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A Report from

Philippines 15 March - 12April, 2002,


Clinton, Tennessee   USA

This was the hardest trip my wife (Dollyann Myers) and I have ever done, both physically and mentally. We knew from previous trip reports it would be difficult, but a combination of recent minor knee surgery for my wife, hot and dry weather, an early breeding season, and the worst environmental devastation we've ever seen all contributed to a grueling trip. Most mornings we got up at 0330, ate breakfast at 0400 and were off to go birding by 0430. It took roughly an hour to get to most of the good birding places either because they were far away or because the roads did not allow for quick travel, and sometimes it took even longer. Part of getting up so early was that it got light enough to bird at 0530. Our guide was Mr. Philippines himself, Tim Fisher (, and he was very, very good. He always worked hard for us to help find and tape in the birds, made changes at the last minute to our itinerary because of unforeseen circumstances (canceled ferry ride, weather, etc.), and solve any problems that came up quickly and easily. We highly recommend him.

I've read that the Philippines only has 2% of its forest left and after seeing it, I'm surprised there's that much left. There appears to be no control over the logging and it is going on unabated, legal or illegal. We watched at PICOP on Mindanao, as one 5 foot section of tree trunk after another was being rolled down the roads by barefooted poor people, only to be sold for a mere $4 each. It was truly heartbreaking. PICOP will not be able to sustain this kind of activity for more than another year, if that. The birds are already getting much harder to find. Tim told us that he doesn't know if he will be able to find another good lowland site on Mindanao. If you have any intentions at all of going to the Philippines, I recommend you go immediately. Before long, any birds that are left will be so far away from humans as to be almost impossible to get to without mounting a major expedition. In my opinion, the environmental future for the Philippines is bleak, at best. I also recommend going in Jan. or Feb. The weather should be a bit cooler and it should be a bit wetter, without being too rainy.

Our itinerary was set up to try to find as many endemics as we could in a 4 week trip. It was to include Palawan (the nicest and most forested island we visited), Cebu, Bohol, Negros, Mindanao, Mindoro, and Luzon. We had to abandon Negros due to heavy rain one day and a canceled ferry another (probably costing us at least 4 endemics). The weather was also against us as it was bordering on drought, being very hot and dry. Walking through the forest sometimes was like walking on potato chips. While some birds responded well to taping, others couldn't have cared less. Tim thought this might have been due to a somewhat early breeding season (hot weather related?). Like most birding trips, we dipped on several species I thought we should have seen (my guess is about 10 or so), but the flip side was some great looks at some species few people ever see or see well.


15 March - Tim picked us up at the Heritage hotel around 10 a.m. and we drove to Mt. Makiling. We got in some birding in the late afternoon, mostly at the bottom near the International Rice Research Institute. Night at hotel near the university at Los Banos.

16 March - All day birding at Mt. Makiling, including early morning owling. We essentially birded a road that goes up over Mt. Makiling for most of the morning and then did some birding on the campus itself. We then drove back to Manila. Traffic was horrendous. Night at Heritage Hotel.

17 March - Early morning flight to Puerto Princessa, on the island of Palawan. After a quick look for Chinese Egret at a nearby beach (yes), we had lunch and then drove south to a town called Narra, near Raza Island. In the late afternoon, we got on a small boat and went over to Raza Island (it's only about a mile offshore). This is a spot Tim has found where seeing the Phil. Cockatoo is pretty much a sure thing (they come into a roost tree every night at about the same time). We also picked up Great-billed Heron and Mantanani Scops-Owl. Night at small resort hotel in Narra.

18 March - We started driving early and birded a small patch of forest (about an hour away from Narra) on the way back to Puerto Princessa until 10 a.m. We then drove to the Iwahig penal colony fishponds and birded there until noon, picking up several species of waders and other water birds. After lunch, we drove to Sabang, which is on the west side of the island. It was a long 3-4 hour drive over some rough roads. After checking in at our lodging and resting for an hour or so, we hiked up above the lodge to bird and do some owling. We had some displaying Great Slaty Woodpeckers, but the Palawan Scops-Owl and Javan Frogmouth would not cooperate. We didn't get any response at all to our taping. Some Brits that we met later on our trip birded the same meadow a week or so after we did and DID see the frogmouth (the moon was full then). Night at Last Frontier Resort. This lodge is only used whenever someone comes, so it's a bit run down. Still we found it comfortable and it's right on a nice marsh.  A lady from Puerto Princessa comes over to do the cooking. She was a great cook and the food was delicious.

19 March - After an early breakfast, we took a boat to St. Paul's National Park. We went first to the underground ranger station (named after the underground river there that is a tourist attraction) until10:30. There's a Palawan Peacock-Pheasant hanging around with some Tabon Scrubfowl here. They are both acclimated to the rangers there and are supposedly easy to see. The scrubfowl were easy, but we did not see the Peacock. After birding here, we took the boat to what's called the central park station, about a mile away. After we got to the central station, the rangers from the first station radioed that they did see the Peacock after we left. We took the hot mid-day off for a rest, but managed to add Palawan Hornbill and Blue-naped Parrots. We birded the rest of the afternoon, but didn't add anything. When night came, we tried again for the owl and frogmouth, but all we got was a distant response from the frogmouth. Night at Last Frontier Resort.

20 March - We returned to the underground ranger station long enough to finally get a look at the Peacock-Pheasant (8:30). What a stunning bird! I wish we could have watched it much longer, but at that point we were just glad not to dip on it. Then we went back to the central ranger station until 10:30. We took the boat around another small peninsula and walked what's known as the mangrove trail. We picked up a few new birds there and found Malaysian Plover on the beach. We went back to the lodge for lunch and then left at 2:45 p.m. to return to Puerto Princessa. Night at the very nice Asturias Hotel.

21 March - We left early for the Iwahig penal colony forest, where we hiked the Balsaham trail. We needed to pick up several species here and were successful on all counts except the Palawan Flycatcher. Tim said he hasn't seen it in 2 years or more. We had a good morning birding. We picked up Palawan Scops-Owl, but dipped again on the frogmouth. I had a bird fly by that I thought was one, but we could never get it in a light. Crested Goshawk was a bonus find. We left about 10:30 and flew out of Palawan to Cebu, arriving at the Plaza Hotel about 6 p.m. Tim picked the Plaza as it was closer to the site for the Cebu Flowerpecker, thereby cutting down travel time. It was very plush.

22 March - Wipeout! We had torrential rains and wind all morning and aborted our try for the flowerpecker around 1 p.m. Spent the rest of the day at the Plaza hotel. We were supposed to take a ferry to Bohol this evening, but even the ferry had canceled due to rough seas. We decided to try again for the flowerpecker tomorrow. Night at Plaza Hotel.

23 March - We arrived at Mr. Oking's house again at dawn. He's the local guide who takes people to the flowerpecker forest patch. It was raining when we arrived, but it quit within an hour. That was good, but all the rain left the trails extremely muddy and slippery. We carefully made our way to the patch. We were able to get a good look at the Black Shama on the way in. In the patch, we had a White-vented Whistler singing within 20 feet of us and never saw a leaf move. We dipped on it. We got to the "upper" viewpoint for the flowerpecker, and decided to climb the towering rocks to get closer to the canopy. The climb looks dangerous, but there are plenty of handholds if one is careful. The view was magnificent. There's just enough room for about 4-5 people. We had been watching for about 1.5 hours when Mr. Oking said "I hear it". We looked at the tree he was talking about, only to see a flowerpecker-sized bird drop out the back of the tree. We never saw it again. We left without seeing the flowerpecker and Tim said he hasn't seen it yet this year in 3 tries. We went back to the hotel, gathered our bags and took the ferry to Bohol, getting to the Chocolate Hills guesthouse around 9:30 p.m. Night at Chocolate Hills Guesthouse.

24 March - We spent the whole day at Rajah Sikatuna National Park near Bilar, Bohol. There was a lot of hiking, but it was a pretty nice forest, and for a change the trails were in good condition. We kept hoping for a feeding flock, but we never bumped into one. Birds here are thin on the ground and you spend a lot of time hearing some chip notes but not really seeing much. We managed to pick up several new species, but had to work very hard for them. We eventually got super looks at Rufous-lored Kingfisher and Steere's Pitta here. Also added were Black-faced Coucal and Samar Hornbill. Chocolate Hills is a geologically unique area with about 1,000 small hills that are mostly treeless and brownish looking. We saw it from the air a few days later on our way to Mindanao. It was interesting. Night at Chocolate Hills Guesthouse.

25 March - We went back to Rajah Sikatuna and birded until about noon. We added a few more species, but we still did not find a good feeding flock. Again the birding was very slow. We then drove to Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol, to catch a ferry to Negros. When we got there, we were informed that the ferry was canceled. After some discussion, we agreed that we would instead go back to Cebu for the night and then fly to Mindanao, thus skipping Negros in order to keep the rest of our trip on schedule. Night at hotel near the Cebu airport.

26 March - This morning we flew to Davao, on Mindanao, where we were met and driven to Bislig, a city in the heart of the PICOP logging concession area. We birded a bit along the way, but really didn't have much. We checked into the Paper Country Inn and rested for a while. The Inn was adequate, but had a nice electric warm shower and the food was very good. This evening we went to the defunct Bislig airport, where we picked up Phil. Duck, Australasian Grass-Owl, Phil. Nightjar, and a few other species new for the trip. Night at Paper Country Inn.

27 March - The ride to our birding area took about an hour. We then spent the whole day birding along what's called road 1-4. This was one of our best birding days of the entire trip. We still never came across a major feeding flock, but were able to pick up several new species. Most notable were the monarchs. Right about lunchtime, we found a Short-crested Monarch. It responded to the tape and even had its crest raised for a few minutes. We ate lunch and then about 2:30 p.m. I saw a bird fly over the road that didn't look quite right. It called and Tim jumped up and said it was a Celestial Monarch. He taped it and Dollyann eventually spotted it as it came into a shrub about 20 feet from us. We ended up getting it in the scope for an unbelievable 5-7 minutes! Cobalt blue body, turquoise feathers lying across the head and upper back (Tim said that this species virtually never raises its head feathers like it is shown in the book), a lime green eye ring, and the inside of its mouth was bright yellow! Totally mesmerizing! We picked up 11 new species for the day, including Naked-faced Spiderhunter, and Pygmy and Rusty-crowned Babblers. The down side was seeing how badly this forest was being chopped up and cleared. Tim said he might not even come here any more after next year because it was being degraded so badly. Most of the fruiting trees were done fruiting, so the fruit-doves and imperial pigeons were particularly hard to find. We did some owling this evening and managed to get great looks at the "randi" race of Brown Hawk-Owl and the "evereti" race of the Phil. Scops-Owl. We heard Phil. Frogmouth.  Night at Paper Country Inn.

28 March - Today we birded road 1 for a while, then road 4A, and after about 2:30 p.m., back to road 1-4. It was pretty slow on roads 1 and 4A, but we did manage to pick up Writhed and Rufous Hornbills. The weather was very hot and the birds basically shut down after about 9:00 a.m. We went back to road 1-4 about 3:00 p.m., and it was fairly birdy for a while. We did manage to find a small feeding flock and added a few birds. It was a hard, hot day with few birds and this was the day we saw the local people rolling the tree trunk sections down the road to market. It was a major mental bummer. We left a bit early today to go back, as we were scheduled to get up even earlier tomorrow (like 2:30 a.m.) to try to go to Mt. Pasian, a 3 hour ride away, but with some tempting hard-to-get species. Night at Paper Country Inn.

29 March - This was a strange day. We left on time in our 4-door pick-up truck and got to the road we needed to go to the top of Mt. Pasian. The road was steep and our driver had a hard time driving up the hill. In doing so, he managed to burn out an (unknown to us at the time) already failing clutch. We only got about half way to the top and had to start walking from there. We were at roughly 2,000 feet and Tim wanted to get to 3,000 feet in order to try to find Lina's Sunbird. We eventually hiked about 4+ miles and got to roughly 3,000 feet, but didn't have many birds. I didn't realize we were going to be gone for the rest of the day and didn't take enough water with us. Fortunately there were some springs coming out of the side of the hill and I was able to drink from them. It was delicious and saved the day for me. I never had any intestinal problems from it either. The habitat here is also damaged as there were people living along the road. We were getting pretty tired and hot from hiking and while having a discussion about how much further to go (mind you we had to walk all that way back and were facing the possibility of walking all the way down if the truck couldn't move, possibly several more miles, and my wife's knee was already hurting, etc.), I saw a huge, whitish raptor floating over the trees coming towards us. I alerted Tim and Dollyann and we were treated to a 10-second look at none other than the Great Philippine Eagle, about 100 feet over our heads! It never made a sound or flapped its wings as it soared over us and on over the ridge. We were stunned to say the least!!! That alone saved the day. Now we weren't under pressure to see it at Mt Kitanglad. We eventually added 4 more species, including Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis, and Colasisi, but dipped on the sunbird. The walk back was very tough and we were exhausted when we got to the truck. As it turns out, our local helper, Zardo, had walked back to the nearest village to phone the hotel to send a rescue vehicle to get us. It was Good Friday and not many people were working that day, so we were fortunate that he could get a hold of somebody. Our truck had just enough clutch left to get us to the bottom of the hill, where the other truck then towed us back to Bislig. We got back about 8:30 p.m. Night at Paper Country Inn.

30 March - We birded road 1-4 again today until 12:15 p.m. Right at first light we got lucky and found a Philippine Frogmouth for a nice look. Despite intense searching the rest of the morning, we still didn't bump into a feeding flock but did manage to finally find a couple of Yellow-breasted Fruit-Doves (we had been hearing them regularly, but couldn't see them), a lone Pink-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, and the only Black-bibbed Cuckoo-shrike of the trip. We also managed to find White-browed Tailorbird, Celestial and Short-crested Monarchs again, Black-naped Monarch, and Rufous Paradise-Flycatcher. We went back to our hotel, had lunch, and then drove back to Davao. Night at Apo View Hotel. Nice.

31 March - After breakfast, we drove for several hours to a small community called Damitan, where we loaded our things on horses (including my wife) for the trip up to the Eagle camp site. It only took us about an hour to get there. After a rest period, we did some afternoon birding, picking up Phil. Falconet, a great look at Long-tailed Bush-Warbler, Rufous-headed Tailorbird, Mountain Warbler, Black-and-cinnamon Fantail, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Goodfellow's White-eye, and Cinnamon Ibon. The lodge was a building with a roof over an upper floor and the lower floor had open sides with picnic tables and cooking facilities. It also had a bathroom and a shower. We slept in a tent outside and were comfortable. It was pretty cool at night (about mid 50's F.), but the temperature warmed up nicely during the day, even hot in the direct sun. Tim had arranged a horse for my wife so she didn't have to make the 2-hour hike up the mountain (through cabbage fields; there are lots of people living up here) every morning to our starting point. Night at Eagle camp.

1 April - We started early as usual and went up as high as Tim has ever gone to find the high area specialties. Apo Myna wasn't too hard, seeing 5 of them, but we really had to work to find White-cheeked Bullfinch (1), and almost gave up on Apo Sunbird, until we finally tracked down this exquisite bird (1 again). It was a long, hard day. We spent about 2 hours around lunchtime sitting at one of the overlooks watching for the Great Phil. Eagle, but did not see it. A few days later, 3 Brits saw it more than once while they were here, but I don't know how much time they spent looking. I think they saw it more in the early morning hours. When we were watching for it, it was around 12-2 p.m. and much hotter. Some other birds we ticked today were Oriental Honey-buzzard, Mindanao Racquet-tail (only one terribly brief fly-by), Phil. Swiftlet, McGregor's Cuckoo-shrike, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Gray-hooded Sunbird, and Mountain Shrike (1). We heard Mindanao Scops-Owl and Giant Scops-Owl during the night. Night at Eagle camp.

2 April - Since we found the high area specialties yesterday, Tim decided to try some side trails today to try to locate the Blue-capped Kingfisher. He had taped for it in several of his usual places, but was not getting any response. We hiked some real knee-busting side trails (at times I couldn't decipher if we were even on a trail!), and after several hours finally bumped into one for a very nice look. It was the only one we ever found. During our search, Tim would also play the tape for the super-skulking Bagobo Babbler. I couldn't even hear the call on his tape (it is very high pitched), but apparently the bird did. Tim had turned off the tape and we were going to start hiking again, when I turned around and saw one flit behind a stump. He played the tape again, but aside from darting across the path, we never got a look at it again. Some other day ticks were a nice, quick look at a female White-browed Shortwing and an Olive-capped Flowerpecker. We got back to the lodge and just before supper we heard a call from the woods behind the lodge that Tim didn't recognize. Tim got his tape and taped the call. The bird wouldn't come closer to us so we tracked it down the hill a bit. In spite of walking through some crunching bamboo and making lots of noise (unavoidable), the bird stayed put and we were finally able to see it through a small hole in the leaves. It was a Giant Scops-Owl! The bird stayed still for several more minutes and let us get superb looks. Wow! Night at Eagle camp.

3 April - My knee was sore from yesterday's hike and my chances of seeing anything new were limited, so I opted to stay in camp, while Tim and Dollyann went back up the mountain to try to find a few birds she had missed. They didn't add anything new. I went down behind the lodge to a stream to see what I could find. I got some nice looks at things I had already seen, but only managed to add Flame-crowned Flowerpecker. We were hoping to find the Bukidnon Woodcock up at this site. It normally displays at dusk, but the breeding season must have been advanced already, because we never saw or even heard it. This was a major miss. Normally this species is almost a certainty at this site. We left Eagle camp about 9:30 a.m. and spent the rest of the day going back to Manila via Cagayan de Oro. Night at Heritage Hotel.

4 April - Today we took an early (what else?) flight to San Jose, Mindoro. We were met at the airport by the Sablayan penal colony van. Tim said hire cars were hard to come by in Mindoro. We eventually had to fix 2 flat tires, but then managed the 30 mile, 2.5 hour ride over rough and very dusty roads to the penal colony. We stayed in a concrete house that the OIC (officer-in-charge) stays in. It was weird to have prisoners saying "maximum" on their shirts fix food for us and be our porters in the field, but they couldn't have been nicer. We felt very safe here, living among the prisoners, dogs, cats, goats, chickens, and pigs. It was a very "farmy" atmosphere. After our mid-day break, we went out about 3 p.m. and walked along the base of the forested hills. It actually got fairly birdy and we found all the birds we were seeking. These were Blue-crowned Racquet-tail, Mindoro Hornbill, and Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker. A bonus find was a fly-over Metallic Pigeon. As night fell, Tim taped for the "mindorensis" race of Philippine Hawk-Owl, and we had 4-5 respond immediately for some great looks. Another bonus was a quick look at a Savannah Nightjar flying by. Night at Sablayan penal colony.

5 April - We were feeling pretty good about finding all our target birds yesterday. Now all we had to do was concentrate on Black-hooded Coucal and the Mindoro Bleeding-heart (a lifer for Tim). Tim arranged for one of the inmates, who hunts the hillsides and knows where the bleeding-hearts hang out, to help us try to find one. We heard the coucal but were unable to track it down. Despite hiking all over the forested hillsides for several hours, we never found the bleeding-heart. At times we sent the guide out to look by himself, as we were making a lot of noise in the very dry forest. He failed also. After one of these excursions, he came back with some feathers (Tim said they looked like Green Imperial-Pigeon) and said he found a makeshift shack up in the forest and the people there had a gun. We don't know who they were, but they were obviously hunting. That and the fact that it was so dry probably wiped out any chance we had of seeing the bleeding-hearts. I think they've already eaten all of them on the lower hillsides and you would have to go much higher up into the forests to find them. We went back to have lunch and then drove back to San Jose. Night at Sikatuna Beach Hotel (fairly nice and right on the beach).

6 April - We flew back to Manila early this morning, arriving about 9. Then we drove about 2-3 hours south of Manila to Lucena City, Quezon Province. We checked in at a nice lodge whose name I didn't get. After our mid-day break, we went just outside Lucena to the Pagbilio (spelling?) fishponds. There were lots of waders and herons/egrets here. We also got another look at a pair of Philippine Ducks. Some birds seen here were Barred rail, Slaty-breasted rail, White-breasted Waterhen, White-browed Crake, Greater Sandplover, Great Knot, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Pink-necked Pigeon (seen only by Tim), and Golden-bellied Gerygone. Night at nice lodge.

7 April - We went to the Quezon National Park early and got there at daybreak, where we birded along the road. Birds were singing a lot and we managed to find Blackish Cuckoo-shrike quickly. Then came a great, quick look at the stunning Scale-feathered Malkoha. This was followed by our best looks yet at Red-crested Malkoha and Luzon Hornbills. The forest here appears to me to be pretty nice, with several tall trees, but Tim said all the really big dipterocarp trees had already been logged out. Despite being Sunday morning, the traffic steadily got worse, so that a vehicle was coming by about every minute or so. We then left the road and began hiking a trail inside the forest. Again, I thought the forest looked pretty good, but we didn't find hardly anything at all. We got a better look at Blue-headed Fantail, but the only new species we added was a pair of Lemon-throated Warblers. When we got back to the road, Dollyann managed to just barely get a quick look at a Flaming Sunbird. Tim and I missed it. We then drove back to Manila through some awful traffic. Night at Heritage Hotel.

8 April - Today we flew north to the city of Tuguegarao, arriving around 11 a.m. We went to a hotel, where we left some of our luggage, had lunch, and then drove to the community of Baliwag. Tim had arranged for some horses to carry our camping equipment and luggage up the long walk to what he calls the lower Hamut camp (because of my wife's knee surgery, we had abandoned plans to go to the upper Hamut camp. It was another difficult 6-hour climb above the lower site and Tim felt it would be too difficult for her). When we got to Baliwag, the people who normally supply the horses balked and said they didn't want to do it. Tim spent the next 2 hours sorting out some more horses and even hired a Caraval (water buffalo) to carry some of the bags. We finally left about 3 p.m. It was a brutal hike during the hottest part of the day. The saving grace on the way up was an Island Collard-Dove that Tim spotted. We hiked for almost 3 hours, and still didn't make the usual campsite, so we decided to camp anyway. It all worked out and our cook, Jimmy, did a great job. Night at makeshift campsite.

9 April - We got up at first light and immediately found a Whiskered Treeswift, a species we should have already bumped into. What a beauty. We ate a quick breakfast and then hiked for about 40 minutes to get to where we should have camped the night before. After some searching, we finally found another species we had been missing, the Philippine Fairly-bluebird. Other species we found this morning were 3 more Rufous Hornbills, a great look at a female Sooty Woodpecker, Philippine Tailorbird, and White-lored Oriole. We were only able to bird until about 10 a.m. We then walked back down and eventually drove several hours to Banaue, arriving late in the evening. Night at Banaue Hotel. Nice.

10 April - We left early in the morning for the hour drive to the top of Mt. Polis. Lots of birds were singing as we birded along the road. We quickly picked up Island Thrush, Phil Bush-Warbler, Mountain Tailorbird, Green-backed Whistler, and Chestnut-faced Babbler. We heard Whiskered Pitta repeatedly farther up on the hillside, but despite repeated taping, we never got it to come down near the road. About 9:30 we hiked back up to the top where there is a telecommunications tower. We walked behind it, through some cabbage patches, and picked up a small trail that Tim said went to Mt. Polis. He told us that some birders had found Luzon Jungle-flycatcher in a snare just inside the forest here a few months back. After you get about a half-mile along the trail, the forest doesn't look too bad, but we never added anything else. Tim said he has had the Pitta along this trail in the past. When we came back out, some of the local people had a fire going and to our surprise were roasting a dog. We got back in the vehicle and drove down the road to a small community. There was a clear stream running down the center of the valley. From a long way off, we managed to get a quick look at an Indigo-banded Kingfisher. A bit later we added the Luzon Redstart. After driving back to the hotel, we found Striated Swallows outside our hotel room. Night at Banaue Hotel.

11 April - We went back up to Mt. Polis early to try for Luzon Scops-Owl. We were able to get one within 20 feet of us, but could never actually see it. There were at least 2 of them. Tim managed to get a fleeting glimpse of a Flame-breasted Fruit-Dove, but it disappeared before we could get on it. We never saw it again. We went back to the hotel, checked out and started our long drive to Subic Bay. About 45 minutes from Banaue, we stopped in a small town to look for Indigo-banded Kingfisher again. There was a perfect looking stream here and Tim said he normally finds it here, but we didn't find it, even after an hour of looking. The drive to Subic was very long and we didn't arrive until 9:30 p.m. Night at a hotel in Subic Bay.

12 April - This was one of our better morning's birding. This place is a patch of forest around what was once the naval magazine area. We went to what is known as birdwatching hill, road 391. The birds were very active and singing a lot. At first we didn't add anything new, but got much better looks at several species that we had already seen. As the morning went on, we added White-fronted Tit, a very fleeting glimpse of Rufous Coucal, and finally a Green Racquet-tail. We birded until about noon and after lunch, caught a ferry back to Manila. Final night at Heritage Hotel.


The numbers after the species are the dates that species was seen. I've included the species that we heard only (H) so readers know that species was encountered. (E) = endemic. (L) = leader only bird. The taxonomic order follows Clements' Checklist of the Birds of the World, 5th edition.

Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea. 18, 6. Only encountered a couple of times.

Great-billed Heron - Ardea sumatrana. 17. We saw 4 of these birds around the shores of  Raza Island.

Purple Heron - Ardea purpurea. 18, 26, 4, 6.

Great Egret - Ardea alba. 17, 18, 20, 4, 6.

Intermediate Egret - Egretta intermedia. 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 4, 6.

Little Egret - Egretta garzetta. 17, 18, 4, 6.

Chinese Egret - Egretta eulophotes. 17, 18. We saw this species a couple of times on the beaches near Puerto Princessa, Palawan.

Pacific Reef-Heron - Egretta sacra. 17, 19, 20.

Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis. Common.

Striated Heron - Butorides striatus. 17, 18. Only found on Palawan.

Yellow Bittern - Ixobrychus sinensis. 6. We flushed a couple at Pagbilio fish ponds, near  Lucena City, Quezon.

Cinnamon Bittern - Ixobrychus cinnamomeus. 15, 20L, 26, 4. All sightings were fly-bys.

Wandering- Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna arcuata. 26. Fly-by at Bislig airport.

(E) Philippine Duck - Anas luzonica. 26, 6. One fly-by at Bislig airport. Good looks at a pair at fish ponds near Lucena City.

Osprey - Pandion haliaetus. 17, 18, 4.

Oriental Honey-buzzard - Pernis ptilorhynchus. 1, 7. Several around Kitanglad. One at Quezon Nat. Park.

Brahminy Kite - Haliastur indus. 24L, 1, 12. Kitanglad and Subic.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle - Haliaeetus leucogaster. 17, 19, 4, 6 (nest on power line tower).

Crested Serpent-Eagle - Spilornis cheela. 18, 21. Only found on Palawan.

(E) Philippine Serpent-Eagle - Spilornis holospilus. 24, 25H, 28-30, 1, 3, 4, 9. We ran into  this species a lot.

Crested Goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus. 21. Great look at one over and in forest at Iwahig.

Besra - Accipiter virgatus. 24, 1. Pair was in clearing at Rajah Sikatuna. Kitanglad.

(E) Great Philippine Eagle - Pithecophaga jefferyi. Terrific look at one for about 10 seconds as it soared about 100 feet over our heads. We were at about 3,000 feet on Mt. Polis.

Changeable Hawk-Eagle - Spizaetus cirrhatus. 18. One bird seen, one time, on Palawan.

(E) Philippine Hawk-Eagle - Spizaetus philippensis. 16, 26, 27, 29, 2. We saw this species several times. Tim said tours sometimes miss this bird.

(E) Philippine Falconet - Microhierax erythrogenys. 27, 28, 30, 31, 3. Not hard to find on Mindanao.

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus. 15, 4.

Tabon Scrubfowl - Megapodius cumingii. 19, 20. Easy and acclimated to people at underground ranger station, St. Paul's National Park.

Blue-breasted Quail - Coturnix chinensis. 15. Tim walked through a field near the Internat. Rice Research Inst., at the bottom of Mt. Makiling and flushed several for us.

Red Junglefowl - Gallus gallus. 5H, 7H, 9H, 12. Finally saw a female with chick at Subic.

(E) Palawan Peacock-Pheasant - Polyplectron emphanum. 19H, 20. Although this bird was  supposed to be fairly easy to see at the underground ranger station (because it hangs  out with the Tabon Scrubfowl), we struggled to find it. We finally got a quick but superb look at this exquisite bird in the understory.

(E) Spotted Buttonquail - Turnix ocellata. 15. Good looks along a track at the bottom of Mt. Makiling.

Barred Buttonquail - Turnix suscitator. 15. Good looks along a track at the bottom of Mt.  Makiling.

(L) Buff-banded Rail - Gallirallus philippensis. 9. One flushed in front of our vehicle on the way to Banaue.

Barred Rail - Gallirallus torquatus. 15H, 26LH, 28LH, 4H, 6. A couple seen at fish  ponds near Lucena City.

Slaty-breasted Rail - Gallirallus striatus. 6. Pagbilio fish ponds, near Lucena City.

(E) Plain Bush-hen - Amaurornis olivaceus. 15, 27H, 28H, 29, 30H, 2H, 4H, 5H.  Good looks at a road at bottom of Mt. Makiling, where we had the Buttonquails.

White-breasted Waterhen - Amaurornis phoenicurus. 15, 20, 6.

White-browed Crake - Porzana cinerea. 18, 26H, 6.

Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus. 18, 6.

Greater Painted-snipe - Rostratula benghalensis. 15. One bird near rice research inst.

Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus. 18, 6.

Oriental Pratincole - Glareola maldivarum. 15 (18+), 17, 4. Quite a few in fields near the rice research inst.

Pacific Golden-Plover - Pluvialis fulva. 17, 18.

Black-bellied Plover - Pluvialis squatarola. 17, 18.

Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius. 18, 26.

Snowy (Kentish) Plover - Charadrius alexandrinus. 18.

Malaysian Plover - Charadrius peronii. 20. Two birds found on the beach (they breed there) near St. Paul's Nat. Park, Palawan.

Mongolian Plover - Charadrius mongolus. 18.

Greater Sandplover - Charadrius leschenaultii. 6.

Swinhoe's Snipe - Gallinago megala. 15, 18. Decent looks in grassy fields at bottom of Mt. Makiling.

Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago. 17, 26L, 6.

Black-tailed Godwit - Limosa limosa. 18.

Whimbrel - Numenius phaeopus. 17, 20, 6.

Far Eastern Curlew - Numenius madagascariensis. 18.

Common Redshank - Tringa totanus. 18.

Marsh Sandpiper - Tringa stagnatilis. 18, 6.

Common Greenshank - Tringa nebularia. 18, 6.

Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareola. 17, 18, 21, 6.

Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos. 17, 18, 6.

Gray-tailed Tattler - Heterosceles brevipes. 17.

Ruddy Turnstone - Arenaria interpres. 17.

Great Knot - Calidris tenuirostris. Great look at one at Pagbilio fish ponds.

Red-necked Stint - Calidris ruficollis. 18, 6.

Long-toed Stint - Calidris subminuta. 17, 18, 6. Not uncommon.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - Calidris acuminata. 6. One bird only at Pagbilio.

Curlew Sandpiper - Calidris ferruginea. 6.

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybridus. 15, 18, 6.

Metallic Pigeon - Columba vitiensis. 2H, 3LH, 4. Finally saw one bird fly over at  Sablayan penal colony.

Island Collared-Dove - Streptopelia bitorquata. 8. Tim spotted this one on the hike up to the lower Hamut camp site. Great looks.

Red-collared Dove - Streptopelia tranquebarica. 4. Dollyann had this one on way to Penal colony on Mindoro.

Spotted Dove - Streptopelia chinensis. Common.

(E) Philippine Cuckoo-Dove - Macropygia tenuirostris. 18, 24, 29, 2LH, 4. Fairly easy.

Emerald Dove - Chalcophaps indica. 18, 20LH, 28, 30L, 4.

Zebra Dove - Geopelia striata. Common.

(E) White-eared Dove - Phapitreron leucotis. 15, 16, 24, 25, 27-30, 2, 4H, 5H, 7, 9, 12.Found in most places and not hard to see.

(E) Amethyst Dove - Phapitreron amethystina. 24H, 25, 27H, 29H. Heard often, but we really had to work hard to actually see one at Rajah Sikatuna.

Pompadour Green-Pigeon - Treron pompadora. 24, 27, 28, 12. Fairly easy to see.

(L) Thick-billed Pigeon - Treron curvirostra. 18.

(E) Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove - Ptilinopus occipitalis. 24H, 25H, 27H, 28H, 30,  31H, 1H, 2, 3, 5H, 7H, 9LH. Heard often, but only seen a few times.

(NE) Black-chinned Fruit-Dove - Ptilinopus leclancheri. 16, 18, 24, 25H, 28LH, 30L. Great looks at Makiling.

Pink-bellied Imperial-Pigeon - Ducula poliocephala. 28H, 30, 4H, 5H. Most of the large fruiting trees had fruited already and we struggled to find one bird at PICOP.

Green Imperial-Pigeon - Ducula aenea. 18-21, 27, 28, 30, 4, 5, 12. Fairly common and easy.

(E) Philippine Cockatoo - Cacatua haematuropygia. 17, 20. We had about 30 birds come to the roost trees on Raza Island. We also had 2 fly-bys on the way back from St. Paul.

(E) Guaiabero - Bolbopsittacus lunulatus. 27, 28, 7, 12. We managed to get great looks, but  this is not an easy bird to find in the tree tops.

(E) Mindanao Racquet-tail - Prioniturus waterstradti. 1. I was the only one to see this bird. It was a quick fly-by at Kitanglad.

(E) Blue-headed Racquet-tail - Prioniturus platenae. 19, 20LH. Only saw one bird at the underground ranger station, but got a great look at it.

(E) Green Racquet-tail - Prioniturus luconensis. 12. Good look at one flying at Subic.

(E) Blue-crowned Racquet-tail - Prioniturus discurus. 23H, 29L, 4, 5H. Nice look at one flying by at the Sablayan penal colony.

Blue-naped Parrot - Tanygnathus lucionensis. 19, 28, 4, 5H. Great look on Palawan.

(E) Philippine Hanging-Parrot - Loriculus philippensis. 16H, 23LH, 29, 31H, 1, 9, 12.  Seen several times.

(E) Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo - Cuculus pectoralis. 16, 23H, 24H, 29H, 31-2H, 4H.  We had good looks at Mt. Makiling. After that we heard it many times, but didn't try hard to see it anymore.

Plaintive Cuckoo - Cacomantis merulinus. 17-19H, 26H, 28, 29H. Only seen at PICOP.

Brush Cuckoo - Cacomantis variolosus. 23, 24LH, 29, 31-2H, 10, 11. Seen twice.

Violet Cuckoo - Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus. 27. I was the only one who got a brief look at this bird on road 1-4 at PICOP.

Asian Drongo-Cuckoo - Surniculus lugubris. 18, 19H, 20H. Only seen on Palawan.

(E) Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo - Surniculus velutinus. 24, 25H, 27, 28, 30H, 4H, 5H,  7H, 9H. Not uncommon, but heard more often than seen.

Asian Koel - Eudynamys scolopacea. 30, 4, 5. Heard throughout the trip. Common.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha - Phaenicophaeus curvirostris. 20. Seen well at St. Paul's Park.

(E) Red-crested Malkoha - Phaenicophaeus superciliosus. 15, 16, 7. We could only get brief glimpses of this species. Our best look was at Quezon Nat. Park.

(E) Scale-feathered Malkoha - Phaenicophaeus cumingi. 7, 9LH. Tim said he normally finds this species at Makiling, but we missed it there. Good look at Quezon Nat. Park.

(E) Rufous Coucal - Centropus unirufus. 12. We finally bumped into a small group of these  at Subic forest. Try as we might, we only got a quick glimpse of one in the undergrowth.

(E) Black-faced Coucal - Centropus melanops. 24, 25, 27H-30H.

(E) Philippine Coucal - Centropus viridis. Common and seen several times. Very vocal.

Lesser Coucal - Centropus bengalensis. 18, 26, 4.

Australasian Grass-Owl - Tyto longimembris. 26. Great looks at Bislig airport.

(E) Palawan Scops-Owl - Otus fuliginosus. 21. Great look at Iwahig penal colony forest.

(E) Philippine Scops-Owl - Otus megalotis. 16, 24H, 25H, 27, 30H. Seen at Mt Makiling.  The race "evereti" was seen very well at PICOP.

(H) Mindanao Scops-Owl - Otus mirus. 1. We heard this species only one night at Kitanglad.

Mantanani Scops-Owl - Otus mantananensis. 17. We didn't actually get this bird in the spotlight, but it flew by us several times on Raza Island.

(E) Mindanao Eagle-Owl - Mimizuku gurneyi. 1H, 2. Also called Giant Scops-Owl. Tim heard this bird calling on the 2nd. He taped it and we were able to track it down, right  behind the Eagle lodge at Kitanglad. We got a great look.

Brown Hawk-Owl - Ninox scutulata. 27. Great look at the "randi" race on road 1-4.

(E) Philippine Hawk-Owl - Ninox philippensis. 16, 24H, 4 (4+), 8LH, 12H. Good look at  Makiling. Great looks at several of the "mindorensis" race at Sablayan.

(E) Philippine Frogmouth - Batrachostomus septimus. 27H, 30, 31LH, 1H, 2H. Great look at one on road 1-4 in PICOP.

Great Eared-Nightjar - Eurostopodus macrotis. 27LH, 31-4, 8H, 9L, 10H. Seen every night at Kitanglad.

(H) Large-tailed Nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus. 17H, 18H. Heard only on Palawan.

(E) Philippine Nightjar - Caprimulgus manillensis. 26, 29, 31H-2H, 9LH. Seen at Bislig airport. We flushed 2 off the road going up to Mt. Pasian.

Savanna Nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis. 4. One quick fly-by at Sablayan penal colony.

Glossy Swiftlet - Aerodramus esculenta. Abundant throughout the Philippines.

(E) Pygmy Swiftlet - Aerodramus troglodytes. 20, 23, 24, 28L, 29, 6, 7, 9. Fairly common.

(E) Philippine Swiftlet - Aerodramus mearnsi. 1. Only seen at the higher areas of Kitanglad.

(E) Palawan Swiftlet - Aerodramus palawanensis. 17, 20, 21. Good looks at St. Paul's.

Uniform Swiftlet - Aerodramus vanikorensis. 26-28, 4, 6-8, 12. Fairly common.

German's Swiftlet - Aerodramus germani. 19. Good looks at St. Paul's Park.

(E) Philippine Needletail - Mearnsia picina. 27L, 28, 29. Great looks at PICOP.

Purple Needletail - Hirundapus celebensis. 23, 26, 28, 29L, 4L. Good looks at PICOP.

Asian Palm-Swift - Cypsiurus balasiensis. 15, 6, 8.

House Swift - Apus nipalensis. 11. Only saw one around Mt. Polis.

Whiskered Treeswift - Hemiprocne comata. 9, 12. Great looks at the lower Hamut camp.

(E) Philippine Trogon - Harpactes ardens. 24, 25H, 28H, 30. Great looks at Rajah Sikatuna.

Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis. 17, 18, 20, 6.

Blue-eared Kingfisher - Alcedo meninting. 18. One bird seen briefly from the vehicle.

(E) Indigo-banded Kingfisher - Alcedo cyanopecta. 10. Only saw one bird from a distance on a stream below Mt. Polis. Poor look. We looked in Tim's usual place, not far from Banaue, but it wasn't there that day.

(E) Silvery Kingfisher - Alcedo argentata. 25, 27. Great look on the 27th at PICOP, road 1-4.

Rufous-backed Kingfisher - Ceyx rufidorsa. 19. Good looks at St.Paul's Park.

Stork-billed Kingfisher - Pelargopsis capensis. 17. Great looks around Raza Island.

White-throated Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis. 23, 25-28, 30, 4, 10. Fairly common.

(E) Rufous-lored Kingfisher - Todirhamphus winchelli. 24, 1, 30H. Great looks at both Rajah  Sikatuna and PICOP.

Collared Kingfisher - Todirhamphus chloris. 17, 18, 20, 23, 4-6. Common.

(E) Spotted Kingfisher - Actenoides lindsayi. 16, 7H, 9H. Great looks at Mt. Makiling.

(E) Blue-capped Kingfisher - Actenoides hombroni. 2. We really struggled to find this one. It wasn't responding to tape like it usually does. We finally found it after some very long and difficult hiking.

Blue-throated Bee-eater - Merops viridis. 16, 23L, 4, 5H, 9, 12. Usually in forested areas.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater - Merops philippinus. 15, 4-6. 8, 9. Usually in open areas.

Dollarbird - Eurystomus orientalis. 18, 29.

(E) Palawan Hornbill - Anthracoceros marchei. 19. We saw 2 birds well at the Central Park Station.

(E) Rufous Hornbill - Buceros hydrocorax. 28, 29H, 9. Good looks at PICOP.

(E) Luzon Hornbill - Penelopides manillae. 16, 7, 12. Great looks at Quezon and Subic.

(E) Mindoro Hornbill - Penelopides mindorensis. 4, 5. Great looks at Sablayan.

(E) Samar Hornbill - Penelopides samarensis. 24, 25. a couple of quick looks at Rajah Sikatuna Park.

(E) Mindanao Hornbill - Penelopides affinis. 27, 28L, 29H, 30, 1H, 2, 3. Seen several times at PICOP and Kitanglad.

(E) Writhed Hornbill - Aceros leucocephalus. 28L, 29. Good look at one at a distance at Mt. Pasian.

Coppersmith Barbet - Megalaima haemacephala. 16, 23, 27-30, 2L, 4, 9, 12. Common.

(E) Philippine Woodpecker - Dendrocopos maculatus. 16, 23LH, 31-2, 3LH. Fairly easy.

White-bellied Woodpecker - Dryocopus javensis. 19, 24L, 25, 27, 4, 5, 7. Pretty easy.

Common Flameback - Dinopium javanense. 18, 19. Palawan only.

Greater Flameback - Chrysocolaptes lucidus. 21, 24LH, 30. Only found a few times.

(E) Sooty Woodpecker - Mulleripicus funebris. 9, 12. Great look at a female at lower Hamut camp. Good look at a male at Subic forest.

Great Slaty Woodpecker - Mulleripicus pulverulentus. 18, 19LH. Great looks at displaying pairs behind lodge at Sabang.

Hooded Pitta - Pitta sordida. 18H, 19, 28H. Great look at St. Paul's Nat. Park.

(E) Azure-breasted Pitta - Pitta steerii. 24, 25H, 27H, 28H, 30. Terrific looks at Rajah Sikatuna and PICOP.

(H)Whiskered Pitta - Pitta kochi. 10. We heard it several times up on the hillside, but despite taping a few times, we never got it to come down to the road.

Red-bellied Pitta - Pitta erythrogaster. 16, 19, 28H, 30LH. Super look at Mt. Makiling.

Oriental Skylark - Alauda gulgula. 15, 6, 8, 9.

Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica. 15, 18, 20, 26, 31, 4-6.

Pacific Swallow - Hirundo tahitica. 17, 6. Only found a couple of times.

Striated Swallow - Hirundo striolata. 10. Quite a few around the hotel at Banaue.

Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava. 17, 18, 24L, 26, 31-3. Fairly common. Lots at Kitanglad.

Gray Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea. 16, 20L, 23, 29L.

Oriental Pipit - Anthus rufulus. 15, 21. Rice research inst. below Mt. Makiling.

Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike - Coracina striata. 16, 19, 21, 24H, 28, 4, 5LH. Fairly common.

(E) Blackish Cuckoo-shrike - Coracina coerulescens. 7, 9LH, 12. Great looks at Subic forest.

(E) Black-bibbed Cuckoo-shrike - Coracina mindanensis. 30. Lone female found along road 1-4 in PICOP.

(E) McGregor's Cuckoo-shrike - Coracina mcgregori. 1, 2. Super looks at Kitanglad.

(E) Black-and-white Triller - Lalage melanoleuca. 16. Only found at Mt. Makiling.

Pied Triller - Lalage nigra. 23, 27, 31, 6. Not uncommon.

Ashy Minivet - Pericrocotus divaricatus. 16, 5. Makiling and Sablayan.

Fiery Minivet - Pericrocotus igneus. 18, 20. Seen well on Palawan only.

Scarlet Minivet - Pericrocotus flammeus. 27-30. Fairly common in PICOP.

Black-headed Bulbul - Pycnonotus atriceps. 20. Only found once at St. Paul's Park.

(E) Yellow-wattled Bulbul - Pycnonotus urostictus. 16, 24LH, 25LH, 27-30. Seen well  several times, especially at PICOP.

Yellow-vented Bulbul - Pycnonotus goiavier. Common everywhere.

Olive-winged Bulbul - Pycnonotus plumosus. 18, 20. Good looks on Palawan only.

Gray-cheeked Bulbul - Alophoixus bres. 18-21. Found several times on Palawan.

(E) Sulphur-bellied Bulbul - Ixos palawanensis. 19, 20. Great looks at St. Paul's Park.

(E) Philippine Bulbul - Ixos philippinus. Not found on Palawan, but very common elsewhere.

(E) Streak-breasted Bulbul - Ixos siquijorensis. 23. Good look at Tabunan forest on Cebu.

(E) Yellowish Bulbul - Ixos everetti. 27, 28, 30. Seen very well at PICOP.

(E) Philippine Leafbird - Chloropsis flavipennis. 27, 28. Only found at PICOP, but seen well.

(E) Yellow-throated Leafbird - Chloropsis palawanensis. 18-21. Only on Palawan, but common and seen well.

(E) Ashy Thrush - Zoothera cinerea. 16. Excellent look on Mt. Makiling.

Island Thrush - Turdus poliocephalus. 10. Seen well on Mt. Polis.

White-browed Shortwing - Brachypteryx montana. 31H, 1H, 2, 10H. Great, quick look at a female on Kitanglad.

Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis. 15, 21, 26.

Golden-headed Cisticola - Cisticola exilis. 26, 6, 8, 9.

(E) Philippine Bush-Warbler - Cettia seebohmi. 10, 11H. Seen very well on Mt. Polis.

(E) Long-tailed Bush-Warbler - Bradypterus caudatus. 31, 1H, 3, 10. Super look at Kitanglad, just above the lodge.

Oriental Reed-Warbler - Acrocephalus orientalis. 26, 6.

Mountain Tailorbird - Orthotomus cuculatus. 10. Only found at Mt. Polis.

(E) Rufous-headed Tailorbird - Orthotomus heterolaemus. 31-2, 3LH. Great looks at Ktianglad. Not too difficult.

(E) Philippine Tailorbird - Orthotomus castaneiceps. 9, 12H. Excellent looks at lower Hamut camp.

(E) Rufous-fronted Tailorbird - Orthotomus frontalis. 25, 27H, 28H, 30H. Seen well at Rajah  Sikatuna Park.

(E) Gray-backed Tailorbird - Orthotomus derbianus. 16. Only found on top of Mt. Makiling.

Rufous-tailed Tailorbird - Orthotomus sericeus. 18-20. Palawan only, but not uncommon.

(E) Yellow-breasted Tailorbird - Orthotomus samarensis. 24. Good looks at Rajah Sikatuna.

(E) White-browed Tailorbird - Orthotomus nigriceps. 26LH, 27H, 28, 30. Great look at PICOP, road 1-4.

Arctic Warbler - Phylloscopus borealis. 21, 23, 24.

(E) Lemon-throated Warbler - Phylloscopus cebuensis. 7. Only found at Quezon Nat. Park.

Mountain Warbler - Phylloscopus trivirgatus. 31-3, 10. Not hard at Kitanglad.

(E) Philippine Leaf-Warbler - Phylloscopus olivaceus. 25, 29L. Good looks at Rajah Sikatuna.

Tawny Grassbird - Megalurus timoriensis. 23LH, 26, 29, 31, 1H, 2H, 3.

Striated Grassbird - Megalurus palustris. 15, 26, 1L, 3, 4, 6, 9.

Gray-spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa griseisticta. 16, 18, 19, 27-3, 8, 12. Common.

Snowy-browed Flycatcher - Ficedula hyperythra. 1, 2LH, 3. Seen well a couple of times on Mt. Kitanglad.

(E) Little Slaty Flycatcher - Ficedula basilanica. 27, 28, 30. This is a major skulker, but we finally got a great look along road 1-4.

Little Pied Flycatcher - Ficedula westermanni. 31, 10.

Island Flycatcher - Eumyias panayensis. 31-3, 10. Fairly easy at Kitanglad.

(E) Palawan Blue-Flycatcher - Cyornis lemprieri. 19, 21. Uncommon at St. Paul's Park.

Mangrove Blue-Flycatcher - Cyornis rufigastra. 23. Only found once at Tabunan forest.

(L) Citrine Canary-flycatcher - Culicicapa helianthia. 19.

Oriental Magpie-Robin - Copsychus saularis. 23, 28, 30.

(E) White-browed Shama - Copsychus luzoniensis. 15LH, 16, 9H, 12H. Quick, good look at Mt. Makiling.

(E) White-vented Shama - Copsychus niger. 18-20. Seen well a few times on Palawan.

(E) Black Shama - Copsychus cebuensis. 23. Great, short look at one at Tabunan forest, Cebu

(E) Luzon Redstart - Rhyacornis bicolor. 10. Seen fairly well at a distance on a stream near  a community below Mt. Polis.

Pied Bushchat - Saxicola caprata. 31, 3, 4, 10, 11.

(E) Blue Fantail - Rhipidura superciliaris. 24, 25, 27LH, 28LH, 30. Great looks. Not difficult.

(E) Blue-headed Fantail - Rhipidura cyaniceps. 16, 7, 9-11. Seen well several times.

(E) Black-and-cinnamon Fantail - Rhipidura nigrocinnamomea. 31, 1, 2LH, 3. Fairly easy to see at Mt. Kitanglad. A real beauty.

Pied Fantail - Rhipidura javanica. 17, 23, 6.

(E) Short-crested Monarch - Hypothymis helenae. 27, 30. We got great looks both times  along road 1-4 at PICOP.

Black-naped Monarch - Hypothymis azurea. 16, 19LH, 23-25, 27-30, 5H, 9. Common.

(E) Celestial Monarch - Hypothymis coelestis. 27, 30. WOW! The bird on the 27th came to the tape and sat in a bush about 10 feet off the ground. We had it in the scope for about 7 or 8 minutes. Absolutely beautiful!

(E) Blue Paradise-Flycatcher - Terpsiphone cyanescens. 18H, 19, 20. Seen well at St. Paul's.

(NE) Rufous Paradise-Flycatcher - Terpsiphone cinnamomea. 28, 29LH, 30. Seen very well  along road 1-4. Another beauty.

(E) Green-backed Whistler - Pachycephala albiventris. 10, 11H. Heard more often than seen. We finally got a good look at one.

(E) Yellow-bellied Whistler - Pachycephala philippinensis. 16, 24, 25, 27H, 28, 30-3, 7H, 9H. Heard everywhere and seen several times.

(E) Bagobo Babbler - Trichastoma woodi. 2. I was the only one who got a VERY fleeting glimpse at this bird as it responded to Tim's taping. A real mega-skulker.

(E) Ashy-headed Babbler - Malacocincla cinereiceps. 19H, 21. We tried to get this one at  St. Paul's Park but only heard it. We finally got a good look at Iwahig forest.

(E)Palawan Babbler - Malacopteron palawanense. 21. Also called Melodious Babbler. They were singing a lot at Iwahig forest and we finally managed to see one well.

(E) Striated Wren-Babbler - Ptilocichla mindanensis. 24, 25, 27LH. Another skulker. We got a couple of brief but decent looks at Rajah Sikatuna.

(E) Falcated Wren-Babbler - Ptilocichla falcata. 21. This is a really beautiful bird, but also

a skulker. We finally got a quick, decent look at Iwahig forest.

(E) Pygmy Babbler - Stachyris plateni. 27, 28L, 30. Seen well a couple of times on road 1-4.

(E) Black-crowned Babbler - Stachyris nigrocapitata. 25. Good look at Rajah Sikatuna. We only ran into this one once. Not common at all.

(E) Rusty-crowned Babbler - Stachyris capitalis. 27, 30. Seen well a couple of times on road 1-4, but not very common.

(E) Chestnut-faced Babbler - Stachyris whiteheadi. 10. Excellent looks at Mt. Polis.

Striped Tit-Babbler - Macronous gularis. 18-21. Easy but only on Palawan.

(E) Brown Tit-Babbler - Macronous striaticeps. 25, 27, 28LH, 29-31, 1L, 3. Seen well several times.

Golden-bellied Gerygone - Gerygone sulphurea. 6. Only found at the marsh outside of  Lucena City.

(E) Elegant Tit - Pardaliparus elegans. 16, 24H, 29, 31-3, 7, 9, 10. Fairly common.

(E) Palawan Tit - Pardaliparus amabilis. 18, 19LH. We only found one bird, but got a good look at it on the way back to Puerto Princessa.

(E) White-fronted Tit - Sittiparus semilarvatus. 12. We ran across a family of 5 in Subic forest, and got some great looks.

(E) Sulphur-billed Nuthatch - Sitta oenochlamys. 29, 31-2, 9LH. Great looks several times.

(E) Stripe-sided Rhabdornis - Rhabdornis mysticalis. 15, 16, 28. Good looks at Mt. Makiling.

(E) Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis - Rhabdornis inornatus. 29, 1L, 2, 3. Several good looks.

Plain-throated Sunbird - Anthreptes malacensis. 15, 18, 28. Only seen a few times.

Copper-throated Sunbird - Leptocoma calcostetha. 17. Only seen around hotel in Narra, Pal.

Purple-throated Sunbird - Leptocoma sperata. 16, 18, 26-29.

Olive-backed Sunbird - Cinnyris jugularis. 15, 17L, 19, 20L, 21, 6.

(E) Gray-hooded Sunbird - Aethopyga primigenius. 1-3. Fairly easy on Mt. Kitanglad.

(E) Mount Apo Sunbird - Aethopyga boltoni. Tim said we went as high up on Mt. Kitanglad  as he had ever gone, before we finally tracked down one bird. We got a great look.

(E) Metallic-winged Sunbird - Aethopyga pulcherrima. 27-29, 10. Great looks.

(E) Lovely Sunbird - Aethopyga shelleyi. 18-21. Excellent looks several times.

Crimson Sunbird - Aethopyga siparaja. 23. 2 birds seen on Cebu only.

Little Spiderhunter - Arachnothera longirostra. 19LH, 27, 28, 30LH. Good looks at PICOP.

(E) Naked-faced Spiderhunter - Arachnothera clarae. 27, 28L, 29, 30. Seen well several times  at PICOP.

(E) Olive-backed Flowerpecker - Prionochilus olivaceus. 27, 28, 30. Seen well at PICOP.

(E) Palawan Flowerpecker - Prionochilus plateni. 18, 20, 21. Not uncommon. Seen well.

(E) Olive-capped Flowerpecker - Dicaeum nigrilore. 2, 3. Only found at Kitanglad. It was supposed to be more common, but we only found it a couple of times.

(E) Flame-crowned Flowerpecker - Dicaeum anthonyi. 3, 10. Good looks both times.

(E) Bicolored Flowerpecker - Dicaeum bicolor. 24, 27-29, 3, 4, 9. Fairly easy to find and see.

(E) Red-striped Flowerpecker - Dicaeum australe. 16, 23, 27, 28. There is some confusion with this bird. Tim says this is supposed to be called Visayan F.P., but most people call it Red-keeled F.P. Whatever it is, the scientific name is correct. It was fairly common in the appropriate habitat and we saw it well several times.

(E) Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker - Dicaeum retrocinctum. 4. Only found on Mindoro, but we got great looks at them.

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker - Dicaeum trigonostigma. 24, 25H, 27-30. Fairly common.

(E) White-bellied Flowerpecker - Dicaeum hypoleucum. 16, 24H, 26, 28-31, 2. Also called Buzzing F.P. Common and vocal.

(E) Pygmy Flowerpecker - Dicaeum pygmaeum. 18, 21. 28. Not real common, but seen well.

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker - Dicaeum ignipectus. 31, 2. Only found a few times.

(E) Lowland White-eye - Zosterops meyeni. 15. We only found this bird one day at the bottom of Mt. Makiling. Good looks.

Everett's White-eye - Zosterops everetti. 23, 25, 28, 29, 30. Fairly easy.

(E) Yellowish White-eye - Zosterops nigrorum. 16, 9. We only found this bird twice.

Mountain White-eye - Zosterops montanus. 31-3. Very common at Kitanglad.

(E) Mindanao White-eye - Lophozosterops goodfellowi. 31, 1. Also called Goodfellow's White-eye. Uncommon. We only found it a couple of times.

(E) Cinnamon White-eye - Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus. 31-3. Also called Cinnamon Ibon. Found a few times on Kitanglad. Great looks.

Dark-throated Oriole - Oriolus xanthonotus. 18. 2 birds found on way to Puerto Princessa.

(E) White-lored Oriole - Oriolus albiloris. 9, 12. Great looks at lower Hamut camp and Subic.

(E) Philippine Oriole - Oriolus steerii. 27, 28, 30. Not uncommon at PICOP. Great looks.

Black-naped Oriole - Oriolus chinensis. 15, 19, 24, 27, 28, 30, 4, 8L.

Asian Fairy-bluebird - Irena puella. 18-20. Only found on Palawan.

(E) Philippine Fairy-bluebird - Irena cyanogaster. 25H, 28H, 9, 12. We should have run into this bird earlier in the trip, but didn't find it until lower Hamut camp. We had great looks at Subic forest.

Brown Shrike - Lanius cristatus. Common everywhere.

Long-tailed Shrike - Lanius schach. 15, 31, 3, 5, 9. Fairly easy to find.

(E) Gray-capped Shrike - Lanius validirostris. 1. Also known as Mountain Shrike. We only found one bird at Kitanglad.

Ashy Drongo - Dicrurus leucophaeus. 18-21. Only found on Palawan.

(E) Balicassiao - Dicrurus balicassius. 15, 16, 23, 5, 7, 12. Easily found at Makiling. We also had the dark bellied race on Mindoro.

Spangled Drongo - Dicrurus bracteatus. Common.

White-breasted Woodswallow - Artamus leucorynchus. Common.

Slender-billed Crow - Corvus enca. 17-21. Only found on Palawan.

Large-billed Crow - Corvus macrorhynchos. 24, 26-30, 4, 6-8, 12. Common.

Asian Glossy Starling - Aplonis panayensis. 23, 25, 27, 28, 3, 5. Fairly common.

Short-tailed Starling - Aplonis minor. 31-3. Fairly east to find at Kitanglad.

(E) Apo Myna - Basilornis miranda. 1. We only found them (5) in the higher reaches of Kitanglad. Neat birds!

(E) Coleto - Sarcops calvus. 24, 25, 26H, 27, 28H, 30, 4, 7, 9, 12. Strangely beautiful.

Crested Myna - Acridotheres cristatellus. 15, 6.

Chestnut-cheeked Starling - Sturnia philippensis. 20, 6L. We got good looks at a small flock on the way back to Puerto Princessa.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus. 15, 31-4, 6, 9, 10.

Nutmeg Mannikin - Lonchura punctulata. 18, 20, 9.

White-bellied Munia - Lonchura leucogastra. 20, 27L, 29L.

Chestnut Munia - Lonchura atricapilla. 15, 17, 18, 20, 24, 26, 31, 5, 6.

(E) White-cheeked Bullfinch - Pyrrhula leucogenis. 1. We only found one bird. It was in the higher areas of Kitanglad, where we also had Apo Myna.


1 - If you have ANY thoughts about birding the Philippines, you need to do it as soon as possible. I've been fortunate enough to bird in several foreign countries, but the environmental outlook for the Philippines is the bleakest I've ever encountered. We literally watched as the forest was being cut and rolled away before our eyes. It was a tough thing to deal with mentally. PICOP is being devastated and Tim said he doesn't know of any other lowland birding locations on Mindanao. Kitanglad is also under a lot of pressure, as more and more people are moving into the area. Cabbage patches don't support much diversity

2 - Get in good physical shape before you go. A lot of the hikes are either long, hot, steep, or all of the above. It's the only way to get to areas worth birding.

3 - A lot of the trails that we hiked on were not maintained on a regular basis. They were overgrown and difficult to see and walk on. The national parks seem to be parks in name only, as there were few or no rangers or employees. This generally means there was no protection of the forest.

4 - If you only have a short time to visit the Philippines, go to Mt. Makiling, which is only about 40 miles from Manila. Tim told us that over the years he has had over 50 endemics there, including the Philippine Eagle!

5 - The Great Philippine Eagle was NOT breeding this year. We were fortunate to see it at Mt. Pasian. Because of that, we did not look hard for it at Kitanglad, and consequently, did not see it. 3 Brits who birded Kitanglad right after we did, were able to see it a couple of times, mostly in the morning hours. When the eagle is breeding (every other year), it is more active and presumably more easily seen. That means it breeds in the odd years (2003, etc.).

6 - The local guides were usually very good and helped us out a lot. This included Arnell in Palawan, Zardo in Bislig, and Mr. Oking (I hope I got his name right) at the Cebu Flowerpecker site.

7 - I've tried to be accurate in this report, but I inevitably make mistakes. I anybody finds any, I would like to know about them (


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