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Olango Island Trip

Olango Island
Date: January 6, 2004
Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm, High tide was 0.4 m by 12nn
Weather: Bright sunlight, winds started picking up at 2:30pm
by Mads Bajarias

Finally the end of the Christmas season, whew! and everyone's not so stressed anymore.(the suicide count in Cebu was 8, i think. suicides always spike during this time).

I was able to visit Olango Island January 6 from 10am to 4:30pm. my spotter-guide for the first 30 minutes was "Boy," who's been spotting birds there for 8 years. After 30 minutes, I was left alone to my own devices (and confusion and headache from the glare).

The minute I arrived, he was kind enough to pick out for me the Asian Dowitchers among the throng of godwits.

By the way, the entrance fee is now P20 and for those who are bringing lenses 100mm and above, you have to pay P500 more for the privilege of using them. lenses 100mm and below are P100.

I was able to spot Asian Dowitchers and Chinese Egrets (both species I missed out on last time i was there in Jan 2003)

Species list:
1. Chinese egret - 2. Spotted both individuals foraging quite near the birdhide. first saw them at noon among a loose group of little egrets. 1 emerged again from behind some mangroves at 3:45 pm
2. Little egret - 30 to 50. It was wonderful to see when the egrets stood sideways to a strong wind and the wind would blow/comb their feathers to one side.
3. Little heron - 20+. This is possibly the easiest to ID for me.
4. Grey plover - 10+
5. Kentish plover - 10+
6. Greater sand plover - 2
7. Lesser sand plover - 6+. I missed out on the other plovers which might have been foraging farther out.
8. Whimbrel - 20+. Numerous and a treat to listen to them trilling in the afternoon when they started to land closer to the hide.
9. Bar-tailed godwit - 50+. Quite many. They were perched in the sand at noon. when the wind started in the afternoon, they flew off along with hundreds of plovers and other smaller birds and dispersed.
10. Common redshank - 20 to 30
11. Common greenshank - 5 to 10
12. Terek sandpiper - 20+
13. Common sandpiper - 5 to 10
14. Grey-tailed tattler - 10 to 20. Individuals foraged very close to bird hide.
15. Ruddy turnstone - 10 to 20
16. Asian dowitcher - 4. There could have been more mixed with the groups of bar-tailed godwits.
17. Great knot - 2+
18. Rufous necked stint - 1
19. Curlew sandpiper - 10 to 20
20. Black-headed gull - 2
21. Gull-billed tern - 1
22. Whiskered tern - 20 to 50
23. Spotted dove - 2
24. Common kingfisher - 1
25. White-collared kingfisher - 5 to 10
26. Olive-backed sunbird - 2
27. Pied fantail - 1

Terek Sandpiper