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Everett's White-Eyes in Dalaguete
by Mads Bajarias

Location: Mag-Alambak Forest, Dalaguete, Cebu
Date: December 31, 2003
Time: 7:30am - 1:00pm
by Mads Bajarias


Last December 31, from 7:30 am to 1 pm I visited the DENR reforestation area in Mag-alambak, a few kilometers uphill travel from the seaside town of Dalaguete, Cebu where I spent the holidays (far from the madding crowd :-)

Mag-alambak is near the "spine" of Cebu which is a narrow island. Its half-way between Dalaguete town and Mantalongon, a chilly upland town where my cousin told me they sometime hear "siloys"(Black shamas) singing.

Mag-alambak was named for a small waterfalls where the water "leaps" (leap is "ambak" in Cebuano). Due to conversion into agriculture and diversion of the water into farms, the water level of the stream and the waterfalls have gone down.

The place was degraded the first time i went there in January 2003. This time its even worse; settlers have planted cabbages and carrots, clearing some trees although no one seems to mind.

I was told that a few Forest Rangers resided nearby, but just like the first time i went there, I didn't encounter any ranger.

BIRD LIST:
1. Whiskered Terns - 3 (feeding on the sea in Dalaguete)
2. Glossy swiftlet - 10+
3. White-collared kingfisher - 2
4. Pied triller - 5-10
5. Phil. bulbul - 10-20
6. Phil. pygmy woodpecker - 1
7. Elegant tit - 10-15
8. Oriental magpie-robin - about 8 (very territorial. first time i've seen them here)
9. Arctic warbler - 1
10. Philippine tailor bird - 1 note about tailorbird: I was surprised to see it as it came into view briefly in a tree where the white-eyes were foraging. it was in view for only a few seconds. i didn't see its back and only surmised its species from the range indicated in Kennedy (its the only tailorbird species in cebu according to Kennedy)
11. Grey-streaked flycatcher - 10-20
12. Black-naped monarch - 2 (male and female)
13. Grey wagtail - 1
14. Brown shrike - 5-10
15. Everett's white-eye - around 50 note about the white-eyes: the white-eyes were very vocal and conspicuous during the entire 5.5 hours i was birding. they flew in noisy and active groups. i had my Kennedy at the time and the white-eyes i saw were closer in appearance to the lowland white-eyes of Luzon than to the boholensis race illustrated for the everett's. the racket of the white-eyes mustve attracted the monarchs and the philippine tailorbird which came into view a few seconds in the company of the white-eyes.
16. Asian glossy starling - 2 (sea level in Dalaguete)
17. Pied fantail - 5-10
18. Olive-backed sunbird - 5-10 (sea level in Dalaguete)
19. Sunbird sp. - 1 It could have been a female olive-backed but it was definitely "fatter" and the bill was more curved. it might have been attracted to the white-eyes noise because it came to "investigate" for a few seconds and flew off. i waited till 1pm for it to show again but it never came back.