The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

Back to Home

Birding at Callao Cave...

Birding at Callao Cave, Peñablanca, North-Luzon
Date: 4/10/2004 - 4/11/2004
Birders: Marijn Prins and Wouter Thijs, The Netherlands

Callao Cave

On April 10 and 11, 2004, Wouter, me and some friends visited the Callao Cave, a quite popular tourist attraction just east of Tuguegarao. The caves and river canyon were well worth the visit and of course we kept an eye out for the birds during our trip.

We stayed in a comfortable chalet at the resort. Some strolling through the resort yielded amongst others Red-keeled Flowerpecker,

To visit the bat cave at sunset we took one of the motorised boats and sailed up the river late in the afternoon, being dropped off at a picnic site on a river bank.

Tarictic (Luzon) Hornbills, White-eared Brown-Dove, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Philippine Tailorbird and Philippine Coucal were calling from the forested slopes, but far more interesting was a fine juvenile Grey-headed Fish-Eagle soaring and flapping through the canyon, very well observable. The exodus of millions of bats around 7.30pm from a large hole in a cliff was stunning. At night we heard Philippine Hawk-Owl calling from the resort.

The next day we visited the main cave, which was prettier than expected, not only for the nice limestone formations, but also because there were many Red-rumped (Striated) Swallows flying in and out of the cave. We heard a couple of Black-naped Monarchs calling through a hole in the ceiling of the cave and, surprisingly, at the far end of the cave a White-browed Shama was singing and fouraging on the rocks inside the cave.

The total species list includes only 31 species, since our main activity here was not birdwatching. Nevertheless, the Grey-headed Fish-Eagle was great.

Species list:
1. Grey-headed Fish-Eagle 1
2. Common Sandpiper 3
3. White-eared Brown-Dove 1
4. Philippine Coucal 1
5. Philppine Hawk-Owl 1
6. Island Swiftlet 10+
7. Glossy Swiftlet 5+
8. Pygmy Swiftlet 2
9. Common Kingfisher 1
10. White-throated Kingfisher 1
11. Blue-tailed Bee-eater 2
12. Tarictic Hornbill (Luzon) 1
13. Pacific Swallow 10+
14. Red-Rumped Swallow (Striated) 30+
15. Yellow-vented Bulbul 2
16. Philippine Bulbul 3+
17. White-browed Shama 1
18. Blue Rock-Thrush 2
19. Arctic Warbler 3
20. Philippine Tailorbird 1
21. Grey-streaked Flycatcher 1
22. Mangrove Blue Flycatcher 1
23. Pied Fantail 1
24. Black-naped Monarch 2
25. Grey Wagtail 3+
26. Brown Shrike 1
27. Plain-throated Sunbird 2
28. Olive-backed Sunbird 3+
29. Purple-throated Sunbird 3
30. Red-keeled Flowerpecker 3+
31. Eurasian Tree Sparrow 10+