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A Report from

The Philippines, December 24th 2002 – January 21st 2003,

Peter Collaerts


Collaerts Erwin, Belgium
Collaerts Peter, Belgium:
Princen Yvon, Belgium:


The Philippines are one of the most endemic-rich places on earth. There live also a lot of near-endemic species what makes it a fantastic birdwatching destination. But the avifauna and nature in general on the Philippines are also one of the most threatened on earth. Deforestation and the increasing demand for agriculture land by the growing population on this archipelago make that the wildlife on the islands is very vulnerable. The future looks not so good so every worldbirder who wants to see the Philippine birds needs to go as soon as possible.

Tim Fisher organised our logistics and transport for the whole trip. He did this in a fantastic way. We paid 4525 euro for 3 persons. This  included domestics flights, ferry, cars, hotels and guides. In Talaytay and Mt. Katanglad we stayed in a basic lodge where no restaurants or food stalls were nereby. On both places Tim Fisher bought the food and transported it to the lodges. This food was included in the price we paid.

We spend a lot of time travelling between the islands and birding areas. That made this trip sometime hard, especially when you are imagining that a lot of special birds are outside here, waiting for you to be seen.

This was an fantastic trip with 127 endemics observed by us. But there is one big gap in our list, the Philippine Eagle. Dipping this species is a good reason to visit the archipelago again in the near future.


International flight from Brussels to Manila (€ 965) via Rome (Italy), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Kuta Kinabalu (Borneo) with Malaysian Airlines, The flight from Brussels to Rome was with SN Brussels Airlanes. Domestic flights were booked by Tim Fisher. These flights were Manila (Luzon) - Puerto Princesa (Palawan) (Philippine Airlanes) return flight,
Manila (Luzon) – Cebu City (Cebu),
Cebu City (Cebu) – Davao (Mindanao),
Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao) – Manila (Luzon).


All the transport was organised by Tim Fisher. He arranged four-wheel cars with drives on all the islands. He booked the inland flights and the ferry between Cebu and Bohol.


Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +8 hours. This gives + 7 hours with Belgian winter time.


On most of the days during the trip we had warm weather with temperatures that got higher then 30 °C. At a few places weather conditions made birdwatching difficult for a while. In Subic Bay the temperature was also high, but there was a strong wind. During our second morning on Mt. Polis the fog was dense but it disappeared after a few hours. In Talaytay we had one night with heavy rainfall. We even need to evacuate our tents. At the last morning in PICOP it was raining very hard. The only thing we could was waiting under a shelter. Luckily it stopped around 9.00h.


A visa is required if you stay more than three weeks. It was obtained from the Philippine Consulate in Brussels.


The currency of the Philippines is the Peso. We changed dollars in the airports and in Bislig.


Trip reports

On the internet

Private published


Philippinen – World Card – 1:2.000.000


The sound recordings on de CD-ROM “Birds of Tropical Asia 2 – Jelle Scharinga” were very useful. Also Tim Fisher gave us his tapes. We used also no-commercial tapes with were put together by some friends of us.

Visited sites


Birds: Swinhoe’s Snipe (+/- 30), White-eared Brown-dove (H), Black-chinned Fruit-dove (H), Emerald Dove (H), Guiabero (2), Colasisi (+/- 10), Philippine Drongo Cuckoo (H), Scale-feathered Malkoha, Red-crested Malkoha, Lesser Coucal, Philippine Hawk-owl (min. 3 H), Great-eared Nightjar, Pygmy Swiftlet, Purple Needletail (2), Philippine Trogon (1 pair), Spotted Wood-kingfisher, Luzon Hornbill (+/- 5), Red-bellied Pitta, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Yellow-wattled Bulbul, Philippine Bulbul, Balicassiao, Elegant Tit (+/- 5), Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (5), White-browed Shama, Blue Rock-thrush, Arctic Warbler, Striated Grassbird, Grey-backed Tailorbird, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Rufous Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Whistler, Forest Wagtail (2), Long-tailed Shrike, Brown Shrike, Olive-backed Sunbird, Red-striped Flowerpecker, Buzzing Flowerpecker, Pygmy Flowerpecker, Lowland White-eye (+/- 40)

Birds: Grey-faced Buzzard, Philippine Serpent-eagle, Flame-breasted Fruit-dove (a few heard, 2 seen), Philippine Cuckoo-dove, Luzon Raquet-tail (+/- 30), Philippine Swiftlet, Whiskered Pitta (1 bird heard on the 2 days), Elegant Tit, Chestnut-faced Babbler (>20), Luzon Water-redstart (1 pair), Pied Bushchat, Scaly Thrush, Island Thrush (a few seen an on bird in a snare, released), Mountain Leaf-warbler, Mountain Tailorbird, Luzon Bush-warbler (common), Long-tailed Ground-warbler (3 seen and frequently heard), Blue-headed Fantail, Green-backed Whistler (+/- 7), Mountain Shrike (3), Metallic-winged Sunbird (1 male), Flame-crowned Flowerpecker (1 male), Mountain White-eye (+/- 8), White-cheeked Bullfinch (2)

Birds: Philippine Serpent-eagle, Scale-feathered Malkoha (1), Pygmy Swiftlet, Luzon Hornbill (2), Rufous Hornbill (5), Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (1), Blue Rock-thrush, White-breasted Woodswallow, Long-tailed Shrike, Brown Shrike,

Birds: Barred Honey-buzzard (1), Grey-faced Buzzard, Philippine Serpent-eagle, Philippine Hawk-eagle, Philippine Falconet (2), Red Junglefowl, Barred Buttonquail, White-eared Brown-dove, Amethyst Brown-dove, Island Collared-dove, Luzon Bleeding-heart (1), Guaiabero, Colasisi, Violet Cuckoo (1 female), Philippine Drongo-cuckoo, Scale-feathered Malkoha (2), Red-crested Malkoha (3), Philippine Coucal (1), Rufous Coucal (7), Great-eared Nightjar, Pygmy Swiftlet, Philippine Trogon (1 female), Rufous Hornbill (3 + a few heard), Coppersmith Barbet, Sooty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Greater Flameback, Blackish Cuckoo-shrike (3), Black-and-white Triller (2), Yellow-vented Bulbul, Philippine Bulbul, Balicassiao, Philippine Fairy-bluebird (4), Elegant Tit (c), Sulphur-bellied Nuthatch (1), Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (1), Golden-crowed Babbler (+/- 7), Luzon Striped-babbler (>15), White-browed Shama (2 males), Pied Bushchat, Scaly Thrush (min. 5), Arctic Warbler, Lemon-throated Leaf-warbler (min. 5), Dark-necked Tailorbird (c), Zitting Cisticola, Blue-headed Fantail (c), Yellow-bellied Whistler (3), White-breasted Woodswallow, Long-tailed Shrike, Brown Shrike, Coleto (5), Plain-throated Sunbird (2 males), Olive-backed Sunbird, Lovely Sunbird (1 male), Olive-backed Flowerpecker (3), Red-striped Flowerpecker (c), Pygmy Flowerpecker (c), Yellowish White-eye (min. 7).

Birds: Brahminy Kite, Philippine Falconet (2), Pompadour Green-pigeon (3), White-eared Brown-dove, Guaiabero (2), Blue-naped Parrot (9 à 11), Green Raquet-tail (6 seen, many heard), Colasisi, Red-crested Malkoha, Philippine Coucal (1 heard), Philippine Hawk-owl (2 seen, a few heard), Uniform Swiftlet (a few), Philippine Swiftlet (1), Whiskered Swiflet (5), White-throated Kingfisher, Blue-throated Bee-eater (+/- 10), Luzon Hornbill (2), Coppersmith Barbet (5), Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker (1), Sooty Woodpecker (2), White-bellied Woodpecker (1), Greater Flameback (1), Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (heard), Blackish Cuckoo-shrike (c), Ashy Minivet (2), Philippine Bulbul (c), White-lored Oriole (1 seen, 1 heard), Philippine Fairy-bluebird, Blue-headed Fantail, White-breasted Wood-swallow, Coleto (2)


Birds: Great Egret, Chinese Egret (2), Peregrine Falcon, Pacific Golden Plover, Plain-throated Sunbird,

Birds: Plaintive Cuckoo (heard), Yellow-throated Leafbird, Black-headed Bulbul, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, White-vented Shama (3), Pied Fantail, Blue Paradise-flycatcher (1)

Birds: White-bellied Sea-eagle, Tabon Scrubfowl (4), Red Junglefowl, Palawan Peacock-pheasant (1 male gave fantastic views near the headquarters), Greater Sand-plover, Green Imperial-pigeon, Blue-crowned Raquet-tail (heard), Blue-headed Raquet-tail (a few heard), Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Javan Frogmouth (1 seen and 1 heard), Large-tailed Nightjar, Palawan Swiftlet, Edible-nest Swiftlet, Glossy Swiftlet, Ruddy Kingfisher (heard), Palawan Hornbill (3+1), Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Common Flameback, Hooded Pitta (2), Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (5), Pied Triller (c), Grey-cheeked Bulbul, Sulphur-bellied Bulbul (+/- 5), Slender-billed Crow, Palawan Tit (1), Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Ashy-headed Babbler (1), Falcated Ground-babbler (1, a fantastic observation of a fantastic bird), Striped Tit-babbler (>5), White-vented Shama (2), Palawan Blue Flycatcher (2 males), Pied Fantail, Blue Paradise-flycatcher (1), Asian Glossy Starling, Plain-throated Sunbird, Copper-throated Sunbird (1 male), Purple-throated Sunbird (1 male), Shelley’s Sunbird (>5), Little Spiderhunter, Palawan Flowerpecker (c), Pygmy Flowerpecker, White-bellied Munia

Birds: Tabon Scrubfowl (heard), Palawan Scops-owl (1 heard), Great Slaty Woodpecker, Fiery Minivet (1 male), Yellow-throated Leafbird (fairly common), Ashy Drongo, Slender-billed Crow, Palawan Tit (1), Ashy-headed Babbler (heard), Melodious Babbler (min. 3), Striped Tit-babbler, White-vented Shama (heard), Blue Paradise-flycatcher (heard), Shelley’s Sunbird, Palawan Flowerpecker (c), Thick-billed (Striped) Flowerpecker (1), Pygmy Flowerpecker, Chestnut Munia

Birds: Pink-necked Green-pigeon, Black-chinned Fruit-dove (1 female), Philippine Cockatoo (5), Blue-headed Raquet-tail (3), Mantanani Scops-owl (4 heard), Dollarbird, Copper-throated Sunbird (1 male), Olive-backed Sunbird

Birds: Green Imperial-pigeon, Philippine Cuckoo-dove (1), Blue-naped Parrot (3), Great Slaty Woodpecker, Black-naped Oriole (heard), Slender-billed Crow, Ashy-headed Babbler (heard), Striped Tit-babbler, White-vented Shama (heard), Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Palawan Flycatcher (1 bird heard and brief views), Blue Paradise-flycatcher (heard), Purple-throated Sunbird (1 male), Shelley’s Sunbird, Palawan Flowerpecker


Birds: Philippine Serpent-eagle, Emerald Dove, Mindanao Bleeding-heart, Black-faced Coucal (fairly common), Great-eared Nightjar (1), Philippine Nightjar (2), Glossy Swiftlet, Rufous-lored Kingfisher (1 seen and 1 heard), White-bellied Woodpecker, Greater Flameback, Azure-breasted’s Pitta (3 heard), Samar Hornbill (2 seen and a few heard), Philippine Bulbul, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (2), Streak Ground-babbler (5 seen and regularly heard), Black-crowned Babbler (+/- 5), Brown Tit-babbler (2), Philippine Leaf-warbler (2), Rufous-fronted Tailorbird (min. 5), Yellow-breasted Tailorbird (2), Blue Fantail (c), Yellow-bellied Whistler, Purple-throated Sunbird (1 male)


Birds: White-eared Brown-dove, Blue-crowned Raquet-tail (5), Colasisi (2, presumed to be birds from the subspecies living on Mindanao), Brush Cuckoo (1), Philippine Coucal (1 seen, a few heard), Coppersmith Barbet, Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker (3), Pied Triller (1), Balicassiao, Black-naped Oriole, Elegant Tit (5), Oriental Magpie-robin, Black Shama (1 seen, a few heard), Grey-streaked Flycatcher (1), Snowy-browed Flycatcher (1 male), Crimson Sunbird (2 males), Red-striped Flowerpecker (c)


Birds: Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Wandering Whistling-duck (+/- 10), Philippine Duck (2), Blue-breasted Quail (6), White-browed Crake (6), Brush Cuckoo, Philippine Coucal (1), Australasian Grass Owl (2), Yellow-vented Bulbul (thousands), Oriental Reed-warbler, Zitting Cisticola, White-breasted Wood-swallow (c), Asian Glossy Starling (very common), Coleto (min. 7), Metallic-winged Sunbird, Lovely Sunbird (5 males), Naked-faced Spiderhunter (2), Little Spiderhunter (1), Bicolored Flowerpecker (min. 20), Red-striped Flowerpecker (c), Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Everett’s White-eye, Chestnut Munia

Birds: Barred Honey-buzzard (5), Chinese Goshawk (1), Philippine Serpent-eagle (4), Philippine Falconet (4), Plain Bush-hen (heard), White-eared Brown-dove, Yellow-breasted Fruit-dove (3), Black-chinned Fruit-dove (+/-5), Pink-bellied Imperial-pigeon (1), Green Imperial-pigeon, Philippine Cuckoo-dove (1), Guaiabero (>5), Colasisi (a few), Brush Cuckoo, Philippine Drongo-cuckoo (heard), Philippine Coucal (3), Black-faced Coucal (min. 2), Philippine Frogmouth (2), Great-eared Nightjar (>5), Uniform Swiftlet, Pygmy Swiftlet, Philippine Needletail (min. 3), Purple Needletail (min. 5), Philippine Trogon (2 males), Silvery Kingfisher (3), Rufous-lored Kingfisher (1 seen, 2 heard), Mindanao Hornbill (>20), Writhed Hornbill (3), Rufous Hornbill (5), Coppersmith Barbet, Mindanao Wattled Broadbill (3, maybe 4), Azure-breasted Pitta (1 seen very well, 2 heard), Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Black-bibbed Cuckoo-shrike (1), Black-and-white Triller (1), Scarlet Minivet, Philippine Leafbird (1), Philippine Bulbul, Yellowish Bulbul (>10), Philippine Oriole (3), Black-naped Oriole, Large-billed Crow, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (4), Streaked Ground-babbler (heard), Pygmy Babbler (min.7), Brown Tit-babbler (>5), Rufous-fronted Tailorbird, Black-headed Tailorbird (7), Rufous-tailed Jungle-flycatcher (1), Grey-streaked Flycatcher (2), Blue Fantail (heard), Rufous Paradise-flycatcher (heard), Short-crested Monarch (1 pair), Yellow-bellied Whistler (2),

Birds: Oriental Honey-buzzard (2), Brahminy Kite, Philippine Serpent-eagle, Philippine Hawk-eagle, Plain Bush-hen (1 seen, a few heard), Oriental Pratincol (2), Bukidnon Woodcock (1 seen, 1 heard), Yellow-breasted Fruit-dove (1 male), Philippine Cuckoo-dove (fairly common), Mindanao Raquet-tail (min. 30), Colasisi (1), Philippine Hawk-cuckoo (1 heard), Plaintive Cuckoo (heard), Brush Cuckoo (frequently heard), Philippine Coucal, Philippine Frogmouth (2 heard), Great-eared Nightjar (frequently heard), Philippine Nightjar (3 heard), Philippine Swiftlet (c), Glossy Swiftlet (c), Blue-capped Wood-kingfisher (1 male), Mindanao Hornbill ( a few), Mc Gregor’s Cuckoo-shrike (5), Philippine Bulbul (c), Elegant Tit (c), Sulphur-billed Nuthatch (>10), Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis (5), White-browed Shortwing (1 male), Island Thrush (1), Eye-browed Thrush (>5), Philippine Leaf-warbler (a few), Tawny Grassbird (5), Striated Grassbird (c), Rufous-headed Tailorbird (3 seen, a few heard), Grey-streaked Flycatcher (3), Mountain Verditer-flycatcher (fairly common), Snowy-browed Flycatcher (1 male), Little Pied Flycatcher (2 male and 1 female), Black-and-cinnamon Fantail (fairly common), Yellow-bellied Whistler, Paddyfield Pipit, White-breasted Wood-swallow, Long-tailed Shrike, Short-tailed Glossy Starling (>20), Apo Myna (fairly common), Grey-hooded Sunbird (min. 4), Apo Sunbird (1 pair), Olive-capped Flowerpecker (6), Bicolored Flowerpecker (1 pair), Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (1 pair), Mountain White-eye (c), Black-masked White-eye (+/-12), Cinnamon Ibon (>10), Red-eared Parrotfinch (2), White-cheeked Bullfinch (heard).


24 December 2002

Departure in Brussels at 7.00h. Flight Rome – Kuala Lumpur from 13.45h untill 8.15h.

25 December 2002

Kuala Lumpur – Kuta Kinabalu from 10.00h until 12.15h. At 13.30h we departured in Kuta Kinabalu to Manilla, LUZON. This was the last part of our long journey. We arrived at 15.00h. Upon our arrival at Manila International Airport , we were met by Mr. Fisher’s representative. We drove along Tim Fisher’s place in Manilla. He borrowed his tapes to us. Also he gave us recent information about a few places. After this we drove to the University campus in Los Banos at the feet of Mt. Makiling. When we arrived at 19.00h it was already dark. We stayed into a guesthouse near the Forestry. So we traveled the whole Christmas day.

26 December 2002

From 5.45h until 15.00h we birded along the main track to the top of Mt. Makiling. Thereafter we watched birds around the University campus.

27 December 2002

From 5.30h untill 7.30 we went birding at the start of the main trail at Mt. Makiling, together with Tim Fisher. Then we drove his house and took a pick-up for the long drive to Banaue – Mt. Polis, situated in the Mountain Province. We arrived in Banaue at 19.15h and checked in the Banaue View Inn for a two nights stay.

28 December 2002

At 4.30h we drove to the top of Mt. Polis were we birded until late afternoon. Then we drove the short distance to Bay-Yo, on the other side of Mt. Polis. Here we found the rare Luzon Water-redstart near the river very soon. After we found the redstart we drove back to the top of Mt. Polis and stayed here for the rest of the day.

29 December 2002

At 4.30h we went to the top of Mt. Polis again. We stayed here until 9.00h. When we went back to our car we had a conflict with a local farmer. He accused us to destroy his patatoes. After half an hour of discussion and an intervention of a local policeman we left.

At 10.30h we left the Banaue View Inn and drove to Baler. On our way to Baler we saw an Indigo-banded Kingfisher. We arrived in Baler at 19.20h. We stayed in the very noisy Amco Lodge for one night.

30 December 2002

We drove to Talaytay Watershed, Aurora at 6.30h. Three representatives of Tim Fisher accompanied us. It is 79 km from Baler driving along a dirty track near the sea. This track is going through some parts of good forest so we did some roadside birding. We stopped at a good place for Celestial Monarch but without success. The last part of the road to Talaytay goes to open areas with long dry grass. Here we were able to observe open area species.

We arrived at 12.30h in the lodge at the start of the trail to Talaytay. This lodge is not so big but there was a bigger problem. A local farmer with his family took in the lodge. Luckily Mr. Fisher’s logistics team installed some tents.

We lost a lot of time by searching the female major in the small villages around Talaytay. She wanted to meet us for welcoming us to her community. Tim Fisher arranged a local guide from the nearby village. Unfortunately he did not know the birds and he did not speak English. The only reason for having one of the locals as a guide is to stimulate the local people to invest in ecotourism and to protect the forest.

After all these interruptions it was already late afternoon and we got just a few hours left for birdwatching. We walked around in the grassland between the main road and Talaytay Watershed.

31 December 2002

At 5.30h we started birdwatching along the only trail in Talaytay for the whole day.

1 January 2003

We did the same as yesterday, birding along the only trail that leads from the lodge inside the forest.

2 January 2003

We left Talaytay at 5.50h and drove back to Baler. On our way we stopped again at the Celestial Monarch stakeout but again without success. After we dropped one of Tim Fisher’s assistants, we got on to Subic Bay in Bataan on the other side of Luzon. The rest of the day we constantly traveled. We arrived in Subic Bay at 19.30h and checked in the Crown Peak hotel. Tim Fisher was waiting here for us.

3 January 2003

From 5.30h until 15.00h we birded at the old American military base in Subic Bay. It was very windy and that made birdwatching very difficult. Tim Fisher was with us the whole day. After the birding we went to Manila. We passed the night in the Malate Pension House at the center Manila.

4 January 2003

At 8.05h we took out flight to Puerto Princesa – PALAWAN. After a one-hour flight we met Arnel Malliari, our guide on Palawan, at the airport. First we drove to the mudflats close near the airport, named Garceliano Beach. Here we searched for Chinese Egret, we found 2 of them. We stayed at the mudflats for just one hour and thereafter we drove to Sabang – St. Pauls National Park, at the western side of the island. On the way we stopped at a graveyard situated on the beach. This place is also on the western side of Palawan. Birdwatching was very productive at this place. We stopped also on a few other places during our ride to Sabang. The places were less productive then the graveyard. We arrived in Sabang around 16.00h and we stayed in the Last Frontier Lodge for two nights. This lodge is in the village just near St. Pauls National Park. At the evening we searched for Palawan Scops Owl and Javan (Palawan) Frogmouth outside the park but with no success.

5 January 2003

At 5.30h a small boat took us to the headquarters at the underground river in St. Pauls National Park. Here we watched birds until 11.00h. Then we went to the Central Park Center (CPS). Around noon temperature was very high and made birdwatching was very slow. We decided to take a rest for a few hours. From 15.30h until dark we watched birds between CPS and the park entrance. Arnel knows the birds and where to find them very well and so we saw nearly all the specialities inside the park.

6 January 2003

At 4.00h we were already in the forest searching for owls and frogmouths. This time we were lucky, a Javan Frogmouth gave close views. At sunrise we went to the park again. We stayed here until noon and then we went to Puerto Princesa again. We slept in the Badjao hotel

7 January 2003

Early morning we went to the Iwahig penal colony for a full morning’s birding. We arrived here before sunrise for searching owls. We heard one Palawan Scops-Owl. It was calling far inside the forest and did not respond to the tape. After sunrise we stayed here a few hours. This was a very pleasant place and a lot of birds were observed during the few hours that we were here.

After lunch, we drove south to Brooke’s Point in order to go to Raza Island. We stayed in a nearby small resort. Here we met our local guide, a local conservationist. Together with a German scientist, he is studying and protecting the Philippine Cockatoos on the island. The project that they started is doing well. They are educating the people of the nearby villages on the main island, Palawan. The local people are informed about the protection of the cockatoo. And they are also working together with the local people. As a result the cockatoos are now well protected in the area and the population is increasing. There are now more birds that came to sleep on Raza Island. During the day most of the birds foraging on the main island.

Around 15.00h we sailed to the island. After a while, five Cockatoos flew in and were sitting in a dead tree. We could observe them for a long time. After sunset we heard four Mantanani Scops-Owls. But we were not able to see one of them. One was calling just in front of us. But is disappeared before we put on our lamps. We stayed here until 19.00h.

8 January 2003

On the morning of the 8th, we drove back to Puerto Princesa airport. On the way we had to spend a few hours birdwatching along the South Zig-Zag Highway. At km 34.5 we heard Palawan Flycatcher and at the end we had also brief views. This place on the highway also good for other birds. The Air Philippines-flight to Manila was at 11.30h. Our connecting flight to Cebu at 2.00 pm had one hour delay. At Cebu Airport, Tim Fisher’s representatives were waiting for us. Due to the flight delay, we were just in time to take the ferry to Tagbilaran, BOHOL. Even the ferry waited for us thanks to Mr. Fisher’s intervention. On the ferry we met Godfrey, our guide for the next days on Bohol and Cebu. Upon arrival in Bohol, we met Chito Delage, our driver for the next three days. He took us to the Chocolate Hills guesthouse for a two nights stay.

9 January 2003

At 4.00h we went to Rajah Sikatuna National Park. It was a 20-minutes ride from the hotel to the park. We started birdwatching around the scout camp. Thereafter we birded along the trail to the swimming pool. In the afternoon we stayed on the Valley Trail. In the evening we went to the scout camp again for searching nightbirds.

10 January 2003

In the morning we started at the swimming pool and went to the Valley Trail. Here we stayed until 15.00h. Then we drove back to the ferry. We left Bohol at 17.30h and we arrived in Cebu City at 19.30h. Here we stayed in the Vacation Hotel for a two nights.

11 January 2003

The day at Tabunan Forest Reserve, CEBU was organized by the Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation. They arranged transport from our hotel to the reserve. We left the hotel at 5.00h. In Tabunan we met our local guide Oking and his neighbor girl . We stayed the whole day in the park at platform 1 and 2. But we were unlucky, not a single Cebu Flowerpecker showed itself to us. But we saw the other highlight of the island, Black Shama. Also we heard a few of them.

12 January 2003

At 8.00h we had our flight to Davao, MINDANAO with Cebu Pacific. The flight took 40 minutes. When we arrived we met our drivers and we drove straight to Bislig - Picop, Surigao. Upon arrival we checked in the Paper Country Inn for a three nights stay. Soon we met our guide Zardo Goring at the hotel. He was guiding four Dutch birders, Roland Van Der Vliet, Remco Hofland, Chris Quispel and ???. We already met Roland and Remco during a trip in Thailand. At 14.30h we went to Bisligs airport for a few hours of birding.

13 January 2003

We spend the whole day birding along Road 1-4.

14 January 2003

Before noon we birded along Road 1-4. In the afternoon we went to Road 4 and we explored a few areas around here. For nightbird-searching we went back to Road 1-4.

15 January 2003

This was the first morning of our trip that it was raining during sunrise. The rainfall was so hard that birdwatching was impossible. Luckily the rain stopped around 9.00h and we had still a few hours to go. Again we spend our time along Road 1-4. An Azure-breasted Pitta started to call after the rain but it took a while before we could find the bird. So sut at the end of our stay we saw the pitta. In total happiness we left the area at 12.00h and went back to the hotel. We left for Davao at 14.30h where we stayed in the Casa Leticia hotel.

16 January 2003

We left Davao at 5.30h and we drove to Dalwangan, Bukidnon. It took 5 hours to drive to the village on the slopes of Mt. Katanglad. Here we met Lamitan. His horse took our bags upon the mountain. We stayed in the lodge on the mountain, situated at a height of 1800 metres, for three nights. Here we met the Dutch birdwatchers again. Our cook, Jimmy, was already in the lodge and he prepared us an excellent meal. After lunchtime it was already late afternoon and we soon walked to the second viewpoint. Only the commoner species were observed.

17 January 2003

Today we went to the top of Mt. Katanglad. On the way we met a few of the original residents. We paid a little amount of money to enter the sacred area of the mountain. In the afternoon we have been in the lower parts of the mountain, around viewpoint 1 and 2. No Philippine Eagle yet.

18 January 2003

We stayed the whole day at vieuwpoint 1, scanning the canopy on the outer side of the river. But we were very unlucky, no Philippine Eagle appeared for us. The Dutch birdwatchers had just a glimpse of the eagle at this viewpoint the day before we arrived in the area. In the evening we searched for nightbirds in the fields between viewpoint 1 and the lodge.

19 January 2003

Before noon we did some birding in the few small patches of forest still exist on the lower elevations of Mt. Katanglad, near the river between the lodge and viewpoint 1. Around 13.00h we went back to the lodge. Lamitan was waiting here for us with the horse and we went down the mountain. This was the end of the birdwatching part of the trip. From now on it was a long journey back home. In the village we took the van and we drove to Cagayan de Oro for an overnight stay.

20 January 2003

We took the early morning flight to Manila. Our international flight in Manila took off at 15.30h. The flight was via Kuta Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Rome.

21 January 2003

We arrived in Brussels at 12.15h.

Full Species List (big- 250Kb)

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