Philippines: Spectacular Endemic Birding


Dates and Costs:

 

04 – 24 February 2023

Price: US$7,995 / £6,066 / €7,038 per person sharing.

Single Supplement: US$810 / £614 / €713

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

 

05 – 25 February 2024

Price: US$7,995 / £6,066 / €7,038 per person sharing.

Single Supplement: US$810 / £614 / €713


Tour Details

Duration: 21 days
Group Size: 6 – 7 (2023), 6 – 8 (2024)
Tour Start: Manila International Airport, Luzon
Tour End: Manila International Airport, Luzon

Accommodation: hot shower and private bath in Luzon and Palawan, basic dormitory in Kitanglad.


Price includes:

All domestic flights during tour
All accommodation (from Day 1 to Day 20 as described – see important note in the tab opposite)
Meals (from dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 21)
Drinking water – please bring a refillable water bottle
Expert tour leader
Local bird and wildlife guides/trackers/porters fees
Birdwatching site entrance fees and travel permits

All ground transport and tolls/taxes while on tour, including airport pick-up and drop-off

Price excludes:

Flights to/from Manila International Airport, Luzon
Expenditures due to flight cancellations/delays or other causes beyond our control (force majeure) 
Visa fees if visa required
Departure tax
Items of a personal nature, e.g. porter fees, gifts, laundry, internet access, phone calls, excess luggage charges for internal flights (baggage limited to 20 kg per person), etc.
Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/monument excursions
Soft/alcoholic drinks
Personal travel insurance
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

Philippines: Spectacular Endemic Birding
February 2023/2024

 

The Philippines is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and has a high degree of endemism, which combines to make it one of the most exciting birding destinations in Southeast Asia. The country consists of over 7,600 islands, covering an area of over 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) in the western Pacific Ocean. Of the 722 species recorded across the archipelago (following International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy, v10.2 in December 2020), an impressive 223 species are endemic. These endemics include the national bird of the country, the huge, “Monkey-eating Eagle”, also known as the Philippine Eagle, and probably the most-wanted bird for most visiting birdwatchers. The eagle is a huge target on this small-group tour – the habitat here means a small group is much more likely to be successful in finding the amazing endemic birds on offer. All our tours are small-group tours, but this is one destination where that fact is particularly important.

The Philippines birding toursPhilippine Eagle-Owl, one of 17 endemic owl species in the island archipelago (photo Rose Ann Reynado).

 

The Philippines is home to 17 endemic owls, eight endemic kingfishers (plus another ten more widespread species), ten endemic hornbills, eleven endemic parrots, two endemic broadbills, one stunning endemic trogon, two endemic pittas (plus another near-endemic species), and 17 endemic pigeons (including some absolute belters!). In addition to the endemics, the Philippines, during the non-breeding season, has become a fairly reliable place to find the Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) Chinese Crested Tern and Endangered (and globally hard-to-connect-with) Japanese Night Heron, and we will look for both of these on the tour.

Deforestation is a huge issue in the Philippines, and it is a major threat to the survival of many species. Ninety-six species are considered globally threatened and this includes 13 resident endemics that are considered Critically Endangered by BirdLife International and a further 29 that are Endangered (most are endemics). Time is fast running out for many of these unique and wonderful birds and so a visit to the country is recommended sooner rather than later, before some of these amazing species are, unfortunately, lost forever.

The Philippines birding toursWhiskered Pitta is one of several pittas we will search for (photo Rose Ann Reynado).

 

With the above in mind, our small-group tour focusses on the endemics (and overwintering specials) of the three bird-rich islands of Luzon, Palawan, and Mindanao, with a long list of potential highlights including some of the most highly sought-after birds in the world. Major tour targets will include Philippine Eagle (one of the aforementioned Critically Endangered species), (Mindanao) Wattled Broadbill, Whiskered Pitta, Azure-breasted Pitta, Philippine Pitta, Philippine Trogon, Southern Silvery Kingfisher, Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Hombron’s Kingfisher, Celestial Monarch, Philippine Eagle-Owl, Giant Scops Owl, Mindanao Scops Owl, Palawan Frogmouth, Philippine Frogmouth, Green Racket-tail, Flame-breasted Fruit Dove, Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, Mindanao (Tarictic) Hornbill, Luzon (Tarictic) Hornbill, Rufous Hornbill, Purple Needletail, Bukidnon Woodcock, Coleto, Lina’s Sunbird, and many more! We will utilize specialist local guides to make the most of our birding on each island and look forward to a great trip list and showing you the many amazing birds of the Philippines.

The Philippines birding toursGiant Scops Owl is an interesting owl target on the tour (photo Harry Ramm).

 

Itinerary (21 days/20 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in Manila (Luzon)

A non-birding day. You will be met at Manila International Airport on the island of Luzon, after your arrival in the Philippines, and will be transferred to our nearby hotel for the rest of the day at your leisure. We will meet for a group welcome dinner together in the evening.

Overnight: Manila, Luzon

 

Day 2. Manila (Luzon) to Puerto Princesa (Palawan)

The island of Palawan is the largest island in the archipelagic province of the same name in the west of the Philippines. The 1,780 islands of this province stretch from the center of the Philippines (Mindoro), in the northeast, down to the Malaysian state of Sabah, in Borneo, in the southwest. Our time will be spent birding on Palawan Island which measures 280 miles (450 kilometers) long and 31 miles (50 kilometers) wide. The island is scenically spectacular and has been voted “Most Beautiful Island in the World” multiple times, it is also incredibly biodiverse and we will get a great appreciation of this during our tour. Biogeographically, Palawan is part of Sundaland, therefore the flora and fauna is more akin to that found in Borneo, rather than the rest of the Philippines.

There are numerous great birding sites on Palawan and we will enjoy the majority of today, as well as the next three full days, seeking out as many birds as we can. After a morning flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa (the capital of Palawan), we will commence our birding. We will likely visit Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm and a watershed reserve near Puerto Princesa, for our first Palawan endemics, including Palawan Flycatcher, White-vented Shama, and Blue Paradise Flycatcher.

The Philippines birding toursBlue Paradise Flycatcher is a beautiful endemic found on Palawan (photo Harry Ramm).

 

There are a host of other species here including endemic bulbuls and Blue-naped Parrot. There are some good photo opportunities too. This area has a bird list of over 200 species and because this will be our first ‘proper birding’ of the trip, we are sure to find plenty to keep us busy with which will include a mix of widespread Asian species, Sundaic species, Philippine specials, and overwintering shorebirds. In addition to those species mentioned above, we may also find Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Greater Coucal, Crested Serpent Eagle, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Pied Triller, White-breasted Woodswallow, Brown Shrike, Ashy-headed Babbler, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Black-headed Bulbul, Ashy-fronted Bulbul, Common Hill Myna, Palawan Flowerpecker, Lovely Sunbird, Chestnut Munia, and White-bellied Munia. A wide-range of overwintering and resident shorebirds are possible too, potentially including Little Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, and Greater Painted-snipe.

Overnight: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

The Philippines birding toursThere are plenty of beautiful kingfishers possible on the tour, including Collared Kingfisher.

 

Days 3 – 5. Palawan birding

We will spend three full days birding around Puerto Princesa in search of the many rare and interesting bird species found on Palawan, with special emphasis on finding as many endemics as we can. These should include Palawan Hornbill, Melodious (Palawan) Babbler, Falcated Wren-Babbler, Red-headed Flameback, Palawan (Grey-throated) Bulbul, Sulphur-bellied Bulbul, Palawan Tit, and Palawan Blue Flycatcher. We will also hope for the ultra-rare Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, although the habituated bird that has been showing well to all visitors for a number of years, seems to have now died, making the chances of this bird much harder than before!

Our birding on Palawan over these three full days will take in a range of exciting sites, each chosen to provide good chances for a range of endemic and special birds. Some of the targets here will include Blue-headed Racket-tail, Red-vented (Philippine) Cockatoo, Black-chinned Fruit Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Palawan Hornbill, Philippine Pitta (propinqua subspecies), Hooded Pitta (resident palawanensis subspecies), Oriental (Rufous-backed) Dwarf Kingfisher, Spot-throated Flameback, Yellow-throated Leafbird, Slender-billed Crow (distinct pusillus subspecies), Palawan Blue Flycatcher, Falcated Wren-Babbler, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler (distinct woodi subspecies), Palawan Tit, and Palawan Flowerpecker.

The Philippines birding toursWe will hope to see the incredibly rare Palawan Peacock-Pheasant while birding on Palawan Island (photo Harry Ramm).

 

Another potential site to visit near our base is the well-known Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, Puerto Princesa where we could find the endemic Pale Spiderhunter, along with a mix of other endemic and more widespread species including Palawan Hornbill, Ashy-headed Babbler, Melodious (Palawan) Babbler, Nankeen Night Heron, Black-naped Oriole, Black-naped Monarch, Palawan (Grey-throated) Bulbul, Fiery Minivet, Common Hill Myna, Lovely Sunbird, and Purple-throated Sunbird.

Beaches, such as those in Honda Bay will be checked for Beach Stone-curlew, Great-billed Heron, and Malaysian Plover and after dark, we will look for Palawan Frogmouth and Palawan Scops Owl.

Overnight (three nights): Puerto Princesa, Palawan

The Philippines birding toursThe tiny Oriental (Rufous-backed) Dwarf Kingfisher can be found on Palawan Island (photo Harry Ramm)

 

Day 6. Puerto Princesa (Palawan) to Davao (Mindanao)

We will fly to Davao on the southern island of Mindanao and transfer to the Eden Resort which is part of the Apo-Talomo range. Located at around 3,000 feet (900 meters) on the densely forested slopes of Mount Talomo which reaches 8,800 feet (2,674 meters), the Eden Resort offers us a great opportunity to see a selection of Mindanao’s endemics, including some great montane and sub-montane species. Nearby Mount Apo is an active stratovolcano and is one of the highest peaks in the archipelago and much of the area falls within the Mount Apo Natural Park.

After our arrival, the rest of the day will be spent birding at the resort in search of Cryptic Flycatcher (a localized mid-altitude Mindanao endemic) and some of the more common endemics like Red-keeled Flowerpecker and Mindanao (Tarictic) Hornbill. Careful study of the mixed-species feeding flocks should give us Brown Tit-Babbler and Orange-tufted Spiderhunter. Here we may also find Southern Silvery Kingfisher, Philippine Coucal, White-eared Brown Dove, Coleto, Philippine Bulbul, Philippine Pied Fantail, Elegant Tit, and Ridgetop Swiftlet.

This site is known for overwintering Japanese Night Heron, a tough bird to connect with globally, so we will be keeping a keen eye out, should any have been reported. At night we will try for Everett’s Scops Owl and Giant Scops Owl, both of which are recorded close by.

Overnight: Davao, Mindanao

The Philippines birding toursThe rare Japanese Night Heron would be a definite highlight (photo Rose Ann Reynado).

  

Day 7. Davao to Mount Kitanglad (Mindanao)

In the morning we will make an effort to fill in any gaps in our target list from the Eden Resort/Mount Talomo area, such as Whiskered Flowerpecker, which is another scarce endemic. We may also find Buzzing Flowerpecker, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (the very localized apo subspecies), Olive-capped Flowerpecker, Naked-faced Spiderhunter, and Long-tailed Bush Warbler.

After this final birding session, we will head to the famed Mount Kitanglad, home to the massive and Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) Philippine Eagle, also known as “Monkey-eating Eagle”.

From the drop off point, we will trek up the mountain from a small village which will take two-to-three hours, hopefully seeing some open country birds such as Tawny Grassbird, Striated Grassbird and Purple Needletail. En route we will pass through open farmland and grassy areas, climbing from 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) to 4,500 feet (1,360 meters). We will spend the next two nights in a very basic tented camp at the Del Monte Lodge area, however this offers up the best opportunity to see one of the biggest avian targets on the whole trip – Philippine Eagle.

Overnight: Tented Camp, Del Monte Lodge Area, Mount Kitanglad, Mindanao

 

Days 8 – 9. Mount Kitanglad Birding

Two full days will see us exploring the amazing Mount Kitanglad looking for montane specials, with particular emphasis on seeing the great Philippine Eagle which we will look for at a watchpoint higher up the mountain at around 5,000 feet (1,550 meters).

The remnant forest patches around the lodge area can be good for mixed-species feeding flocks which may contain Yellow-bellied Whistler, Black-and-cinnamon Fantail, Negros Leaf Warbler, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Turquoise Flycatcher, and the rather odd Cinnamon Ibon – an aberrant sparrow found in Mindanao’s montane forests, previously thought to be a white-eye! Also present around the lodge, we might find Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, Amethyst Brown Dove, and White-eared Brown Dove in fruiting trees, while flowering trees may yield Flame-crowned Flowerpecker. We will have to carefully look in the undergrowth for the gorgeous, but secretive Hombron’s Kingfisher. At dusk here, we will have a chance to see Bukidnon Woodcock which was discovered as recently as 1993 and at night Philippine Frogmouth, Philippine Nightjar, Giant Scops Owl and Mindanao Scops Owl.

As we hike through the mid-level trails up the mountain to the eagle watchpoint, we might locate Mindanao (Tarictic) Hornbill, White-throated (Brown-breasted) Kingfisher, Plain Bush-hen, Philippine Swiftlet, Philippine Hanging Parrot, Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo, McGregor’s Cuckooshrike, Apo Myna, White-cheeked Bullfinch, Red-eared Parrotfinch, Rufous-headed Tailorbird, and Mindanao White-eye.

At the eagle watchpoint itself, other than the Philippine Eagle of course, we will also keep our eyes peeled for other raptors, like Crested Honey Buzzard (an endemic subspecies), Philippine Honey Buzzard, Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, and Rufous-bellied Eagle. Further entertainment is likely in the form of Mindanao Racket-tail, Mountain Shrike, Apo Myna, Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis, Coleto, Apo Sunbird, and Bundok Flycatcher.

Overnight (two nights): Tented Camp, Del Monte Lodge Area, Mount Kitanglad, Mindanao

The Philippines birding tours The tiny and gorgeous Bundok Flycatcher (photo Harry Ramm).

 

Day 10. Mount Kitanglad to Bislig (Mindanao)

After what is sure to have been a thrilling couple of days birding on Mount Kitanglad, we will reluctantly head down the mountain en route to the lowlands and transfer to the town of Bislig. For the next three full days we will be birding around the area known as PICOP (Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines) Forest – famous in the annals of world birding.

In the afternoon we will visit the disused Bislig Airfield. This site has a bird list of almost 200 species and so we will hope for a good selection of open-country species like Philippine Duck, Wandering Whistling Duck, Philippine Swamphen, Watercock, Barred Rail, White-browed Crake, King Quail, Philippine Coucal, Ameline Swiftlet, Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Black Bittern, Collared Kingfisher, Black-naped Oriole, Brown Shrike, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Pied Bush Chat, White-bellied Munia, Chestnut Munia, Paddyfield Pipit, Philippine Nightjar, and maybe even Eastern Grass Owl or overwintering Eastern Yellow Wagtail or Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler.

Overnight: Bislig, Mindanao

 

Days 11 – 13. PICOP Forest Birding

Over the course of three full days, we will explore the various roads and trails of PICOP Forest in search of many spectacular species. PICOP was granted a logging concession of mainly lowland forest in eastern Mindanao in 1952, however after around 30 years of logging the concession failed. PICOP Forest is probably one of the most famous birding sites in the Philippines, though, with the illegal logging operations that are underway here, the area and its birdlife, are heavily threatened and is a further example of why a birding holiday to the Philippines is something to do sooner rather than later. PICOP Forest is still the best place to see the glorious Celestial Monarch (one of the top birds in the archipelago, though it is never easy) and the amazing holy grail (Mindanao) Wattled Broadbill; these will be two major targets during our time here, though there will also be many others.

In addition to the monarch and broadbill, other top targets will include Philippine Spine-tailed Swift, Azure-breasted Pitta, Philippine Pitta, Southern Silvery Kingfisher, Rufous Hornbill, Writhed Hornbill, Striated Wren-Babbler, and with Mindanao Hawk-Owl and Chocolate Boobook after dark, it is sure to be an exciting few days’ birding.

There are several well-known birdwatching sites in PICOP Forest, and we will likely check those out, as well as some different, off-the-beaten-track areas. ‘The Cemetery Area’ consists of disturbed forest and is great for viewing mixed species flocks, including Mindanao Blue Fantail, Rufous Paradise Flycatcher, Little Slaty Flycatcher, Black-headed Tailorbird, and Stripe-headed Rhabdornis. It may also give us our first opportunity for (Mindanao) Wattled Broadbill. Fruiting trees in the area may hold fruit doves and hornbills, with Writhed Hornbill, Mindanao (Tarictic) Hornbill, and Rufous Hornbill all possible, though with human pressures on the forest, these species are getting more difficult year-on-year. This area may also provide a good chance of the spectacular Azure-breasted Pitta and Striated Wren-Babbler.

Another well-known area of PICOP Forest is the ‘Quarry Area’, here, possibilities include Philippine Trogon, Philippine Falconet, Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Philippine Green Pigeon, Black-chinned Fruit Dove, Guaiabero (a tiny parrot endemic to the Philippines, belonging to a unique genus), Blue-crowned Racket-tail, Pygmy Swiftlet, Buff-spotted Flameback, White-bellied Woodpecker, Winchell’s Kingfisher, Southern Silvery Kingfisher, Philippine Oriole, Philippine Magpie-Robin, and Metallic-winged Sunbird. Other species often found in mixed flocks include the likes of Rusty-crowned Babbler, Mindanao Pygmy Babbler, Short-crested Monarch, Black-headed Tailorbird, Philippine Leaf Warbler, Philippine Bulbul, and also possibly (Mindanao) Wattled Broadbill.

The Philippines birding toursAzure-breasted Pitta is one of several big targets at PICOP (photo Rose Ann Reynado).

 

A great number of birds can be found by looking along the roads, and this may yield additional species, such as Black-and-white Triller, Philippine Leafbird, Black-bibbed Cicadabird, Short-crested Monarch, the much sought-after Celestial Monarch along with an exciting quartet of Hombron’s Kingfisher, (Mindanao) Wattled Broadbill, Azure-breasted Pitta, and Philippine Fairy-bluebird.

Overnight (three nights): Bislig, Mindanao

 

Day 14. PICOP to Compostella Valley (Mindanao)

We will transfer from PICOP to Compostella Valley, where we hope to encounter the beautiful Lina’s Sunbird. Birding from the road at the top of a gully can get quite exciting as many species pass through the habitat, including Black-and-cinnamon Fantail, Island Thrush, and Mindanao White-eye. At night we will try for Mindanao Scops Owl, which is one of the most difficult owls to connect with in the country.

Overnight: Compostella Valley, Mindanao

The Philippines birding toursA tough but beautiful bird, we will hope for good views of Mindanao Scops Owl during the tour (photo Harry Ramm).

 

Day 15. Compostella Valley Birding

An early start today will see us birding Compostella Valley for the day. Our aim will be to connect with any species left over from the previous day’s birding, and may include Philippine Serpent Eagle, Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Amethyst Brown Dove, Mindanao Brown Dove, Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, Spotted Imperial Pigeon, Black-faced Coucal, Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Philippine Bulbul, Coleto, Little Pied Flycatcher, Red-eared Parrotfinch, Cinnamon Ibon, Grey Wagtail, and the skulking Long-tailed Bush Warbler.

Overnight: Compostella Valley, Mindanao

 

Day 16. Compostella to Davao (Mindanao) then onward to Clark and to Subic (Luzon)

Leaving the Compostella Valley, we will first call in to a coastal site to look for the Critically Endangered Chinese Crested Tern, a very rare species globally but one that has been recorded recently in this area.

While looking for the Chinese Crested Tern other terns, gulls, shorebirds, and wading birds we may find here could include Pied Stilt, Grey Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Eurasian Whimbrel, Far Eastern Curlew, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Knot, Grey-tailed Tattler, Terek Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Black-headed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Greater Crested Tern, Little Egret, Chinese Egret, and Javan Pond Heron.

The Philippines birding toursThe Vulnerable (BirdLife International) Chinese Egret can be found overwintering in the Philippines.

 

After our birding, we will move on to Davao where we will catch onward flights to Clark on the island of Luzon. From Clark we will head to Subic for the night, ahead of our birding in the area the following day.

Overnight: Subic, Luzon

 

Day 17. Subic Bay Watershed Reserve Birding

The Subic Bay area and adjacent Bataan National Park contains some of the last significant areas of lowland dipterocarp forest in western Luzon. Subic Bay was previously a US naval facility, and this resulted in the protection of large tracts of forest, which is now protected as a watershed reserve. This is a great area and there are numerous target birds for us to look for during the day. The site is the best area for a number of Luzon specials, particularly for the Endangered (BirdLife International) endemic Green Racket-tail, along with an exciting cast, the likes of which might include Blue-naped Parrot, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Rough-crested Malkoha, Philippine Hawk-Eagle, Philippine Serpent Eagle,  Red Junglefowl, Philippine Green Pigeon, Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, Spotted Imperial Pigeon, Whiskered Treeswift, Blue-throated (Rufous-crowned) Bee-eater, Luzon (Tarictic) Hornbill, Luzon Flameback, Sooty Woodpecker, Philippine Falconet, Blackish Cuckooshrike, Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike, Trilling Tailorbird, Rufous Coucal, (Luzon) White-browed Shama, Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Pygmy Swiftlet, Balicassiao (a drongo!), Philippine Fairy-bluebird, Handsome Sunbird, and possibly White-lored Oriole and White-fronted Tit.

Overnight: Subic, Luzon

The Philippines birding toursWe will hope for great views of the beautiful Blue-naped Parrot (photo Rose Ann Reynado).

 

Day 18. Subic to Infanta

Essentially a travel day. We will drive south from Subic to look for the impressive Philippine Eagle-Owl, and then head east to Infanta, for the next couple of nights where we will commence birding in that area, time permitting, making a start on the birds listed for Day 19.

Overnight: Infanta, Luzon

 

Day 19. Infanta Birding

A full day will be spent around Infanta looking for several exciting targets, with Whiskered Pitta, Bicol Ground Warbler, and Flame-breasted Fruit Dove being high on the list. Other species we will be looking out for include Flaming Sunbird, Philippine Coucal, Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Philippine Scops Owl, Rufous Hornbill, Elegant Tit, Philippine Bulbul, Lemon-throated Leaf Warbler, Yellowish White-eye, Brown-headed Thrush, (Luzon) White-browed Shama, White-browed Shortwing, Bicolored Flowerpecker, Buzzing Flowerpecker, Pygmy Flowerpecker, and Philippine Fairy-bluebird to name a few.

Overnight: Infanta, Luzon

 

Day 20. Infanta to Manila (Luzon)

The morning will be spent at Infanta again, looking for any additional species like Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Blue-headed Fantail, and (Luzon) Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker before heading back to Manila and a welcome city hotel with hot showers and some cold beers!

Overnight: Manila, Luzon

The Philippines birding toursThe striking Flame-breasted Fruit Dove will be a target on Luzon (photo Rose Ann Reynado).

 

Day 21. Manila birding and tour concludes at noon

If we haven’t managed to squeeze in a visit beforehand, we will visit La Mesa Eco Park, Quezon City, on the outskirts of Manila early in the morning. Here we will look for Ashy Thrush to round things off in style and we may end up with further views of great birds that we may have already seen during the tour such as Hooded Pitta, Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Guaiabero, Philippine Magpie-Robin, Red-keeled Flowerpecker, Philippine Pied Fantail, and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher. We will head back to the hotel to freshen up and pack before ending this exciting, endemic-packed birding tour of the Philippines at noon.

You can book an onward flight out of Manila for the late afternoon or evening. You could also extend your Asian birding fix by joining either our Thailand: Jewels of the South (for an amazing array of pittas, trogons, and hornbills, along with Spoon-billed Sandpiper) or  India: The Northeast – Spectacular Birds and Mammals (for tragopans, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, Spotted Elachura, amazing forest birds, Bengal Tigers, and Greater One-horned (Indian) Rhinoceros) tours, both of which commence a few days after this tour ends.

Overnight: Not included

 

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. Given the situation in the Philippines in December 2020 (in terms of Covid-19) and the remote nature of this tour, the route and some of the places we plan to visit may need to change due to matters out of our hands, for example the itinerary is put together assuming the same internal flights will be operating in a post-Covid world and that birdwatching sites remain open, with local accommodation and local guides still available etc.

Download Itinerary

Accommodation Note:

The majority of accommodation on the tour is of a good to medium standard with private facilities throughout. However, the accommodation for three nights on Mount Kitanglad (where we will be looking for the mighty Philippine Eagle), by necessity, is very basic and we will be staying in tents (within a large wooden structure). Sleeping mats, blankets, pillows, and towels are provided. There are western-style toilets with a basic shower. There is a large shelter with chairs and tables, and lights, for dining, doing the bird list and relaxing.

We just returned from our trip to Thailand. It was wonderful. Thank you very much for arranging our tour with Andy Walker. He was the best guide we ever had. He is knowledgeable, easy going, hard working, and has all the qualities that people expect from a guide. We really enjoyed birding with him. We would be happy to go birding with him any time and would highly recommend him as a guide to any of our friends.

Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to have him as our guide.

Our Best Regards,

Ahmad and Sue – Canada

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