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Trip to Paradise Island Beach Resort

Location: Samal Island, Davao
Date: October 4-6, 2005
Weather: mostly clear
Bird watchers: Brian & Laureen Powell
Report and birdlist: Brian Powell

My wife and I took the chance to get away for a couple of days to the beach resort just across the sea from Davao. It is a lovely place, and there are a good number of birds to be seen. There are also several birds in cages, but of course we don't count them. It is a pity to see them cooped up, but at least they are better kept than many elsewhere.

Wherever you go around this resort, you come across Eurasian Tree Sparrows by the dozen, and a large number of almost tame zebra doves (they often let you get within about 10 ft or less before they fly away). Yellow vented Bulbuls also abound.In the less peopled areas of the resort, there are slightly rarer birds to be seen. The white collared kingfishers cry out loudly, as do the brown shrikes, whilst the olive backed sunbirds call out from the coconut flowers (yes, they are a common feeding ground for sunbirds).
White-collared Kingfisher
White-collared Kingfisher
On our first evening at the resort, I went for a wander with my binoculars, and was just coming back to the cabin, somewhat disappointed at having seen nothing out of the ordinary, when I saw about half a dozen pigeons or doves settling in a nearby tree. I turned my binoculars on them, expecting just to see perhaps some spotted doves, only to find my heart beating faster as I realised it was a life-time first for me. They were pigeons, with some being basically green with a yellowish stripe in the wing, whilst some had pinkish and orangey breasts. I quickly went back to the cabin and called my wife and got my book.
The birds were happily still there when we arrived, and we counted seven of them. I am quite confident that they were pink-necked green pigeons. Quite beautiful to look at in the evening sunshine, and very obediently sitting for us to look at. Whilst we were there, Laureen also noticed a barbet, and later we saw two together. It was the best look that Laureen has had at one of these birds; we frequently hear them there, but don't so often see them. The next day, the pigeons were not to be seen in the morning, but again at sunset they were in the same tree, and this time we clearly saw eight of them; four pairs.
Down at the beach in the early morning, we saw a couple of little herons fishing; the first time we have seen more than one there. We also saw a skein of egrets flying out in the sea very low over the water, but we couldn't tell what kind; they were far out over the water. On one of the pump-boats moored on a nearby jetty, every rope and edge was lined with barn swallows, which later in the day were swooping around catching flies. I am sure there were more than 100 of them (I lost count). Tantalisingly, we several times heard a black naped oriole, but he didn't show himself this time; we have seen it there two or three times previously.

We didn't do a whole lot of bird watching, because our primary aim of the time away was simply to rest, but considering the relatively short time of watching, we were pleased with the number of birds we saw, especially those pigeons.
Asian Glossy Starling
1. Little heron 2
2. Egret sp. 7
3. Pink necked Green pigeon 8 (4 pairs)
4. Spotted dove 2
5. Zebra dove common (at least 30)
6. Swiftlet sp. (probably glossy) 5+
7. White Collared kingfisher 4+
8. Coppersmith Barbet 3 (we heard another one whilst we saw two)
9. Barn swallow 100+
10. Yellow vented bulbul common (at least 30)
11. Black naped oriole (heard only)
12. Crow sp. 1 (only got a glimpse)
13. Brown shrike 4+
14. Asian glossy starling 4+
15. Olive backed sunbird 6+
16. Chestnut munia 2