Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Olango Island, 9/21/14

Every time we visit Honey's family in Cebu, I like to spend a day on Olango Island chasing shorebirds around the 940 hectare Ramsar declared shorebird sanctuary.  Even though I saw nothing new on this trip, my newer T4i got better photos than my old T1i so it was a productive day.  Here are Honey and I on the outrigger on the way to Olango Island.  It costs about 25 cents each for the two mile ride.

The most common passerine on Olango has got to be the Golden-bellied Gerygone and their thin whistled song seems to come from every mangrove tree.  Gerygones are primarily found in Wallacea with the Golden-bellied being the only species found west of Wallace's Line.

I heard a harsh scolding coming from mangroves at the edge of the water line for high tide.  It reminded me of the Clamorous Reed-Warbler I heard hear once before.  I managed a couple of quick photos and I guess it was just another one.  The Acrocephalus warblers are a hard bunch to ID.

Finally the tide started to recede and I located a large group of shorebirds a couple of hundred yards to the north of the viewing area so I slogged across the inundated coral flats to get a better look.  Along the way a couple of Pacific Swallows refused to give me an open shot.

I finally made it over to the shorebirds where I eventually was able to identify fourteen species.  Here is the Common Greenshank.

The Brits are pretty creative when it comes to naming birds.  This is the Common Redshank with it's distinct wing pattern.

One of my favorites is the strange looking Terek Sandpiper.  It's like a peep with an avocet bill.

Usually I'm doing well to find a couple of Great Knots.  This time I counted 37 of them.  The breast and flank spots and longer bill make them easy to separate from Red Knot which is also possible here.

I estimated 200 Gray-tailed Tattlers.  They are less dependent on rocky shorelines than our Wandering Tattler.  Notice the Terek Sandpiper.

I usually see a few of the endangered Asian Dowitcher but thirty was unprecedented.  Notice the blacklegs.

The Bar-tailed Godwits on Olango Island are of the east Asian bauri subspecies.  They lack the white underwings of the European lapponica which we had stay a spell recently in Corpus Christi.

The east Asian Whimbrel has a white stripe up the back which is quite different from our American ones.

I like these flight shots containing several species.

When it was time to return the tide was out so our boat could not make it to the pier.  So they sent out a flat bottom boat to pick out the hundred or so passengers.  But it ran aground also, so we had to wade in.

Here's the list for the day.

Little Egret  8
Striated Heron  5
Black-bellied Plover  4
Greater Sand-Plover  6
Terek Sandpiper  15
Common Sandpiper  1
Gray-tailed Tattler  200
Common Greenshank  12
Common Redshank  50
Whimbrel  150
Eurasian Curlew  2
Bar-tailed Godwit  10
Ruddy Turnstone  20
Great Knot  37
Red-necked Stint  100
Asian Dowitcher  30
Gull-billed Tern  5
Whiskered Tern  3
Spotted Dove  6
Zebra Dove  2
Common Kingfisher  2
Collared Kingfisher  6
Golden-bellied Gerygone  15
Brown Shrike  2
Philippine Pied-Fantail  1
Pacific Swallow  2
Yellow-vented Bulbul  1
Oriental Reed-Warbler  1
Asian Glossy Starling  10
Olive-backed Sunbird  8

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