Monday, February 04, 2019

I Love Caylabne

Caylabne is a private resort in Cavite. It reopened recently after being closed for quite some time. We were grateful to our friend, Peter, for making the arrangements to get us inside this resort to do some birding.

But first, allow me to express our sadness at the lack of birds along the road from Ternate to the gates of the resort. This used to be one of the better birding areas not that far from Metro Manila. It was here that my wife and I got some lifers, such as the Plain Bush Hen and the Blackish Cuckooshrike. We have brought birding friends from Hong Kong and the U.S.A. here and they were not disappointed. However, our experience yesterday was unbelievably heartbreaking. We only saw two species of birds, Brahminy Kites flying overhead and a single Philippine Falconet!

Brahminy Kite
Philippine Falconet
As we approached the gate of the resort, Cynthia yelled "Peregrine Falcon!" which she saw land on the tower. It was partly hidden so we couldn't take any pictures. So we waited for it to fly off. After about 15 minutes it flew and soared away never to return. Luckily, I got one shot that turned out to be good enough.

As we traversed the road to the resort, I saw a dove feeding by the roadside. At first I thought it was a Red Turtledove, but looking at the documentary shots that I got, it turned out to be an Island Collared Dove - a total surprise!

Our next encounter was that of a Collared Kingfisher perched on some dead branches.

Then we saw the pond and there were perhaps more than 50 Philippine Ducks there. We stayed there for a while until the skittish ducks sort of got used to our presence.

Even before we approached the pond, my wife already saw a White-bellied Sea Eagle perched on a tree near the water's edge. However, it was too far for us to get some good shots. It was while waiting for the ducks to come closer that a pair of these eagles flew over and offered better photo ops.

Having our fill with the ducks, we moved on. Hearing some screeching sounds, Peter parked the car and we searched for the source of that noise. It turned out to be four or five Guaiaberos feeding on a fruiting tree.

During some pauses when we were trying to locate the green parrots from among the green leaves, a Grey-streaked Flycatcher would attract our attention by flying after an unfortunate insect and the perching on a branch in full view.

We then had lunch at the resort. After that, on the way back to the entrance, we passed by the "garbage dump" hoping to see some Bee-eaters but they were a no-show. The only bird in that area was a Little Egret near a small pond.

Were it not for the birds we saw inside the grounds of the resort, our birding sortie would have been a total disaster. That's why I love Caylabne.

No comments: