An archipelago of 7000 plus Islands , the Philippines harbours the most fascinating collection of avian life in whole World. Unfortunately many of them are in the brink of extinction. Our carefully planed 12 days long birding expedition will take you the tree large islands where vast majority of endemics are located. In luzon we will see amazingly coloured yellow-breasted fruits dove, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Ashy ground Thrush and in Palawan , an Island known for picture postcard beaches , we are likely to see the legendary Palawan Peacock Pheasant, Palawan Hornbill, Palawan flycatcher etc. Our exemption to safe locations in Mindanao will give us possibilities of seeing and photographing many of the dream species for any birders such as the Philippine Eagle (Monkey eating Eagle) , Azure breasted Pitta, App Myna, Silvery Kingfisher , Mindano Hornbill, Blue Paradise Kingfisher etc.
Day 1 : April 14, 2019 Arrive Manila and check into a hotel near airpot. *
Day 2 – (April 15 ) Subic Bay Rainforest, Jest Camp Area, Boton Falls.
Pick-up guests in the hotel and then travel to Subic Bay RainforestBirding the whole day in different sites inside the Subic Rainforest to target the following birds: Luzon Parrot also called Philippine Green Parrot, Philippine Hanging Parrot, Green Racket Tail, Guaiabero, Luzon Flameback Woodpecker, Sooty Woodpecker, White-bellied WoodPecker, Guaiabero, Rufous Coucal, Philippine Hawk Eagle, Philippine Serpent Eagle, Luzon Tarictic Hornbill, Philippine Green Pigeon, Bar-bellied Cuckoo Shrike, Blackish Cuckoo Shrike, Elegant Tit, Philippine Falconet, Coleto, Brown-breasted Kingfisher, Philippine Bulbul, Red-crested Malkoha, Scale-feathered Malkoha.
Dinner and check-in hotel, stay overnight Subic Hotel
Day 3 (April 16) : Subic Bay Rainforest : Woodpecker Alley in Nabasan Trail, Botanical Gardens.
Target Birds: Luzon Flameback Woodpecker, Sooty Woodpecker, White-bellied WoodPecker, Guaiabero, Philippine Hanging Parrot, Green Racket Tail, Rufous Coucal, Blue-naped Parrot, Philippine Hawk Eagle, Philippine Serpent Eagle, Luzon Tarictic Hornbill, Philippine Green Pigeon, Bar-bellied Cuckoo Shrike, Blackish Cuckoo Shrike, Elegant Tit, White-fronted Tit, Philippine Falconet, Coleto, Brown-breasted Kingfisher, White-eared Brown Dove, Philippine Bulbul, Red-crested Malkoha, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Whiskered Tree Swift, Mangrove Blue-flycatcher, Rufous Coucal, Jungle Fowl, Green Imperial Pigeon
Transfer to a roosting site of the Blue-naped Parrots and the Guaiabero. Other nice birds can also be found here like the Luzon Flameback, Sooty Woodpeckers and the Luzon Hornbill.
There’s a big population of large Fruit Bats also called Flying Foxes that is very nice to photograph as they fly very low. These are the endemic and endangered Golden-crowned Flying Fox (Acedoron jubatus) and the Philippine Fruit Bat (Pteropus vampyrus lanensis).
Travel back to Manila and stay overnight in a hotel near the next birding site
Day 4-5 (April 17/18) : Intavas Ridge in Mt. Kitanglad, Bukidnon 1
Travel to Cagayan de Oro International Airport Check in the first flight and then travel to our base in Malaybalay, Bukidnon for the Mt. Kitanglad birding sites. Travel time is about 3 to 4 hours in good roads, it’s a comfortable ride.
We will go straight to the bird site to look for the following montane bird species like the Apo Mynah, Apo Sunbird, Mountain Shrike, Island Thrush, Black and CinnamonFantail, Montane Racquet-tail, White-cheeked Bullfinch, Cinnamon Ibon, McGregor's Cuckooshrike, Mettalic Pigeon, Philippine Cuckoo Dove, Amethyst Brown Dove, Yellow Breasted Fruit Dove, Mindanao Hornbill, Grey-hooded Sunbird, Short-tailed Starling, Mindanao Hornbill, Rufous-headed Tailorbird, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Mountain White-eye, Red-eared Parrotfinch, Olive-capped Flowerpecker, Mountain Verditer (Turquoise) Flycatcher, Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Mindanao Ibon (Black-masked White-eye), Philippine Honey-Buzzard and Pinsker's Hawk-Eagle and others
Check-in Hotel, dinner and stay overnight
On April 18th we will travel to PICOP in Bisling for the next leg o the tour. Travel time is about 6 hours. It is a comfortable trip because the roads are good and well paved. Check-in at the Paper county Inn, dinner and the overnight stay.
Day 6 (April 19) - Road 42 Birding Site in PICOP.
Breakfast and travel inside the forest area in PICOP
Whole-day Birding to target the following species: Azure-breasted Pitta, Philippine Pitta, Celestial Monarch, Short-crested Monarch, Mindanao Wattled Broadbill, Striated wren babbler, Rufous Hornbill, Writhed or Mindanao Wrinkled Hornbill, Rufous Paradise Flycatcher, Philippine Falconet, Blue-crowned Racket-tail, Mindanao Pygmy Babbler, Metallic-winged Sunbird, Handsome Sunbird, Black-faced Coucal, Yellowish Bulbul, Black-headed Tailorbird, Mindanao Blue Fantail, Philippine Leafbird, Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo, Naked-faced Spiderhunter, Rusty-crowned Babbler, Brown Tit-Babbler, Black-chinned Fruit Dove, Amethyst Brown Dove, Orange-tufted Spiderhunter and Naked-faced Spiderhunter and other endemics
Back to hotel, dinner and stay overnight
Day 7( April 20)- Road 1-4, Quarry Trail and Cemetery Forest Area.
Travel to the birding site where the target owls are located at that time in April
Travel to Quarry Trail and Cemetery Forest area to get the Wattled Broadbill, Guaiabero, Blue-crowned Racket-tail, Philippine Hanging Parrot, Writhed Hornbill, Mindanao Hornbill, Philippine Falconet, Blue-backed Parrot, Crested Honey Buzzard, Common Emerald Dove, White-eared Brown Dove, Amethyst Brown Dove, Philippine Green Pigeon, Black-chinned Fruit Dove, Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo, Black-faced Coucal Philippine Coucal, Mindanao Blue Fantail, Short-crested Monarch, Black-naped Monarch, Celestial Monarch, Rufous Paradise Flycatcher, Philippine Leaf Warbler, Tawny Grassbird, Black-headed Tailorbird, Mindanao Pygmy Babbler, Brown Tit-Babbler, Asian Glossy Starling, Coleto (Sarcops calvus), Philippine Leafbird, Red-keeled Flowerpecker , Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Handsome Sunbird, Metallic-winged Sunbird, Orange-tufted Spiderhunter, Everett's Scops Owl, Great Eared Nightjar and other birds in the area
In the evening , we will go to the abandoned air strip, a wetland area to look for the Philippine Duck, Philippine Nightjar, Eastern Grass Owl, Wandering Whistling Duck, King Quail, Javan Pond Heron, Watercock, Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler, Collared Kingfisher, Western/Eastern Osprey, Buff-banded Rail, Barred Rail, Spotted Dove, Philippine Coucal, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, White-browed Crake, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Yellow Bittern, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Plaintive Cuckoo, Golden-headed Cisticola, Purple Heron others
Back to hotel, dinner and stay overnight
Day 8( April 21) - Tinuy-an Falls Birding Site in PICOP.
This area is rich with the following target birds : Rufous-lored Kingfisher, Brown-tit Babbler, Pygmy Babbler, Black-headed Tailorbird, Mindanao Hornbill, White-eared Brown Dove, Amethyst Brown Dove, Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, Black-chinned Fruit Dove, Yellow-bellied Whistler, Olive-backed Flowerpecker, Rufous Paradise Flycatcher and other endemic birds in the area.
Check-out and travel to the airport for the flight back to Manila. Check-in hotel near the airport.
Day 9 ( April 22) - Birding Sabang Area: Underground River, Baruang and Buenavista (Palawan)
Fly-out to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and travel to Baruang at 5:00 AM, which is one of the best birding sites in Puerto Princesa. It’s like a highway for birds travelling to and from their feeding sites. There’s a nice stream in this place where we can find the Lovely Sunbird, Copper-throated Sunbird, Black-headed Bulbul, Brown Tit Babbler, Ashy Headed Babblers Pygmy Flowerpecker, Black-naped Monarchs, Pin-necked Green Pigeon, Blue-Paradise Flycatcher, Common Hill Mynah, White-vented Shama, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher.
Boat trip for 20 minutes to PPUR to photograph the most sought after bird in Palawan, the Palawan Peacock Pheasant. Other target birds are the following: Philippine Megapode, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and other endemics like the White-vented Shama, Ashy-headed Babbler, Spot-throated Flameback, Palawan Blue Flycatcher, Hooded Pitta and the Palawan Hornbill
Travel to the Mangrove Forest for ten minutes and take a very relaxing boat ride inside an old virgin Mangrove Forest to see some of the bird species not seen in other sites like the large Stock-billed Kingfisher and Ruddy Kingfisher. Other birds are the White-bellied Woodpecker, Mangove Blue Flycather, Palawan Blue Flycatcher, and the big prehistoric looking Great Slaty Woodpeckers and other birds in the Mangrove Forest.
There’s also good birding in these roads covering Buenavista and Tagabinet which we will check as we travel on a slow pace to see the other birds like the Palawan Tit, Fiery Minivet, Palawan Tit, Blue Paradise Flycatcher, Green Imperial Pigeon, raptors like Crested Goshawk and Oriental Hobby and other birds on the roads on the way back to the city.
We will go for night birding and will travel to the birding spot inside a residential area in the city for the Palawan Frogmouth
Dinner and back to hotel to retire for the night
Day 10 (April 23) – Irawan National Forest Park (Palawan).
We will leave by 5:00 AM for breakfast and then travel to Irawan Forest Reserve one of the richest place for special Palawan endemics. Number one target is the Palawan Babbler also known as the Melodious Babbler. Major targets are the Philippine Pitta, Hooded Pitta and the Rufous-backed Kingfisher. Other targets are Palawan Tit, Lovely Sunbird, Yellow-throated Leafbird, Blue Paradise Flycatcher, Palawan Blue Flycatcher, Crested Serpent Eagle, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Black-headed Bulbul, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Ashy-headed Babbler, Spot-throated Flameback, Blue-naped Parrot, Palawan Fairy Bluebird, Palawan Bulbul and other endemics.
Then we will transfer to Iwahig Birding Site where we can find the rare Critically Endangered Philippine Cockatoo also called Red-vented Cockatoo which almost became extinct as there were only 40 species left in the wild ten years ago. The other major target there is the elusive Blue-headed Raquet Tail which is feeding in the banana trees inside Iwahig.
Then we will transfer to the Puerto Princesa Rescue Center after lunch for the Pale Spider Hunter, Rufous-night Heron, Black-headed Bulbul, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Ashy-headed Babbler and other birds in the area.
Later we will transfer to the Badjao Seafront site to look for the rare Chinese Egret and the Stork-billed Kingfisher, Mangrove-blue Flycatcher, Common Iora, Copper-throated Sunbird, Greater Coucal, Ashy-headed Babbler and the Spotted Wood Owl. We will go for night birding and will travel to the birding spot inside a residential area in the city for the Palawan Frogmouth
Dinner and back to hotel to retire for the night
Day 11 ( April 24) – Different Birding Sites in Napsan Forest and Zigzag Roads Birding Site.
Check-out and travel to the new birding sites in Puerto Princesa which quickly became a favorite because of the rich variety of birds in this area not found or very difficult to find in other sites like the Palawan Hornbill, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Red-headed Flameback, Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied woodpecker, Palawan Fairy Bluebird, Palawan Tit, Dark-throated Oriole, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Green Imperial Pigeon, Hill Mynah, Pin-stripe Tit Babbler, Fiery Minivet, Palawan Flowerpecker and Striped Flowerpecker. Other birds that can be found also in other area are the Spot-throated Flameback, Blue Paradise Flycatcher, Ashy-headed Babbler, Pygmy Flowerpecker, Palawan Fairy Bluebird and other birds
Lunch and travel to the airport for the early flight back to Manila, overnight in a hotel Manila side
Day 12 (April 25)- BK Valley Bird Sanctuary.
Travel to BK Valley the nesting site of the Whiskered Pitta, the rare and most sought after Pitta species in the Philippines. After the Pitta look for the other montane endemics and other lowland species like the Blue-headed Fantail, Tarictic Luzon Hornbill, Chestnut-faced Babbler, Citrine Canary Flycatcher (Near Endemic), Brown-breasted Kingfisher, Mountain White-eye, Yellowish White Eye, Red-crested Malkoha, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Elegant Tit, Bi-colored Flowerpecker, Buzzing Flowerpecker, Ballicasao, Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, Turquoise Flycatcher, Luzon Sunbird, Green-backed Whistler, White-browed Shortwing (future endemic split). If a nesting pair is found, good chance to see the Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon and the Flame-breasted Fruit Dove if their favorite trees are fruiting at that time.
Lunch and then travel to a different site to look for the Indigo-banded Kingfisher, Philippine Coucal, Philippine Bulbul, Brown-breasted Kingfisher, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher others.
Travel back to Manila, stay overnight Red Planet Hotel
Day 13 (April 26) : Montalban, Rizal Province.
There are three endemic kingfishers that are residents in a certain place namely the Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Indigo-banded Kingfisher and the Brown-breasted Kingfisher. There are other birds like the Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Philippine Hawk Cuckoo, Philippine Pied Fantail and Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker. If Birding is finished before lunch time we can transfer to another site on the way going to the airport.
Travel to UPD to look for the Philippine Scops Owl and Philippine Nightjar, endemic night birds but can be photographed during the daytime
Travel to the airport. End-of-Tour
Tour Starting Date : April 14, 2019
Tour Ending Date : April 25, 2019
Accommodation type : Basic to modern.
Food : Local and continental.
Difficulty level : Easy , except few long drives and a hike.
Photography Opportunities : Excellent.
Cost : USD 2585 per person in twin share.
Single room Supplement : USD 200
- In day one, cost of the hotel room is included in the tour price. You will be staying in hotel close to the airport. Taxi fare to the hotel and food cost for day one is not included in the tour price
- Cost of domestic flights ( 4 sectors ) are not included.
Tour Inclusions: This is a worry free Bird Tour as the price includes all the expenses such as land transportation cost, Park Fees, Bird Guide Fees, Porter Fees, Entrance Fees, Twin Sharing Room Accommodations and three full meals a day.
The following are not included in the tour price: Domestic and International flights, airport taxes, tour alteration, travel insurance, excess baggage charges, optional excursions, billable telephone calls, extra drinks, laundry service, snacks and anything of a purely personal nature.