek-aw (Camp Puka Bora, Boracay)
4. another big raptor - white neck and chest and grey wings looked like the white bellied sea eagle pero am not too sure about that.
5. an unidentified dark brown with an angular tail seabird - "auuuk auuuuuk"
6. 2 small raptors - almost the same color as the osprey

Grey Wagtail