Jon Hornbuckle

Preston K Martin

Mike and Halle Brady

Malcolm Oxlade

I arranged and led a 3 week budget tour of the Philippines. We saw an impressive list of birds between us, with good views of Whiskered Pitta, Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, kampalili Flame-crowned Flowerpecker, 5 species of Imperial-Pigeon including Spotted, 10 Kingfishers including Blue-capped, and of course the Philippine Eagle. We visited Sawa, the new site in North Luzon, and saw most of the Hamut specialities.It was relatively dry but rather hot in the lowlands, a poor time for some birds nocturnal birds. With deforestation accelerating at PICOP, some birds such as the Broadbill, Little Slaty Flycatcher and Celestial Monarch were missed, and this list will doubtless increase in the future. The success of the trip was greatly assisted by help from Rob Hutchinson, Mylene, Gabby, Zardo, Aquilino and Carlito.


28-March  Drive Manila to Los Banos. Birding on Mt Makiling. 2 nights at TREES

29-March  All day birding Mt Makiling and Los Banos.

30-March  Early Morning drive to Manila, fly to Cagayan de Oro, drive to Damitan, drive and walk up Mt Kitanglad; pm birding. 3 days at Del Monte Lodge.

31-March –1-Apr  Full days birding on Mt Kitanglad.

2-Apr  Walk and drive down to Damitan, drive to Bislig airport. 4 nights at Paper Country Inn.

3-5 Apr  PICOP all day.

6-Apr  Drive to Davao airport. Fly to Manila, drive to Subic. Night at Arlene’s GH.

7-Apr  Hill 492, Subic. Drive to Banaue. 1 night at Banaue View Hotel.

8-Apr  Drive to Mt Polis. PM drive to Tuguegarao, night at Lorita Hotel.

9-Apr  Drive to village near Baliwag, walk to Sawa Camp 1.

10-Apr  Walk to Sawa Camp 2.

11-Apr  Full day around Sawa Camp 2.

12-Apr  A.m. near Camp 2, then walk slowly from Camp 2 to Camp 1.

13-Apr  Morning walk to village near Baliwag, drive to Tuguegarao. Fly to Manila, night at Crown Plaza Hotel.

14-Apr  0800-0900  flight to Pto Princesa; drive to Sabang; 2 nights at Last Frontier Lodge.

15-Apr  Early morning at St Pauls NP, pm around Sabang.

16-Apr  Morning near Sabang, pm back to Pto Princesa, then boat trip to Pandan Is., night at Duchess Hosteria.

17-Apr  A.m. Balsahan trail, Iwahig, then birding at coast. Pm flight to Manila. 


We assembled at the Best Western Hotel in Manila on the morning of March 28, one member short due to an unfortunate back injury, then drove for 2 hours to Mount Makiling. We saw our first endemic, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, while checking in at TREES, then walked up as far as the Mud Stream Trail. It was disappointingly quiet but we did see Red-crested Malkoha, Philippine Trogon, Coppersmith Barbet, Luzon Hornbill and Balicassiao. Spotted Wood-Kingfishers started calling at dusk but the only sighting was of one that flew across when it was almost dark. A good meal was enjoyed at Mi Bonitos in Los Banos. We breakfasted at 5 at Mi Bonitos then returned to Makiling at dawn to look for Phil Hawk-Owl and Ashy Thrush. A Hawk-owl did call but only gave a poor view as it flew across the road, and there was no sign of the thrush. The forest was quiet again but we slowly accumulated a reasonable selection of species during the morning, with Black-chinned Fruit-Dove, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Blue-throated and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Phil Pygmy Woodpecker, White-browed Shama, Phil Fairy-bluebird and Metallic-winged Sunbird, with Phil Hawk-Cuckoo and Falconet for some. Returning to TREES at 1.30 pm, we drove down to Los Banos for lunch then checked the river for Indigo-banded Kingfisher – seen well eventually. It was then time to go to the University campus to look for buttonquails. The buttonquails were uncooperative, probably because most of the grass had recently been cut, but we did have good views of Phil Pygmy Woodpecker, Ashy Minivet, Brown Shrike and Striated Grassbird. Returning to Makiling to try again for Spotted Kingfisher, we had good views of a Phil Scops-Owl, a tricky bird to see, which had called unexpectedly by the roadside.

Another early start was needed to drive to Manila airport for our flight to Cagayan de Oro, where we paid the first of many visits to Jollibee for brunch. Along drove us to Damitan where we transferred to a pick-up to go up Mount Kitanglad, then walked the last short distance to Del Monte Lodge, seeing Long-tailed Shrike on the way.

We met Carlito, his wife and relatives who were to take good care of us for the next 3 days. The lodge was well-equipped but already occupied by guides from another group who were booked to arrive the next day. We started to hike up the mountain with Carlito and his assistant Danny but returned early because of heavy rain. We did see Phil Cuckoo-Dove, Mindanao Hornbill, Eye-browed Thrush, Little Pied Flycatcher, Mountain Verditer, Elegant Tit, Cinnamon Ibon, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and Grey-hooded Sunbird. After a fine meal, we had an excellent view of a Phil Frogmouth but the only owl calling was an invisible Giant Scops-Owl.

Awoken the following morning by 2 Giant Scops calling at 5 am but they wouldn’t come out of the forest, so after breakfast we hiked up to the Phil Eagle watch-point with numerous stops for birds on the way. We spent most of the morning at the viewpoint and after seeing Phil Serpent-Eagle and Oriental Honey-buzzard, we finally spotted the main quarry, a Great Phil Eagle, perched up some distance away – on the list but better views desired! We hiked higher to the second viewpoint but this was shrouded in mist, so only PK and Malcolm continued to the Apo Sunbird site, where they also saw Black-masked White-eye, White-cheeked Bullfinch and rather surprisingly, 2 Phil Nightjars. Other good birds seen today included Colasisi, Mindanao Racquet-tail, McGregor’s Cuckooshrike, Black-and-cinnamon Fantail, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Short-tailed Starling, Olive-capped Flowerpecker and a considerable number of funky Apo Mynas.

The next day we looked for the “difficult” species we had missed, with some success, seeing Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove, Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis, White-browed Shortwing, Rufous-headed Tailorbird, White-bellied Munia and most notably a pair of Flame-crowned Flowerpeckers – my first ever male – feeding on berries. We tried eagle-watching at a lower point and succeeded in finding one on the opposite valley-side. It gave good if distant views, either perched or moving briefly to other trees. A wait for Bukidnon Woodcock at dusk went unrewarded, probably because conditions had been so dry. We were well looked after by Carlito’s family during the time we spent on Mt Kitanglad, with good food and ready access to beer. We saw most of the specialities but as well as the Woodcock, Blue-capped Kingfisher, Red-eared Parrotfinch and owls were missed. We spent a couple of hours on our last morning trying for missed birds but only Buzzing Flowerpecker was new. Then we walked down to Damitan and were met by the excellent Along who drove us to Bislig via Butuan, with the obligatory stop at Jollibee for lunch. We reached the disused Bislig airport at 5.30 in time to see some wetland activity, with Wandering Whistling-Ducks in flight, Black Bittern perched up, and Zitting Cisticolas zitting. Then we checked in at the Paper County Inn, our “home” for the next 4 nights and dined with Zardo, our guide for the next 3 days birding.

We were up at 4.00 to go to the distant Road 42 in PICOP but had to head for a different site as Zardo had heard that the road had been damaged by illegal loggers, We drove to the quarry area, arriving a little too late for owling, but did see a Great Eared Nightjar flying around. We had a very good morning in the cloudy conditions, starting with calling Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeons and an Amethyst Dove perched up, then the rare sight of two Barred Honey-Buzzards drying out in the top of a nearby bare tree. A beautiful Steere’s Pitta gave excellent views, as did a party of Pygmy Babblers, while a pair of the pitta-like Streaked Ground-Babblers performed relatively well. A few mixed flocks contained a brilliant blue Short-tailed Monarch, unusually obliging  Rufous Paradise-Flycatchers and Yellow-bellied Whistlers. Other good birds included a hunting Besra, Black-faced Coucal, Writhed Hornbill, Black-bibbed Cuckooshrike, Phil Oriole, Yellowish and Yellow-wattled Bulbuls, Coleto, Olive-backed and Lovely Sunbirds, Little Spiderhunter (scarce away from Palawan), with a Blue Rock-thrush for Mike and an Everett’s White-eye for Malcolm. It rained most of the afternoon but we were able to see the diminutive Phil Falconet and the smart Silvery Kingfisher. We returned to Bislig airport, via the coast where we saw a large number of Greenshanks, but the only new birds were Philippine Ducks in flight, Clamorous Warbler and Golden-headed Cisticola. The Red Horse beer was popular at night. 

The next day we did go to Road 42. The weather was unkind, with heavy showers in the morning and excessive heat later. Mixed flocks were small and scarce – we did see Black-naped Monarch, Blue Fantail, Rusty-crowned Babbler, more Short-tailed Monarchs and Rufous Paradise-Flycatchers but failed to spot the Rufous-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher and Phil Leaf-Warbler that were calling briefly. We added Phil Hawk-Eagle, Rufous Hornbill, Naked-faced Spiderhunter, Black-headed Tailorbird, with Phil Needletail for Malcolm. The considerable effort we put into finding Blue-capped Kingfisher, that had eluded us at Kitanglad, was eventually rewarded with a fine view of this cracking bird.

An early start on our final day only gave a Chocolate Boobook invisibly calling nearby. A Hooded Pitta called for  30 mins from a patch where it took some locating. Again the wet morning constrained bird activity so that the only new birds were Mindanao Tarictic Hornbill, Violet Cuckoo and Scarlet Minivet, which may be split as an endemic. The main success in the hot afternoon was a good view of a Rufous-lored Kingfisher, which took some tracking down, plus an endemic curonicus form of Little Ringed Plover for Halle and Mike. Later we returned to Bislig and visited the paddy fields near the airport. We saw 3 Cinnamon Bitterns, Swinhoe’s Snipe and had good views of hunting Phil Nightjar and Grass Owl at dusk. The following day we left Bislig at 5 am for Davao airport, stopping on the way to explore a roadside patch of forest – nice views of Yellowish Bulbul and male Purple-throated Sunbirds but nothing new. We reached the airport at 10.30, only to find the flight was delayed till 13.45. On arrival in Manila, we were met by Gabby and co-driver Boyet, then proceeded to a noisy guesthouse at Olangapo near Subic Bay.

After a 5 am Big Mac breakfast, we drove to Hill 492 at Subic for 4 hours of birding. A single Green Racquet-tail soon flew close by and the birds of the day, a pair of Sooty Woodpeckers, were active in the huge trees, with another large woodpecker, White-bellied, nearby. We almost saw a responsive Spotted Wood-Kingfisher but did see Blackish and Bar-bellied Cuckooshrikes, Red Junglefowl and a single White-fronted Tit. Several trees were full of large fruit-bats, most roosting but a few flying. A visit to the Mangrove Trail gave a brief Plain Bush-hen for Malcolm and PK. Then it was a long slow drive to Banaue, not helped by our driver’s inability to exceed 60 kph. We arrived at 10pm after two food stops and 20 mins at the famous Dalton Pass. The luxurious Banaue View Hotel was a welcome sight.    

After a hearty breakfast, we were driven in a jeepney by Eric to the Mt Polis pass, shrouded in low cloud. Walking down the road gave most of the specialities: Chestnut-faced Babbler, Mountain Verditer and Little Pied Flycatchers, Green-backed Whistler, Mountain Leaf-Warbler, Luzon Bush-Warbler, Long-tailed Ground-Warbler and White-faced Bullfinch. The trail a little higher up the mountain was disappointing with only White-browed Shortwing notable. We drove down the road to a stream-crossing where we soon located a pair of the scarce Luzon Water-Redstart, the male singing like a Plumbeous Redstart, of the same genus – the song is undescribed in the fieldguide. We looked for Flame –breasted Fruit-Dove without success but had good views of a pair Mountain Shrikes near the pass. After a brief roadside stop to admire the spectacular rice-terraces, we returned to the hotel, and left at 12.30 for the long drive to Tuguegarao in North Luzon.  

The next day we were met by Aquilino and daughter Quenilyn in their jeepney. After discussing whether to go to the “traditional” Hamut Camp or Sawa, his new site, we agreed on the latter and drove to the starting point for the trek. Here we met Edwin the “birdguide” and the team of porters for the 5 day expedition, and saw our first Phil Tailorbird. We set off at 7 am for the walk to Camp 1, a physically draining trek in the hot conditions. We soon stopped to admire a Spotted Imperial-Pigeon and both Red and Island Collared-Doves in the same tree. Other birds seen on route to the camp included Buff-banded Rail, Phil Hawk-Cuckoo, Scale-feathered Malkoha,  White-browed Shama, Arctic Warbler, Plain-throated Sunbird, Crested Myna (an introduced species), while a lake on the way held at least 50 Phil Ducks. We reached Camp 1 at 1 pm and were surprised to find the porters had not arrived. It was hours later when they showed up – got lost on the way! We all rested, ate a little then birded near the camp till dusk, but the only new bird was Yellowish White-eye.

The next 4 nights of camping were pleasantly dry, although this was not helpful for bird activity. We spent two hours the following morning birding remnant forest near the campsite, some of us seeing Brown-headed Thrush and Pygmy Flowerpecker, but Sooty Woodpecker was the only good bird for others. We set off for Camp 2 at 8 am on a fairly steep walk, mostly in forest but also through recently burnt bamboo. A Furtive Flycatcher was taped out from the latter but only gave brief views, as did a noisy party of Rufous Coucals. A Spotted Buttonquail fed near the trail, and Greater Flameback, Blue-headed Fantail, Phil Fairy Bluebird and White-lored Oriole were seen before we reached the camp. This time the porters were well ahead of us and our 3 tents were huddled together beside the stream. After sustenance we birded nearby and were well rewarded by some of the best birds of the trip. The highlight was a good view of a Whiskered Pitta, followed by Cream-breasted Fruit-Dove, Golden-headed Babbler and Spotted Wood-Kingfisher in flight. After dining on soup, corned beef, baked beans, green beans and rice, we enjoyed a quiet night’s sleep.

Blue-breasted Flycatcher was singing at dawn but could not be seen. After breakfast of porridge and coffee, we hiked up a trail to look for missing species. The forest was very quiet, the only excitement being a perched Spotted Wood-Kingfisher, at last. Two of the party turned back with me and saw a Rabor’s Wren-Babbler and better views of Rufous Coucal. but disappointingly a Luzon Bleeding-heart was flushed ahead of us by our guide. The others continued upwards and were rewarded by crippling prolonged views of a Whiskered Pitta in a dry creek, Luzon Striped-Babbler, a probable Grand Rhabdornis and had a long tape duel with a Luzon Bleeding-heart which ended in tears. I took another upward trail near the camp and eventually found a fruiting fig-tree where fruit-doves, especially Yellow-breasted, were very active. On my way down I found Halle and Mike who had had a near-miss with a Whiskered Pitta and seen a close Phil Hawk-Cuckoo. The following morning we returned to the area and some of us hiked up to the fig tree. Here we saw Cream-breasted and Yellow-breasted Fruit-Doves, Brown-headed and Eye-browed Thrushes, and best of all a Luzon Mountain Racquet-tail. We then walked down to Camp 1. Birds on the way included Amethyst Dove, Blue-breasted, Furtive and Citrine Canary- Flycatchers, and Asian Koel, Rufous Coucal, Golden-headed and Luzon Striped Babblers for Halle and Mike with Aquilino. Birding near the camp gave an obliging pair of Falconets, a pair of White-fronted Tits at a nest hole in a tall tree, and best of all, 2 sierramadrensis Slender-billed Crow which was puzzling identification due to its small size. Our last night of camping was a pleasant experience.

We made an early start for the 4 hour walk down to the road. There were few stops for birding: Blue-throated Bee-eater and Olive-backed and Purple-throated Sunbirds showed well, Spotted Buttonquail poorly, while Osprey and Purple (or Philippine, according to Dutch Birding) Swamphen were at the lake. We had to wait for nearly an hour for the jeepney to arrive, during which we drank Halo-halo, the local speciality, courtesy of PK. We drove to Tuguegarao airport and found that the flight had been delayed. It eventually took off at 2.30, 1h 40 mins late, with the result that we just missed our connecting flight to Palawan. The good news was that Philippine Airlines then put us up at the luxury Crown Plaza Hotel where we enjoyed an excellent dinner and breakfast. We left here at 6 am for the 8 am flight to Palawan. On arrival at Puerto Princesa we took a van to Sabang, the gateway to St Paul’s National Park. The first of several good stops en route was to check the mangroves for Copper-throated Sunbird and a pair was duly seen. The next stop was at Tagabenet where the road dropped steeply through tall mature trees – here we saw Yellow-throated Leafbird, Slender-billed Crow and Ashy and Hair-crested Drongos. Further stops for roadside birding gave Chinese Goshawk, Black-headed, Grey-cheeked and Sulphur-bellied Bulbuls, Palawan Flowerpecker and a Pintail/Swinhoe's Snipe in a paddy field. At the last stop two raptors in flight were puzzling but their identity was eventually confirmed as the scarce Jerdon’s Baza. We reached the Last Frontier Resort where we were met by Mylene and her sister Jo who were to look after us for the next 3 days. A late afternoon walk nearby was not very productive, though we did see Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, with Palawan Frogmouth calling close in such thick cover that we could not see it.

After an early breakfast we took a bangka along the coast to St Paul’s National Park. The famous habituated Palawan Peacock-Pheasant was slow to arrive but performed well at 8 am, a splendid sight. Endemic White-vented Shama, Ashy-headed Babbler and Palawan Blue flycatcher also showed but Ruddy Kingfisher and Tabon Scrubfowl were absent without leave. The huge sluggish monitor lizards Veranus salvator, were quite a sight. We took the bangka back to the main ranger station and walked the trails around there, seeing Palawan Hornbill, Blue-naped Parrot, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Shelley’s Sunbird and a Tabon Scrubfowl for Malcolm. Walking back to Sabang was unproductive, except for Malcolm who spotted a Scaly Thrush, a rare migrant on Palawan. Marlon, our van driver met us and drove us back to the lodge. After lunch Mylene took us back along the road. At the first stop 3 noisy Slaty Woodpeckers, probably a pair with a juvenile, gave great views for some time, during which Blue-headed Racquet-tails shot past and a White-bellied Woodpecker was also seen. Further stops, in good forest, gave Fiery Minivet, Dark-throated Oriole, Hill Myna, Pin-striped Tit-babbler and a Hooded Pitta, with Brown-backed Needletails overhead. The star bird though was a pair of Phil Cockatoo, a critically endangered bird, seen perched and in flight. At dusk we tried for Phil Frogmouth and Scops-Owl but although we were again very close to the former, it wasn’t seen and the only owl heard was an unresponsive Spotted Wood-Owl.  

The next morning we returned to the Cockatoo site, stopping for a perched Serpent-Eagle, and saw the pair of Cockatoos again. A shy Blue Paradise-Flycatcher was seen well, along with Common Flameback and Palawan Tit. No less than 3 Painted Snipe were flushed from a nearby paddy. On the way back to the resort, a Palawan Hornbill was seen feeding in a fruiting tree hanging over the road. We tried looking for Racquet-tails near the Resort without success. While we packed, Malcolm nipped back to the beach to look for Malaysian Plover and was rewarded with a pair. After an early lunch we drove back to Pto Princesa and checked in at our hotel. At 4 pm we went to the wharf and boarded a boat for the 45 min ride to Pandan Island. A White-bellied Sea-Eagle flew over as we set off. A walk around the island soon gave good looks at Grey Imperial Pigeons, a real small-island speciality, and eventually 2 Pied Imperial Pigeons. Stork-billed Kingfisher and Pied Fantail were also seen while waiting for dusk and the calls of Mantanani Scops-Owl. One owl started calling before dusk but flew off before we could see it, then 2 more called but we only saw them in flight. As it turned dark we finally got a superb view of one owl, while others called nearby along with Large-tailed Nightjars. We had a smooth voyage back to the mainland and a quick transfer to the hotel for dinner.

The final morning saw us on the Balsahan Trail in Iwahig prison colony at 6 am with a convict as “guide”. We located Ruddy Kingfisher, Palawan Flycatcher, Melodious Babbler and Falcated Ground-babbler, the main targets, with difficulty, and had good views of Pygmy Flowerpecker and Shelley’s Sunbird. The paddies were dry so there were none of the usual waders but we did see a Watercock and a Painted Snipe. We had done pretty well on Palawan apart from the nightbirds. After a good pizza lunch at Shakey’s, we visited Garceliano Beach where a Chinese Egret and a Grey-tailed Tattler were found after a bit of a search, not helped by it being high tide, a Plaintive Cuckoo gave great views. I stayed on in Palawan while the group returned to Manila. Most visited the American Cemetery the next day and caught up with Lowland White-eye, Barred Rail, Flyeater and the scarce Chestnut-cheeked Starling. Malcolm was obliged to stay longer due to the volcanic ash problem in Europe and saw a few more birds, the rarely seen Ruddy Crake Porzana fusca being the most notable.


Grey Heron Ardea cinerea: singles at the Sawa lake and Sabang.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea: one at Bislig airfield.

Great Egret Egretta alba: small numbers on Palawan and while traveling on Luzon.

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia: a few on Palawan,

Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes: one at Garceliano Beach, Puerto Princesa.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta: seen in small numbers throughout the tour.

Striated Heron Butorides striatus: up to 4 on Palawan.

(Eastern) Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus: widespread in good numbers. Although not a widely

adopted split, this form is much more richly coloured in breeding plumage than western birds.

Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis: only one, at Iwahig.

Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus: 3 in paddies near Bislig airfield.

Black Bittern Dupetor  flavicollis: one perched up at Bislig airfield on April 2 and 3.

Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata: good numbers in flight at Bislig airfield.

Philippine Duck Anas luzonica: 10 at Bislig airfield on April 3 and c.100 at the Sawa lake.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus: one at the Sawa lake.

Jerdon's Baza Avecida jerdoni: two in flight near Sabang on April 14 - a scarce bird.

Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus: up to 3 on Mt Kitanglad and 1 at PICOP (the

distinctive philippensis race, which seems to have an even longer neck than usual).

Barred (Steere’s) Honey-Buzzard Pernis celebensis steerei: two drying out after rain together in treetops at PICOP on April 3 and 2 singles in flight on 5th. This species could be split from the nominate form which only occurs on Sulawesi.

Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus: one near Mt Kitanglad (MO), 2 at Subic and 3 singles on the Sawa trek.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster: one over Pto Princesa wharf.

Chinese Goshawk Accipiter soloensis: an accipiter in flight on the way to Sabang on April 14 was thought to be this species.

Besra Accipiter virgatus: two singles at PICOP.

Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela: one seen well near Sabang.

Philippine Serpent-Eagle Spilornis holospilus: singles at Kitanglad and PICOP and up to 3 daily at Sawa.

Great Philippine Eagle (Monkey-eating Eagle) Pithecophaga jefferyi: distant but reasonable views of what was probably last year’s youngster on two mornings at Kitanglad

Philippine Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus philippensis: singles at PICOP and at Sawa on April 7 and 9.

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus: singles on the coast at Bislig and at Mt Polis.

Philippine Falconet Microhierax erythrogenys: one at Mt Makiling, up to 3 at PICOP, and 2 at Subic Bay and Sawa Camp 1.

Tabon (Philippine) Scrubfowl  Megapodius cumingii: only 1 seen briefly at St Paul’s National Park ranger station by MO.

Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus: a feeding female seen well at Subic Bay, with males heard calling elsewhere.

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron emphanum: great views of a male of this spectacular pheasant at St Paul’s NP.

Spotted Buttonquail Turnix ocellata: singles seen feeding on the Sawa trek on April 10 and walking away on 13th.

Buff-banded Rail Gallirallus philippensis: one on day 1 of the Sawa trek.

Purple Gallinule (Swamphen) Porphyrio cinerea pulverulentus: two at the Sawa lake.

Watercock Gallicrex cinerea: one in paddy at the entrance to Iwahig.

Plain Bush-hen Amaurornis olivacea: one seen briefly at Subic Bay (PK, MO) with others heard at PICOP, and Sawa.

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus: two near Sabang.

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus: the only 1 noted was at PICOP.

Greater Painted-Snipe Rostratula benghalensis: 3 flushed from a paddy near Sabang and one in paddy at the entrance to Iwahig.

Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii: a pair at Sabang (MO).

Mongolian Plover Charadrius mongolus: several at Garceliano Beach, Pto Princesa.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius ssp. Curonicus: one at the quarry at PICOP (H & MB).

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis: c10 at Garceliano Beach, Pto Princesa.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus: one at Bislig airfield and 1 heard at Pandan Island.

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia: 2 at Bislig airfield, 45 on the coast at Bislig and 2 at Sabang (MO).

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola: one in wet paddy near Sabang.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos: Scattered sightings of ones and twos.

Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes: one at Garceliano Beach, Puerto Princesa.

Swinhoe’s Snipe Gallinago megala: one flew from paddy near Bislig airfield and 3 singles seen on Palawan.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus: several in the Manila area.

Pompadour Green-Pigeon Treron pompadora axillaris: several at PICOP and Subic, 3 on Day 1 of the Sawa trek.

White-eared Brown-Dove Phapitreron leucotis: Several at Subic Bay and Sawa, 2 at Kitanglad and PICOP, and heard at Makiling.

Amethyst Brown-Dove Phapitreron amethystina: singles seen at PICOP, a few at Sawa and heard at Kitanglad.

Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus occipitalis: seen well at Kitanglad and Sawa, but much more often heard than seen.

Black-chinned Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus leclancheri: two at Mount Makiling and heard near Sabang.

Flame-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus marchei: one at the fruiting fig at Sawa (JH).

Cream-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus merrilli: singles at Sawa on 10-12th (race faustinoi).

Pink-bellied Imperial-Pigeon Ducula poliocephala: two perched up at PICOP on 4th.

Spotted Imperial-Pigeon Ducula carola: one perched near start of Sawa trek, a rarely seen bird now.

Green Imperial-Pigeon Ducula aenea: several at Subic Bay, PICOP and on Palawan.

Grey Imperial Pigeon Ducula pickeringii: c.20 on Pandan Island.

Pied Imperial Pigeon Ducula bicolor: only 2 on Pandan Island.

Philippine Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia tenuirostris: small numbers at Kitanglad, PICOP, Sawa and Sabang.

Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica: one perched near start of Sawa trek.

Island Collared-Dove Streptopelia bitorquata: good looks at one at PICOP.

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis: scattered in open country, but perhaps most common on Palawan.

Zebra Dove (Peaceful Dove) Streptopelia striata: a few near start of Sawa trek and on Palawan.

Common Emerald-Dove Chalcophaps indica: two at Subic and 1 or 2 most days at Sawa and around Sabang.

Luzon Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba luzonica: untickable singles flushed at Subic and Sawa, heard at Sawa on only 2 days.

Guaiabero Bolbopsittacus lunulatus: a few at PICOP, Subic and Sawa.

Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia: a pair seen well near Sabang on 15th and 16th.

Blue-naped Parrot Tanygnathus lucionensis: one on the way to Sabang and several at St Paul’s NP ranger station and near Sabang on 15th (salvadorii).

Green Racquet-tail Prioniturus luconensis:  a good view of one flying past at Subic.

Blue-crowned Racquet-tail Prioniturus discurus: a brief flight view at PICOP. This species is becoming ever harder to find.

Blue-headed Racquet-tail Prioniturus platenae: one flew quickly by near Sabang, bad luck as usually more easily seen.

Luzon Racquet-tail Prioniturus montanus: one at the fruiting fig at Sawa, a good sighting.

Mindanao Racquet-tail Prioniturus waterstradti: 2-3 at Mount Kitanglad on March 31 and April 2.

Colasisi (Philippine Hanging-Parakeet) Loriculus philippensis: Common at Kitanglad and Sawa, only 1 at PICOP and only heard at Mount Makiling.

Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus (fugax) pectoralis: one seen on Mount Makiling, 2 singles at Sawa and heard on several other days. Best treated as a separate (endemic) species from Hodgson’s C. fugax due to its

unique call and distinctive plumage characters.

Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus: one at Garceliano Beach and others heard on Palawan.

Rusty-breasted Cuckoo Cacomantis sepulcralis: Heard on Mount Kitanglad.

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus: one seen at PICOP and another heard there on a different day.

Asian Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris: several seen and heard on Palawan and 1 seen near Sabang.

Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus velutinus: good views of a couple of different birds at PICOP. The birds on

Luzon and Mindanao were split from Asian Drongo-Cuckoo in the Handbook of Birds of the World.

Common Koel (Asian Koel) Eudynamys scolopacea: Heard widely but only one seen, at Sawa.

Scale-feathered Malkoha Phaenicophaeus cumingi: singles seen at Mount Makiling and on the Sawa trek.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris: three at St Paul’s National Park ranger station.

Red-crested Malkoha Phaenicophaeus superciliosus: one or 2 at Mount Makiling and 2 at Subic Bay.

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis: one on Pandan Island and 2 on the Balsahan trail.

Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis: singles at Bislig airfield and near Sabang.

Philippine Coucal Centropus viridis: singles at Mount Makiling, Mount Kitanglad, PICOP and Sawa, and commonly heard.

Black-faced Coucal Centropus melanops: two at PICOP on 3rd was the only record.

Rufous Coucal Centropus unirufus: three noisy groups of 4 or 5 seen at Sawa but difficult to get a good view of this skulker.

Australasian Grass Owl (Eastern Grass Owl) Tyto longimembris: one watched hunting over paddy near at Bislig

airfield at dusk.

Mantanani Scops-Owl Otus mantananensis: two or 3 seen on Pandan Island with others heard.

Philippine Scops-Owl Otus megalotis: One seen perched at Mount Makiling and heard calling at Sawa.

Mindanao Eagle-/Giant Scops-Owl Mimizuku gurneyi: heard daily at the lodge on Kitanglad.

Chocolate Hawk-Owl / Boobook Ninox randi: heard nearby at PICOP.

Philippine Hawk-Owl / Boobook Ninox philippensis: one in flight at dusk on Mount Makiling, with several calling there and at Sawa.

Mindanao Hawk-Owl Ninox spilocephala: heard at PICOP. Usually lumped with Philippine Hawk-Owl, but the birds on Mindanao are vocally distinct.

Spotted Wood-Owl Strix seloputo: heard near Sabang.

Philippine Frogmouth Batrachostomus septimus: stunning spotlight views at Kitanglad and heard at PICOP and Sawa.

Palawan Frogmouth Batrachostomus chaseni: three calling near to Sabang. Generally considered to be a race of Javan Frogmouth B. javensis but its distinct vocalizations warrant a split.

Great Eared Nightjar Eurostopodus macrotis: two singles at PICOP, one at Camp 1 below Sawa and heard at

Mount Kitanglad and Sawa.

Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus: Seen at Sabang and heard elsewhere on Palawan.

Philippine Nightjar Caprimulgus manillensis: two seen and others heard at Mount Kitanglad and Sawa, with 1 at PICOP.

Philippine Swiftlet Aerodramus mearnsi: several on Mt Kitanglad and Mt Polis.

Island (Uniform) Swiftlet  Collocalia (vanikorensis) amelis: small numbers at Mount Makiling, PICOP and Sawa.

Palawan Swiftlet Collocalia palawanensis: hundreds at the Underground Cave, St Paul’s NP, with several elsewhere on Palawan. This form was previously lumped with Island Swiftlet but several authors, including Sibley & Monroe, split it off as a separate species.

Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta: fairly common at most sites.

Grey-rumped Swiftlet Collocalia marginata: common at Subic, with a few at Mount Makiling. The extent of the grey rump seems quite variable. Formerly lumped with Glossy Swiftlet, this form is endemic to the Philippines.

Pygmy Swiftlet Collocalia troglodytes: common at PICOP and Sawa, and a few around Sabang.

Philippine Needletail Mearnsia picina: one at PICOP (MO).

Brown-backed Needletail (Brown Needletail) Hirundapus giganteus: c10 over the forest near Sabang.

House Swift Apus nipalensis: one at Mount Makiling and a few at Mount Polis.

Whiskered Treeswift Hemiprocne comata: one or 2 at Kitanglad and 2 at PICOP.

Philippine Trogon Harpactes ardens: two singles at Mount Makiling, PICOP and Sawa, and heard at Kitanglad.

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis: one or two near Sabang.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis: singles by the lodge at Sabang on Palawan.

Indigo-banded Kingfisher Alcedo cyanopectus: one on the river at Los Banos.

Silvery Kingfisher Alcedo argentatus: this superb kingfisher was seen well at a small roadside pool at


Rufous-backed Kingfisher Ceyx rufidorsa: heard on a couple of occasions on Palawan.

Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis: two on Pandan Island and 1 at Iwahig.

Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda: 1 at Iwahig.

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis: a few at PICOP and heard at Sawa. The endemic race in the Philippines, gularis, has hardly any white on the throat.

Rufous-lored Kingfisher Halcyon winchelli: heard daily at PICOP but only 1 seen, well.

Collared Kingfisher Halcyon chloris: only seen at Los Banos and Davao until Palawan where up to 6 were sighted in a day.

Spotted Wood-Kingfisher Actenoides lindsayi: Heard and seen poorly at Mount Makiling and Subic but then stunning views at Sawa.

Blue-capped Wood-Kingfisher Actenoides hombroni:  heard on Mount Kitanglad and at PICOP where it was eventually seen well.

Blue-throated Bee-eater Merops viridis: a few at Mount Makiling and on the Sawa trek

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus: a few at Mount Makiling and I near the start of the Sawa trek.

Luzon Hornbill Penelopides manillae: one or 2 at Mount Makiling, Subic and Sawa.

Mindanao Hornbill Penelopides affinis: two singles at Kitanglad, and one at PICOP.

Writhed (Writhed-billed) Hornbill Aceros leucocephalus: two singles at PICOP.

Palawan Hornbill Anthracoceros marchei: two at St Paul’s National Park ranger station and feeding on a fruiting fig near Sabang.

Rufous Hornbill Buceros hydrocorax: three at PICOP, 1 at Mt Polis (JH) and heard at PICOP, Subic and Sawa. Formerly common but now in considerable decline.

Coppersmith (Crimson-breasted) Barbet Megalaima haemacephala: Commonly heard throughout with a few seen at Makiling, PICOP, Polis and Sawa. On Luzon, it is represented by the nominate subspecies while on

Mindanao the form is mindanensis.

Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos maculatus: seen well at Makiling, Los Banos, Subic and Mount


Sooty Woodpecker Mulleripicus funebris: Excellent views of a pair at Subic and Sawa, with one on another day at Sawa for MB and PK.

Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus: a noisy pair with a juv watched for some time near Sabang.

White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis: two at Subic and singles at PICOP and near Sabang.

Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus: singles of endemic races at Kitanglad (MB) (race montanus), Sawa on 2 days (haematribon) and 2 near Sabang (erythrocephalus).

Common Flameback Dinopium javanense: one or 2 pairs of the race everetti were seen on Palawan.

Red-bellied (Blue-breasted) Pitta Pitta erythrogaster: heard at Makiling and PICOP.

Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida: one called and showed for over 30 mins at PICOP, and singles were seen near Sabang and at Iwahig, with others heard.

Azure-breasted (Steere’s) Pitta Pitta steerii: one watched at close range at PICOP, with another seen the next day.

Whiskered Pitta Pitta kochi: good views for all near Camp 2 at Sawa, with another observed for 20 mins in a dry creek (MO, PK) above the Camp and 2 juvs on the way to the fruiting fig (JH).

Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica: fairly common throughout.

Striated Swallow Hirundo striolata: one at Los Banos, a few near Bislig, at Dalton Pass and at the start of the Sawa trek.

Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina striata: several at Subic, and near Sabang.

Blackish Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina coerulescens: two at Subic and on 2 days at Sawa.

Black-bibbed Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina mindanensis: at least 1 seen at PICOP with others heard.

McGregor’s Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina mcgregori: sightings of 2 and 4 in mixed flocks on Mount Kitanglad.

Pied Triller Lalage nigra: singles on Kitanglad and at PICOP.

Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus: a nice flock of 10 or so at Subic. This species is a winter visitor from NE Asia.

Fiery Minivet Pericrocotus igneus: A few were seen well along the road near to Sabang. Classified as Small Minivet P. cinnamomeus in the fieldguide but split accepted by Clements etc.

Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus: two at PICOP (race gonzalesi) and 1 or 2 at Sawa (novus). The males on Mindanao are orange rather than red and have a distinctive buzzing call, a likely split in the future.

Philippine Leafbird Chloropsis flavipennis: a few at PICOP.

Yellow-throated Leafbird Chloropsis palawanensis: common on Palawan.

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia: up to 3 seen near Sabang.

Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps: a few along the roadside between Sabang and Puerto Princesa, and at the Balsahan Trail.

Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier: common in scrubby open country and forest edge on Luzon and Mindanao.

Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urostictus: a few at PICOP and 1 seen at Sawa.

Grey-cheeked Bulbul Criniger bres: a few near Sabang.

Sulphur-bellied Bulbul Hypsipetes palawanensis: a few near Sabang.

Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus: common on Luzon (nominate) and Mindanao (saturatior).

Yellowish Bulbul Hypsipetes everetti: only 1 seen at PICOP, with others heard, and 2 seen well at a stop on the way to Davao.

Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus: one at Subic and a few near Sabang.

Balicassiao Dicrurus balicassius: several at Mount Makiling, Subic and Sawa.

Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus palawanensis: two near Sabang on 2 dates, and 1 on the Balsahan Trail. Drongo taxonomy is complex, it may be that the distinctive Phil drongos will be split as endemics in the future.

Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus striatus: one seen on Mount Kitanglad and common at PICOP.

Dark-throated Oriole Oriolus xanthonotus: one or 2 seen along the road near Sabang.

White-lored Oriole Oriolus albiloris: commonly heard calling at Sawa but only a couple of singles seen well.

Philippine Oriole Oriolus steerii: only 1 seen well at PICOP, with several more heard there.

Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis: a few at PICOP, Subic, up to Camp 1 at Sawa and at Sabang.

Philippine Fairy Bluebird Irena cyanogaster: two at Subic and fairly common at Sawa.

Slender-billed Crow Corvus enca pusillus: fairly common on Palawan including 1, probably a juv, at a nest near Sabang -  the fieldguide states nest and eggs not described. Two of the scarce, small sierramadrensis race were seen near Camp 1 below Sawa. Both these races have been proposed for splitting.

Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos: a few at PICOP and Subic and at least 1 at Makiling.

Palawan Tit Parus amabilis: two seen well near Sabang and 1 on the Balsahan Trail.

Elegant Tit Parus elegans: mostly in pairs, on Mount Makiling, Mount Kitanglad and Sawa. Nominate elegans, the race on Luzon, is much brighter than mindanensis of Mindanao.

White-fronted Tit Parus semilarvatus: one at Subic and 2 pairs near Camp 1 at Sawa, one of which was nesting in a tree hole.

Sulphur-billed Nuthatch Sitta oenochlamys: up to 6 at Mount Kitanglad, but only 1 after this, at Sawa (PK, MO).

Stripe-headed/ Stripe-sided Rhabdornis Rhabdornis mystacalis: first seen perched up in the open at TREES, Mount Makiling, then 2 at Subic and a few at Sawa.

Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis Rhabdornis inornatus: only 1 seen on Mount Kitanglad, where it has become increasingly scarce.

[Long-billed Rhabdornis Rhabdornis grandis: a bird above Sawa camp 2 may have been this species but identification was not confirmed (MO, PK).]

Ashy-headed Babbler Malacocincla cinereiceps: two seen well at St Pauls with 1 near Sabang.

Melodious Babbler Trichastoma palawanense: at least 2 seen on the Balsahan Trail.

Falcated Ground-Babbler Ptilocichla falcate: one sang for ages along the Balsahan Trail but was only seen by some.

Streaked Ground-Babbler Ptilocichla mindanensis: A pair at PICOP.

Rusty-faced (Rabor’s Wren-) Babbler Robsonius (Napothera) rabori: heard daily at Sawa near Camp 2 and above but only seen by some once. Split by Nigel Collar into 2 species and given a new genus, the sister species being Grey-banded Babbler R. sorsogonensis in southern Luzon.

Mindanao Pygmy Babbler Stachyris plateni: up to 6 daily at PICOP.

Golden-crowned Babbler Stachyris dennistouni: pairs on 3 days at Sawa.

Rusty-crowned Babbler Stachyris capitalis: good views of two in a mixed flock at PICOP.

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Whitehead’s Tree-Babbler) Stachyris whiteheadi: common at Mount Polis.

Luzon Striped-Babbler Stachyris striata: two pairs seen at Sawa.

Pin-striped Tit-Babbler Macronous gularis: a few on Palawan, but more often heard than seen. This species was formerly known as Striped Tit-Babbler, but with the splitting off of related forms, it has now been re-named. The form on Palawan is woodi and may merit specific status.

Brown Tit-Babbler Macronous striaticeps: a few seen at Mount Kitanglad and PICOP, usually in the undergrowth.

White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx Montana: two seen in a thicket on Mount Polis and 1 seen and others heard on Mount Kitanglad.

Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis: just 2 singles at PICOP.

White-browed Shama Copsychus luzoniensis: one seen and others heard at Mount Makiling, a few at Sawa and heard at Subic.

White-vented Shama Copsychus niger: up to 4 daily on Palawan.

Luzon Water-Redstart Rhyacornis bicolor: a pair on the second stream below the pass on Mt Polis.

Pied Bushchat (Pied Chat) Saxicola caprata: one at Bislig airstrip and several below Camp 1, Sawa..

Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius: one at the quarry at PICOP (MB).

Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma: one in the palm undergrowth near the Malaysian Plover beach on Palawan (MO).

Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus: one near Camp 1, Sawa (H & MB) and 2 at the fruiting fig.

Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus: Good numbers on Mount Kitanglad and at least 4 at the fruiting fig at Sawa.

Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis: a few seen around Sawa

Mountain Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus: 8-10 on Mount Kitanglad (flavostriatus) and 3 at Mount Polis (benguetensis).

Clamorous Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus: small numbers at Bislig airfield.

Tawny Grassbird Megalurus timoriensis: commonly heard in open country and first seen well at Mount Kitanglad.

Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris: commoner throughout and generally a lot more conspicuous than Tawny Grassbird.

Philippine Tailorbird Orthotomus castaneiceps: common north of Manila but only a few seen at Sawa and heard at Subic.

Rufous-fronted Tailorbird Orthotomus frontalis: frequently heard at PICOP but never seen.

Grey-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus derbianus: as the previous species but at Mount Makiling.

Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus cucullatus: a few were seen well at Mount Polis.

Rufous-headed Tailorbird Orthotomus heterolaemus: two singles seen well at Mount Kitanglad with others heard. A split off the previous species.

Rufous-tailed Tailorbird Orthotomus sericeus: seen near Sabang and heard on the Balsahan Trail

on Palawan.

Black-headed (White-browed) Tailorbird Orthotomus nigriceps: singles seen daily at PICOP.

Bright-capped (Golden-headed) Cisticola Cisticola exilis: a few in the paddies near Bislig airfield.

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis: one at Los Banos, a few at Bisling airfield and 1 at Iwahig.

Luzon Bush-Warbler Cettia seebohmi: good views of several at Mount Polis where they were

probably the commonest bird.

Long-tailed Ground-Warbler (Long-tailed Bush-Warbler) Bradypterus caudatus: a bird of the

nominate subspecies seen briefly at Mount Polis while subspecies unicolor was heard daily at

Mount Kitanglad.

Rufous-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher Rhinomyias ruficauda: Only heard once at PICOP.

Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta: one or 2 of these smart migrants were seen almost daily.

Mountain Verditer-Flycatcher Eumyias panayensis: up to 5 daily on Mount Kitanglad (nigriloris) and one on Mount Polis (nigrimentalis).

Palawan Flycatcher Ficedula platenae: one of these skulkers seen along the Balsahan Trail.

Furtive Flycatcher Ficedula disposita: two singles in bamboo on the trek to and from Sawa.

Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni: up to 3 daily at Mount Kitanglad and 1 on Mt Polis.

Palawan Blue Flycatcher Cyornis lemprieri: only 3 seen near Sabang with others heard here and at Iwahig.

Blue-breasted Flycatcher Cyornis herioti: one seen at Sawa and others heard.

Citrine Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea: One at Sawa.

Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica: only seen on Pandan Island, Palawan.

Blue Fantail Rhipidura superciliaris: only two singles seen at PICOP with others heard.

Blue-headed Fantail Rhipidura cyaniceps: fairly common at Sawa.

Black-and-cinnamon Fantail Rhipidura nigrocinnamomea: several on Mount Kitanglad.

Rufous Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone cinnamomea: 2 or 3 daily at PICOP.

Blue Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone cyanescens: one was seen well along the road near Sabang and others heard here and at Iwahig.

Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea: small numbers at PICOP, Sawa and on Palawan.

Short-crested Monarch Hypothymis helenae: one at PICOP on 3rd and 3 on 4th.

Green-backed Whistler Pachycephala albiventris: only 1 seen at Mount Polis.

Yellow-bellied Whistler Pachycephala philippinensis: this unobtrusive but vocal bird was first heard but not seen

on Mount Kitanglad, before eventually being seen at PICOP and Sawa.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea: two at Los Banos, and singles at PICOP, Mt Polis and Sawa; heard on Palawan. The subspecies that winters in the Philippines is robusta.

Yellow/Kamchatka Wagtail Motacilla flava simillima: scattered sightings, with the most on Mount Kitanglad and in the paddies on Palawan.

Oriental Pipit Anthus rufulus: several at Mount Kitanglad, Sabang and Iwahig

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni: one on Mt Polis (JH).

White-breasted Wood-Swallow Artamus leucorhynchus: pairs scattered throughout, especially on roadside wires.

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach: first seen around Mount Kitanglad, up to 4 daily, then several sightings on the trek to and from Sawa. The endemic subspecies involved is nasutus.

Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus: small numbers throughout. The grey-crowned subspecies lucionensis is a common winter visitor to the islands but most had left by the time of our visit.

Mountain Shrike Lanius validirostris: a pair on Mt Polis gave good views.

Short-tailed Glossy Starling Aplonis minor: at least six on Mount Kitanglad. This species has declined

greatly (it used to be common here).

Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis: fairly common throughout, especially on Palawan.

Coleto Sarcops calvus: a few at PICOP, Subic and Sawa.

Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus: at least 2 on the Sawa trek. Introduced to the Philippines.

Apo Myna Basilornis miranda: 18 on March 31 on Mount Kitanglad and 2 the next day. Classified as Near-threatened by BirdLife International as it has a highly restricted and fragmented range, being known from only a small number of sites.

Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa: two seen and others heard along the road near Sabang and on the Balsahan Trail.

Plain-throated Sunbird (Brown-throated Sunbird) Anthreptes malacensis: singles on first day of Sawa trek and at Balsahan Trail, Palawan.

Copper-throated Sunbird Nectarinia calcostetha: a pair on the way to Sabang.

Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis: one at Butuan airport, a few below Sawa and on Palawan where the race aurora has an orange band across the breast below the dark throat.

Purple-throated Sunbird Nectarinia sperata: a few at PICOP, probably overlooked elsewhere.

Grey-hooded Sunbird Aethopyga primigenius: two daily on Mount Kitanglad.

Metallic-winged Sunbird Aethopyga pulcherrima: one at Mt Makiling and 1 or 2 at PICOP.

Apo Sunbird Aethopyga boltoni: a pair and a juv on the upper slopes of Mount Kitanglad.

Lovely Sunbird Aethopyga shelleyi: good views on several occasions on Palawan, and easily

detected by its monotonous call.

Handsome Sunbird Aethopyga bella: at least 2 at PICOP. Until recently, this form was lumped with Lovely Sunbird.

Naked-faced Spiderhunter Arachnothera clarae: two on 2 days at PICOP.

Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostras: singles at PICOP where scarce (race flammifera) and at Pto Princesa (dilutior).

Olive-backed Flowerpecker Prionochilus olivaceus: two on 3rd and 4 on 4th at PICOP.

Palawan Flowerpecker Prionochilus plateni: a few on Palawan,daily.

Olive-capped Flowerpecker Dicaeum nigrilore: fairly common at Mount Kitanglad.

Flame-crowned Flowerpecker Dicaeum anthonyi: a pair was seen on Mount Kitanglad (kampalili) feeding on berries, a rarely seen bird.

Bicoloured Flowerpecker Dicaeum bicolor: one or 2 at PICOP.

Red-keeled Flowerpecker Dicaeum australe: a few daily at PICOP and 1 at Sawa.

Buzzing Flowerpecker Dicaeum hypoleucum: two at Mount Kitanglad, and at least 1 at Sawa.

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma: a few daily at PICOP, where the

race is cinereigularis, 2 at Sawa and 1on the way to Sabang.

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus: two daily on Mount Kitanglad (race apo).

Pygmy Flowerpecker Dicaeum pygmaeum: up to 3 on 3 days at Sawa (nominate pygmaeum) and at least 1 at Iwahig (race palawanorum).

Everett’s White-eye Zosterops everetti: two at PICOP (MO).

Yellowish White-eye Zosterops nigrorum: a few daily at Sawa.

Mountain White-eye Zosterops montanus: common on Mount Kitanglad (vulcani).

Black-masked White-eye Lophozosterops goodfellowi: around 6 on the higher slopes of Mount Kitanglad.

Cinnamon Ibon Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus: up to at least 6 daily on Mount Kitanglad.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus: abundant.

White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra: 7 at Mt Kitanglad, several near start of Sawa trek and others on Palawan.

Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata: a few at Sawa and on Palawan.

Chestnut Munia Lonchura malacca: seen in rice fields on several occasions, with the most at Bislig


White-cheeked Bullfinch Pyrrhula leucogenis: good views of 3 or 4 on Mount Kitanglad (race steeri) and 2 on Mt Polis (race leucogenis).


Northern Palawan Tree Squirrel Sundasciurus juvencus: several on Palawan.

Large Flying-Fox Pteropus vampyrus  and Golden-capped Acerodon (Golden-crowned Flying-Fox) Acerodon jubatus: large numbers in roadside trees at Subic.

Long-tailed (Crab-eating) Macaque Macaca fascicularis: seen at Subic and on Palawan.


Water Monitor Varanus salvator: several at St Paul’s.


Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca: one at creek near Coastal Mall, Manila on April 23

Barred Rail Gallirallus torquatus: 2+  at the creek near Coastal Mall on March 27, then 1 at the American cemetery on April 18 with the Brady's.

White browed Crake Porzana cinerea: a few at creek near Coastal Mall, Manila on March 27.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius: several at creek near Coastal Mall, Manila on March 27.

Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum: 4 on creek near Coastal Mall, Manila on April 23

Pied Triller Lalage nigra: at the American cemetery on April 18

Lowland White-eye Zosterops meyeni: 2 at the American cemetery on April 18 with the Brady's

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Flyeater) Gerygone sulphurea: 2 at a nest at the American cemetery on April 18

Chestnut cheeked starling Sturnus philippensis: 6 at the American cemetery on April 18.




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