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Field Guides Tour Report
Philippines 2013
Mar 1, 2013 to Mar 24, 2013
Dave Stejskal & Mark Villa

The kingfishers of the Old World are a gaudy bunch, with some truly stunning species. Right up near the top of the list is the gorgeous Spotted Kingfisher, a Philippine endemic that we saw well at Mt Makiling. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

March again proved to be a good month to run this excellent tour in terms of the weather conditions that we encountered. We had very little rain overall, but the rain on Mt. Kitanglad proved rather costly to us, keeping that marquee raptor, the Great Philippine Eagle, from getting up and flying around (we still managed a distant look in the scopes, in spite of it all). In most other places on the tour, we were treated to near perfect conditions, making birding for three weeks in the Philippines a delight!

We were thrown a bit of a curveball at the start of the trip when we found out from Mark that we'd have to flip-flop our visits to Subic Bay and Mindoro (the latter part of our post-tour extension). This actually worked just fine for us since all on the tour would be doing the extension anyway. After our Mindoro detour at the start, we carried on with the rest of the tour as normal.

First stop on the main tour was the highland town of Banaue in n. Luzon's Cordillera Mts. All of the 'regulars' presented themselves to the group more readily than most tours and we delighted in our looks at our first Luzon endemics like Indigo-banded Kingfisher, Blue-headed Fantail, Long-tailed Bush-Warbler, Luzon Redstart, Gray-capped Shrike, Flame-crowned Flowerpecker, and White-cheeked Bullfinch. Enjoying those ancient rice terraces was pretty thrilling, too!

Then it was off to the island of Palawan to the southwest. Arguably the most beautiful of the main, large islands in the Philippines, we enjoyed the numerous Palawan specialties amidst some gorgeous scenery while based in a couple of very comfortable hotels. The #1 bird in the "eye candy" department had to be that gorgeous male Palawan Peacock-Pheasant. This guy's been around the park station for some twelve years now - I think he realizes that he's got a pretty easy life there and he just might last another twelve years there! Others that got our attention on the islands were that close Palawan Scops-Owl and Javan Frogmouth, confiding Tabon Scrubfowl, the small group of endangered Philippine Cockatoos headed to roost, our timely group of Palawan Hornbills, stunning Blue Paradise-Flycatcher, and a very cooperative Falcated Wren-Babbler, to mention just a few.

Then it was back to Luzon for a short, but productive, visit to Mt. Makiling south of Manila. The biggest surprise of our visit here was arguably the Luzon Bleeding-heart that crossed the road in front of us on our first morning there. Close behind was the cooperative Philippine Scops-Owl in the parking lot of our comfortable hotel! Other notables include our excellent studies of the fancy Spotted Kingfisher, the easiest Spotted Buttonquail that I've had in years, both of the bizarre endemic malkohas (Scale-feathered & Red-crested), our first Stripe-sided Rhabdornis, and fancy Flaming & Handsome sunbirds, among others.

It was time to seriously change gears and head to the south, to the big island of Mindanao. We had two very different venues here - the first in the Kitanglad Mts. of Bukidnon Province where we essentially camped for three nights, and the second at the degraded logging concession of PICOP near the town of Bislig far to the northeast. Both places involved a real time investment in getting there, but both proved extremely worthwhile once we settled into our birding routines at both sites. Kitanglad, our only site on the tour for the rich Mindanao highland endemics, produced a number of quality birds for us, with the most memorable being the recently described Bukidnon Woodcock, close Pinsker's Hawk-Eagle, a close Mindanao Eagle-Owl for most, the strange Apo Myna, our second species of rhabdornis (Stripe-breasted), the lovely, scarce Mt. Apo Sunbird, and the odd Cinnamon Ibon. I just wish that we could have had a better experience with the Great Philippine Eagle!

PICOP held a bunch of new birds for us, and we did very well there despite the degradation of the habitat there and the continued influx of settlers to the tract. We had quite a few birds to search for when we arrived in Bislig, seeing all but a handful of possible endemics by the time we left. Gratifying were our looks at Azure-breasted Pitta - one of the most stunning of all of the Philippine endemics. The scarce Celestial Monarch put up a fight, but we came away victorious on the last morning. Throw in the likes of Pink-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, three species of hornbills, Rufous-lored Kingfisher, Southern Silvery-Kingfisher, Striated Wren-Babbler, White-browed Tailorbird, Naked-faced Spiderhunter, plus many others, and one begins to see why this lowland forest site in n.e. Mindanao has such a great reputation for birds.

We wrapped up the trip with a quick visit to the Subic Bay area back on Luzon (where the tour had originally been scheduled to start), providing us a chance to mop up on some of those island endemics that were still eluding us. We added ten more Philippine endemics here for our efforts, including the very local Green Racquet-tail, Rufous Coucal, Northern Sooty-Woodpecker, White-fronted Tit, White-lored Oriole, and the recently split Chocolate Boobook.

Thanks to my co-leader, Mark Villa, for making all of the necessary arrangements for this trip so flawlessly. His organization of the logistics on this complicated tour worked to near perfection, and I also really appreciated his skills in the field as well. It would have been a very different tour without him! And thanks to all of you for joining us in the rich Philippines this year! Your enthusiasm and flexibility regarding evolving plans on this tour didn't go unnoticed. I hope to travel with all of you again in the near future! Cheers,


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

Crested Goshawk is a widespread species in southeast Asia. This bird obligingly allowed us good long scope views. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata) – This one is a fairly recent arrival at the Candaba Marsh, and it's the only regular whistling-duck in the Philippines.
PHILIPPINE DUCK (Anas luzonica) – A few at Bislig, but larger numbers at Candaba. It was a little surprising that this and the above whistling-ducks were the only duck species at Candaba (there's usually a better variety there at this season). [E]
Megapodiidae (Megapodes)
TABON SCRUBFOWL (Megapodius cumingii) – Fantastic views of this one along the boardwalk at St. Paul's NP on Palawan (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River NP).
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – The birds that we saw at Subic Bay were wild birds - really!
PALAWAN PEACOCK-PHEASANT (Polyplectron napoleonis) – Always a highlight at St. Paul's NP on Palawan, this habituated male didn't disappoint us this year. I wonder how long he's going to stick around (he's at least 12 years old)? [E]
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – Plenty at Candaba on our way to Subic Bay.
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – At least a couple of good males in flight in the marshes next to the airstrip at Bislig.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – At Candaba only.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta)
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia)
CHINESE EGRET (Egretta eulophotes) – Laura glimpsed one in the mangroves at Puerto Princesa on the morning that we arrived on Palawan, but the rest of us caught up with it nicely along the coast (thanks to Mark!) on our way back to Puerto Princesa from Sabang a couple of days later. Palawan is one of the winter strongholds of this rare egret.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – A few along the coast at Sabang and at St. Paul's.
CATTLE EGRET (ASIAN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus)
JAVAN POND-HERON (Ardeola speciosa) – This one seems to be spreading in the Philippines.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Mark and a another couple of folks saw this one briefly as we headed out from Mt. Kitanglad toward the highway.
BARRED HONEY-BUZZARD (STEERE'S) (Pernis celebensis steerei) – We had a couple of good looks at birds at PICOP this year. This race might be split from the birds on Sulawesi, so keep track of where you see them.
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (INDOMALAYAN) (Pernis ptilorhynchus philippensis) – Mostly on Mt. Kitanglad this year.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – On Palawan only in the Philippines.
PHILIPPINE SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis holospilus) – Several good looks on Luzon and on Mindanao. Kennedy, et al. don't split this from Crested SE, but it's been split for some time by Clements. [E]
GREAT PHILIPPINE EAGLE (Pithecophaga jefferyi) – A bird sitting up in the canopy through the scope was at the limit of identifiability for most folks, but it sure was a Great Philippine Eagle. Certainly not the best look at this one in my six tours to the country. That rain sure didn't help! [E]
CHANGEABLE HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus cirrhatus limnaeetus) – We saw this bird right where we had seen it in 2011 on our way to Sabang on Palawan.
PHILIPPINE HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus philippensis) – Mark got us into position to see this one fly by at Subic Bay. A very fortunate sighting, and the only one of the trip! Now, because of the recent split of Pinsker's HE, this one is yet another Luzon endemic. [E]
PINSKER'S HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus pinskeri) – We had much better luck with this recent split than the above species, especially on Mt. Kitanglad. This one is a recent split from the above Philippine Hawk-Eagle. [E]
GRAY-FACED BUZZARD (Butastur indicus) – We spotted a small migrant flock of these with a bunch of Chinese Goshawks above the road in Palawan. I have seen much larger flocks of this one at this season on prior tours.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – This sub-adult male was a surprise at the Bislig airport marshes. Great looks!
PIED HARRIER (Circus melanoleucos) – A female-plumaged bird was seen briefly by some at the Candaba Marshes. Neither one of these harriers are very common at all during the winter in the Philippines.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – Great looks in the scope on Palawan on our final morning there. [N]
CHINESE SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter soloensis) – We had several migrants during the tour, but it was nice to see an adult perched in the scope at PICOP.

Looks like it was a rough night for this comical Red-crested (or Rough-crested) Malkoha. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Only in the Subic Bay area this year.
COMMON BUZZARD (JAPONICUS) (Buteo buteo japonicus) – We spotted a couple of wintering birds on the wing at Mt. Polis on Luzon. These eastern Common Buzzards are likely to be split off as Japanese Buzzard someday.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis) – Great looks at Bislig.
BARRED RAIL (Gallirallus torquatus) – Nicely on our final morning at PICOP, but better along the road in Subic Bay.
SLATY-BREASTED RAIL (Gallirallus striatus) – For some folks at the Iwahig penal colony on Palawan on our last morning there.
PLAIN BUSH-HEN (Amaurornis olivacea) – Great views along the buttonquail track at Los Baños. [E]
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Common and widespread, but still awfully good looking.
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Porzana cinerea) – We had several really fine views of this one along the way. The Philippines are a very good place to see this one.
WATERCOCK (Gallicrex cinerea) – I've never seen this one in full breeding dress, and I've never heard it (or seen it) vocalize, either, so this one was quite a thrill at Bislig.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (PHILIPPINE) (Porphyrio porphyrio pulverulentus) – There's long been talk of splitting this widespread variable 'species' into multiple species, but it hasn't happened yet among the American taxonomists - but watch for a change soon.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Recently split from our New World Common Gallinule.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – A single bird on Palawan was all we could find.
MALAYSIAN PLOVER (Charadrius peronii) – Laura deftly spotted this male bird hiding on the beach near Sabang. A little elevation got us good scope looks at this declining species.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – A single bird acquiring breeding plumage at Candaba.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
GRAY-TAILED TATTLER (Tringa brevipes) – A single roosting bird in the mangroves near Puerto Princesa on Palawan.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – It was nice to see these birds in alternate plumage on Palawan.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – A few at the paddies at the Iwahig penal colony on Palawan.
WHIMBREL (SIBERIAN) (Numenius phaeopus variegatus) – Watch for a split of the Whimbrels sometime soon.
LONG-TOED STINT (Calidris subminuta)
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago gallinago) – The bird we saw at Iwahig appeared to be this one (that tail was pretty long relative to the wingtips.).
BUKIDNON WOODCOCK (Scolopax bukidnonensis) – Only recently described to science, we had multiple birds displaying over the small clearing next to our camp on Mt. Kitanglad, and flushed at least a couple more birds from the trails farther up the mountain. We first detected this one, though, in the pre-dawn light on Mt. Polis on Luzon. [E]
Turnicidae (Buttonquail)
SPOTTED BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix ocellatus) – This endemic buttonquail has never been easier to see than this year's birds. Great looks in the scopes! [E]
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE (Glareola maldivarum) – We had our best looks at Candaba Marsh.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PHILIPPINE COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia dusumieri) – Called Island Collared-Dove in your guides, this Philippine form was split out as a distinct species in the latest supplement of the Clements checklist. It seems to be declining at Candaba, but we ended up with fabulous looks at a singing male there just before we left for Subic Bay. [E]
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Only on Luzon on the main tour.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)
PHILIPPINE CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia tenuirostris) – Our first was a flyby at the petroglyph site near Manila on that first afternoon. Called Reddish CD in the guide, but it has since been split from that one. [E]

Shamas may just be magpie-robins with fancy names, but it does make them sound more exotic, doesn't it? This is the confiding endemic White-vented Shama. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – Mostly just heard.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) – On all three islands on the main tour.
LUZON BLEEDING-HEART (Gallicolumba luzonica) – YESSS!!!! I was really doubtful that we'd see this shy, scarce bird, but we found a responsive male along the roadside on Mt. Makiling on our first hike up the road! Great to know that they're still in there! [E]
WHITE-EARED DOVE (Phapitreron leucotis) – Called White-eared Brown-Dove in the guides. Widespread, by voice mostly, but not detected on Palawan. [E]
AMETHYST DOVE (Phapitreron amethystinus) – Close at PICOP, but it never came in. Called Amethyst Brown-Dove in the guide. [E*]
PHILIPPINE GREEN-PIGEON (Treron axillaris) – Pompadour Green-Pigeon was recently split into six different species. This is the only one found in the Philippines. [E]
YELLOW-BREASTED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus occipitalis) – Nicely at Mt. Kitanglad and at Subic Bay. [E]
BLACK-CHINNED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus leclancheri) – We found a very responsive and cooperative male on the Mt. Makiling road on our second day there. [E]
PINK-BELLIED IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula poliocephala) – This fancy pigeon gave us good scope views at PICOP, but they didn't stick around long! Finding these endemic imperial-pigeons is always a challenge on this tour, and it seems entirely dependent upon finding the right fruiting tree in the vanishing forests here. [E]
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea) – Nicely at both Palawan and at Subic Bay.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
PHILIPPINE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx pectoralis) – It's always hard to get this one to perch in view, but we did have some decent flyby looks of a responsive bird on Mt. Makiling. A relatively recent split from Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo. [E]
HIMALAYAN CUCKOO (Cuculus saturatus) – A northbound migrant adult stopped briefly for a look along the road at PICOP for some folks. Formerly known as Oriental Cuckoo, this one was split a while back into three species.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus)
BRUSH CUCKOO (RUSTY-BREASTED) (Cacomantis variolosus sepulcralis) [*]
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – We had decent scope views of an adult male in the canopy above the road at PICOP.
ASIAN DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – That juv. bird that we saw at the Balsahan Trail on Palawan was a lifer plumage for me.
PHILIPPINE DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus velutinus) – I've never really been comfortable with this split, but it's the only drongo-cuckoo in the Philippines away from Palawan. [E]
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) – We had a couple of really great views at Palawan. This is one of the many species that made it to Palawan via Borneo.
RED-CRESTED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus superciliosus) – I think our first look was the best when we scoped a bird sitting out at the buttonquail trail at Los Baños. Maybe the strangest of all of the malkohas. [E]
SCALE-FEATHERED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus cumingi) – Although I had been to Mt. Poils and Banaue several times on past tours, this was the first year that I recorded this species there. Another really strange-looking malkoha. [E]
RUFOUS COUCAL (Centropus unirufus) – I've never had this one any more easily than we had it this year at Subic Bay. Typically, they can be a real bear to try and see! [E]
BLACK-FACED COUCAL (Centropus melanops) – A very common voice at PICOP near Bislig. We did get at least one good look there, too. [E]
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – In the Philippines, only on Palawan.
PHILIPPINE COUCAL (Centropus viridis) – After hearing numerous birds from the start of the tour forward, we never did lay eyes on this one until our last full day on Mt. Kitanglad. [EN]
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis)
Strigidae (Owls)
GIANT SCOPS-OWL (Otus gurneyi) – Great looks for most on Mt. Kitanglad - I'll leave it at that! Also called the Mindanao Eagle-Owl and formerly in the genus Mimizuku. [E]
PALAWAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus fuliginosus) – Uncharacteristically, this one took no time at all to see near Sabang. [E]
PHILIPPINE SCOPS-OWL (Otus megalotis) – Our second attempt with this bird in the parking lot of our hotel was a winner! [E]
EVERETT'S SCOPS-OWL (Otus everetti) – A recent split from the Philippine Scops-Owl. [E*]

If it wasn't for this habituated male Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, we might never see this otherwise elusive species at all. A real stunner and one of the trip highlights. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

LUZON SCOPS-OWL (Otus longicornis) [E*]
PHILIPPINE EAGLE-OWL (Bubo philippensis) – It's always nice to start a trip off with a quality owl like this one! [E]
CHOCOLATE BOOBOOK (Ninox randi) – Another owl that took very little effort at Subic Bay. This was a relatively recent split from the Brown Hawk-Owl. [E]
PHILIPPINE HAWK-OWL (Ninox philippensis philippensis) – Good looks at dawn at the base of the Mt. Makiling road on Luzon. A recent paper in the journal Forktail finally re-evaluates the taxonomy of this complex, splitting this bird into several species and describing two new species. [E]
PHILIPPINE HAWK-OWL (Ninox philippensis spilocephala) – The one we heard on Mindanao at PICOP. [E*]
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
PHILIPPINE FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus septimus) – Excellent studies at the Mt. Kitanglad camp. [E]
JAVAN FROGMOUTH (BLYTH'S) (Batrachostomus javensis affinis) – Fantastic looks at this one right next to the road near Sabang! The Clements checklist doesn't recognize the long-standing race chaseni from Palawan, lumping it with the affinis group. I suspect that will change in the future.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
GREAT EARED-NIGHTJAR (Lyncornis macrotis) – We had a few good looks at some flyby birds. The largest of the nightjars.
PHILIPPINE NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus manillensis) – That look at the eagle camp on Mt. Kitanglad was superb! [E]
Apodidae (Swifts)
PHILIPPINE NEEDLETAIL (Mearnsia picina) – We enjoyed multiple good looks at this strange beast at PICOP. [E]
GLOSSY SWIFTLET (Collocalia esculenta isonota) – This was the race that we saw in the lowlands of the north of Luzon.
GLOSSY SWIFTLET (Collocalia esculenta marginata) – These were throughout lowland Luzon south of Lagawe and in Palawan.
GLOSSY SWIFTLET (Collocalia esculenta bagobo) – These were the birds we saw on Mindanao.
PYGMY SWIFTLET (Collocalia troglodytes) – On all three of the islands that we visited on the main tour. [E]
PHILIPPINE SWIFTLET (Aerodramus mearnsi) – Only in the highlands on Luzon and Mindanao. [E]
PALAWAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus palawanensis) – A relatively recent split from the Uniform Swiftlet and the one that we saw the deepest in the cave at the Underground River. [E]
UNIFORM SWIFTLET (Aerodramus vanikorensis amelis) – Though it is more widespread, the only place where we found this one was at PICOP.
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – The few nesting at the Banaue Hotel were tough to track down during the daylight.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
WHISKERED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne comata) – We had our nicest looks at this one on Mt. Kitanglad.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
PHILIPPINE TROGON (Harpactes ardens) – We all had great views of a female at the highest point reached on the Mt. Makiling road. The male at PICOP on our last morning there was really something, too! [E]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – At Candaba only.
INDIGO-BANDED KINGFISHER (Ceyx cyanopectus) – Laura spotted this beautiful little kingfisher, a Luzon endemic, on the rocks at Lagawe Gorge on our way back to Manila from Banaue. [E]
SOUTHERN SILVERY-KINGFISHER (Ceyx argentatus) – It took us two tries to finally get a look at this one at its usual hideout at PICOP. This has been split into two species recently. [E]
RUFOUS-BACKED DWARF-KINGFISHER (Ceyx rufidorsa) – Formerly known as Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher or just Rufous-backed Kingfisher. [*]
BROWN-BREASTED KINGFISHER (Halcyon gularis) – This very different looking form, endemic to the Philippines, was recently split off from the widespread White-throated Kingfisher. [E]
RUFOUS-LORED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus winchelli) – Not always that responsive, we had this guy's number at PICOP. [E]

This sub-adult male White-cheeked Bullfinch will be a fair bit more handsome after the next molt, when that white cheek will contrast a lot more strongly with the black cap and face. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – Widespread, but really stunning.
SPOTTED KINGFISHER (Actenoides lindsayi) – Great views on our first hike up the Mt. Makiling road near Los Baños. The birds at Subic Bay were considerably more difficult to see! [E]
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RUFOUS-CROWNED BEE-EATER (Merops americanus) – This is the result of a recent split from the Blue-throated Bee-eater. Great views at Subic Bay! [E]
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus) – We had these best at Candaba.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis)
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
PALAWAN HORNBILL (Anthracoceros marchei) – We finally ran into these along the road near Sabang, giving all nice views. [E]
RUFOUS HORNBILL (Buceros hydrocorax) – One of these birds eventually sat out for us, giving us good scope views at PICOP. Numbers of this one are dropping due to the felling of the large trees in the area and due to hunting pressures. [E]
LUZON HORNBILL (Penelopides manillae) – We had our best looks at Subic Bay. Formerly known as Tarictic Hornbill, but that one was split into five species a while back. [E]
MINDANAO HORNBILL (Penelopides affinis) – Another one of the Tarictic Hornbill splits, this one was seen well at PICOP. [E]
WRITHED HORNBILL (Aceros leucocephalus) – That group of twelve birds flying across the valley at PICOP was a very memorable sight - but I wonder how much longer this bird will hold on there. [E]
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Megalaima haemacephala) – Rather surprisingly, this is the only species of barbet in the Philippines.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
PHILIPPINE WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos maculatus) – By far, the smallest of our woodpeckers on the tour. It's a little perplexing to me that there isn't anything in the Philippines that's between the size of this one and the flamebacks. [E]
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – The Philippines might be the easiest place to see this big guy - the only islands that we didn't see it on during our entire trip were Cebu & Negros.
SPOT-THROATED FLAMEBACK (Dinopium everetti) – Several nice looks on Palawan. This one was a very recent split from the Common Flameback and is now a Palawan endemic. [E]
LUZON FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes haematribon) – Greater Flameback was also recently split, this time into four distinct species (we saw two on the main tour). This one was probably easiest at Subic Bay (all of the woodpeckers are pretty easy there). [E]
BUFF-SPOTTED FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes lucidus montanus) – This was the "Greater Flameback" that we saw on Mindanao and Bohol. All of these new flameback species respond pretty well to the calls and drums of the other splits, so it does make you wonder a little bit. [E]
NORTHERN SOOTY-WOODPECKER (Mulleripicus funebris funebris) – Wonderful looks at Subic Bay on our first afternoon there. After having seen and heard the birds in the south on Mindanao, I think this is a good split. [E]
SOUTHERN SOOTY-WOODPECKER (Mulleripicus fuliginosus) – Seen by Dave only. [E*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PHILIPPINE FALCONET (Microhierax erythrogenys) – Incredibly cute, as are all of the other falconets. [E]
Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
PHILIPPINE COCKATOO (Cacatua haematuropygia) – Those birds in the mangroves on Palawan have proven to be very regular, but there are fewer now than when I saw them there a couple of years ago. [E]
Psittacidae (Parrots)
GUAIABERO (Bolbopsittacus lunulatus) – That close pair at Subic Bay gave us our best looks of the entire tour. [E]
MINDANAO RACQUET-TAIL (Prioniturus waterstradti) – These were mostly quick flybys for us on Mt. Kitanglad, but one did perch just long enough one morning for a couple of us to see. The book lumps this one with the Luzon RT, but most authors now split the two forms into species. [E]
BLUE-HEADED RACQUET-TAIL (Prioniturus platenae) – We recorded this one on 3 of 4 days on Palawan, but never anything more than a quick flyby. [E]
GREEN RACQUET-TAIL (Prioniturus luconensis) – Of all of the racquet-tails on this tour, this one behaved the best - but it still took some work at Subic Bay! [E]
BLUE-CROWNED RACQUET-TAIL (Prioniturus discurus) – This was the briefest encounter of all at PICOP. [E]

The forest at PICOP may be dwindling and becoming more crowded with settlers, but as long as there are endemics like the mouth-watering Azure-breasted Pitta still around, we have plenty of reasons to visit! (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

BLUE-NAPED PARROT (Tanygnathus lucionensis) – Even these were tough to get a look at! [E]
PHILIPPINE HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus philippensis) – This was just about the only 'easy' parrot to see on this entire trip - we saw it fairly early and often. [E]
Pittidae (Pittas)
AZURE-BREASTED PITTA (Pitta steerii) – The disappearing forests at PICOP shared a couple of these birds with us, giving us all great scope views at our first. Also called Steere's Pitta in some books. [EN]
HOODED PITTA (Pitta sordida) – We found a very responsive bird on Palawan on our first afternoon there. Most folks don't expect to see a pitta pretty high in a tree!
WHISKERED PITTA (Pitta kochi) [E*]
RED-BELLIED PITTA (Pitta erythrogaster erythrogaster) [*]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone sulphurea) – On our first afternoon at the petroglyph site, then near the end at Candaba. The old name for this one is Flyeater.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – Only on Palawan in the Philippines.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
FIERY MINIVET (Pericrocotus igneus) – We had many more of these on Palawan than I typically see there. Some authors lump this one with the Small Minivet.
SCARLET MINIVET (PHILIPPINE YELLOW) (Pericrocotus flammeus gonzalesi) – These birds look and sound very different from the Scarlets that I know from elsewhere in s.e. Asia and the Greater Sundas, so it would seem a good candidate for a split sometime in the future. PICOP was the only place we saw them.
ASHY MINIVET (Pericrocotus divaricatus) – We had one particularly vocal bird on Palawan with a big flock of Fiery Minivets.
BAR-BELLIED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina striata) – We found these on all three islands of the main tour.
MCGREGOR'S CUCKOOSHRIKE (Malindangia mcgregori) – Thank goodness we got Mr. McGregor on this one! [E]
BLACK-AND-WHITE TRILLER (Lalage melanoleuca minor) – This is the race found on Mindanao, which sounds quite different from the race I know on Luzon. [E]
PIED TRILLER (Lalage nigra) – We finally got our fill of these on Mindanao.
BLACKISH CUCKOOSHRIKE (Analisoma coerulescens) – Quite common in the Subic Bay area. [E]
BLACK-BIBBED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Edolisoma mindanense) – This bird finally came in for a good look in the scope at PICOP. I'm going to have to do some more work on the voices of the various races of this one, but it's my feeling that the birds here and the one's on Mindoro sound quite different. I know nothing of the race on Luzon, though. [E]
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
YELLOW-BELLIED WHISTLER (Pachycephala philippinensis) – We hardly detected this one at all on Luzon, but there was no shortage of them on Mindanao. [E]
GREEN-BACKED WHISTLER (Pachycephala albiventris) – This highland species was much more easy to see this year on Mt. Polis than it has been on any other of my prior trips. [E]
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus)
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach nasutus) – Mostly on the highlands on this tour.
GRAY-CAPPED SHRIKE (Lanius validirostris) – We were very lucky with this one, finding at least two different cooperative individuals on Mt. Polis this year. Most years they're a real pain! Called Mountain Shrike in the guide (the better name, I think - there are lots of shrikes with gray caps). [E]
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
DARK-THROATED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthonotus) – Nice looks on Palawan - another one of the Borneo birds that made the jump to Palawan.
WHITE-LORED ORIOLE (Oriolus albiloris) – It's probably been ten years since I've seen and heard numbers of these at Subic Bay like we had this year. Formerly lumped with Dark-throated Oriole. [E]
PHILIPPINE ORIOLE (Oriolus steerii) – Great looks, eventually, along the road at PICOP. [E]
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis chinensis) – This bird, the nominate race here in the Philippines, looks very different from what I think of as the 'normal' Black-naped Oriole on the mainland.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
ASHY DRONGO (SOOTY) (Dicrurus leucophaeus leucophaeus) – This is the breeding race on Palawan.
ASHY DRONGO (CHINESE WHITE-FACED) (Dicrurus leucophaeus leucogenis) – We found a couple of these vagrants in the treetops at Subic Bay one morning. This race is very widespread throughout s.e. Asia in winter, but it's quite rare in the Philippines (my first ever here).
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus palawanensis) – The book calls both of these races Spangled Drongo, but a recent taxonomic revision aligns them both with Hair-crested. Quite unlike the Hair-crested Drongos that I know from the mainland. [N]
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus striatus) – This was the race that we found on Mindanao, with a short & slightly forked tail like a Balicassiao.
BALICASSIAO (BALICASSIAO) (Dicrurus balicassius balicassius) – A rather conspicuous lowland forest bird on Luzon. [EN]
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
MINDANAO BLUE-FANTAIL (Rhipidura superciliaris) – The recent Clements update splits this one from the very similar birds in the Visayan Islands north of Mindanao. Now a pretty scarce flock bird at PICOP. [E]
BLUE-HEADED FANTAIL (Rhipidura cyaniceps) – Another recent split separates this one on Luzon from the birds of the Visayan Islands. All of ours were at elevation on Mt. Polis. [E]

Luckily for us, Gray-capped Shrike was a whole lot easier to find than it has been on most of our past tours. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

BLACK-AND-CINNAMON FANTAIL (Rhipidura nigrocinnamomea) – A common flock species up on Mt. Kitanglad. [E]
PIED FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica nigritorquis) – Some taxonomists now split the birds in the Philippines as a separate species. We had our best looks in the mangroves near Puerto Princesa.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
SHORT-CRESTED MONARCH (Hypothymis helenae) – This one is supposed to occur on Luzon, but I've only ever seen it on Mindanao at PICOP. [E]
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea azurea)
CELESTIAL MONARCH (Hypothymis coelestis) – It took a couple of tries at this one, but we eventually got a pair next to the road in one of the few good patches of forest left at PICOP. [E]
BLUE PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone cyanescens) – We were looking for a Falcated Wren-Babbler at this spot, but came away with a nice Hooded Pitta and this beauty! Not bad! [E]
RUFOUS PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone cinnamomea) – This one proved to be a little difficult, but we eventually caught up with it at PICOP. It also occurs on the Talaud Is., so it's technically not a Philippine endemic (but who the heck goes to Talaud?). [E]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
SLENDER-BILLED CROW (SLENDER-BILLED) (Corvus enca pusillus) – Some authorities split this from Slender-billed and call it Palawan Crow (this race also occurs on Mindoro). The three races that occur in the Philippines area all likely good species.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (LARGE-BILLED) (Corvus macrorhynchos philippinus) – This is another crow that's deserving of some taxonomic revision, so keep track of where you see them (there's only one race in the Philippines)..
Alaudidae (Larks)
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula) – Vocal in the fields adjacent to Candaba Marsh n. of Manila.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
GRAY-THROATED MARTIN (Riparia chinensis tantilla) – The Asian races of the Plain Martin were split off from the African birds rather recently. This race is endemic to the Philippines, where it's pretty scarce and local.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
PACIFIC SWALLOW (Hirundo tahitica) – Good comparisons with the very common Barn Swallows.
STRIATED SWALLOW (Cecropis striolata striolata) – Maybe best up on Mt. Polis.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
CITRINE CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa helianthea) – Unless you've been to Sulawesi, this was likely a lifer for you on this tour.
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
ELEGANT TIT (Pardaliparus elegans) – Seemingly the most common at elevation on Luzon & Mindanao. [E]
PALAWAN TIT (Pardaliparus amabilis) – Great views on our first afternoon as we crossed the island to get to Sabang. The closest relative to this and the above is the Yellow-bellied Tit of China, which is highly migratory. [E]
WHITE-FRONTED TIT (Sittiparus semilarvatus) – It had been a couple of years since I'd seen this bird at Subic Bay, so I'm glad to see that they're still around. [E]
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – Fabulous looks in the mangroves on Palawan!
SULPHUR-BILLED NUTHATCH (Sitta oenochlamys) – A close relative of the above species, we encountered this one throughout Luzon and Mindanao. The guide treats all of the nuthatches in the Philippines as Velvet-fronted. [E]
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus atriceps) – On Palawan only.
YELLOW-WATTLED BULBUL (Pycnonotus urostictus) – This forest endemic was easiest at PICOP. [E]
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier)
ASHY-FRONTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cinereifrons) – A recent split from the very similar Olive-winged Bulbul, and now a Palawan endemic. [E]
GRAY-THROATED BULBUL (Alophoixus frater) – Like the above species, this one was recently split from Gray-cheeked Bulbul and is now endemic to the island of Palawan. [E]
SULPHUR-BELLIED BULBUL (Iole palawanensis) – Yet another Palawan endemic bulbul, this one is closely related to Gray-eyed and Buff-vented bulbuls on the mainland. [E]
YELLOWISH BULBUL (Hypsipetes everetti) – A very conspicuous voice in the forest patches that remain at PICOP. [E]
PHILIPPINE BULBUL (Hypsipetes philippinus) – On this tour, only on Luzon and Mindanao. We saw a couple of recent splits from this one on the extension. [E]
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) – It took a while to find the right one that would respond. No longer placed with the genetically very different Orthotomus tailorbirds.
RUFOUS-HEADED TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates heterolaemus) – A close relative of the above, but clearly different and restricted to Mindanao. [E]
PHILIPPINE BUSH-WARBLER (Cettia seebohmi) – The Cettias are the 'easy' bush-warblers to get a look at. [E]
Phylloscopidae (Leaf-Warblers)
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – One of these vagrants at Candaba Marsh had apparently been present there since December.
ARCTIC WARBLER (ARCTIC) (Phylloscopus borealis kennicotti) – By voice, these birds at Candaba were from the race that breeds in w. Alaska. Arctic Warbler will undoubtedly undergo some taxonomic revision soon, likely splitting off the Kamchatka and the Japanese breeding forms.
MOUNTAIN WARBLER (Phylloscopus trivirgatus) – We encountered two very different-looking races, one in the highlands of Luzon, and the other in the mountains of Mindanao.
PHILIPPINE LEAF-WARBLER (Phylloscopus olivaceus) – A bit of a pain to see well at PICOP. [E]
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
ORIENTAL REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus orientalis) [*]
CLAMOROUS REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus stentoreus) – All of the reed-warblers that we saw at Candaba Marsh appeared to be this species.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
BENGUET BUSH-WARBLER (Bradypterus seebohmi) – Very close! A recent split from Russet Bush-Warbler. [E*]
LONG-TAILED BUSH-WARBLER (Bradypterus caudatus) – Mark knew which one to try for on Mt. Polis. [E]

Most of the nuthatches are pretty much variations on a theme, but a handful of fancy, more colorful nuthatches are found in southeast Asia, this lovely Velvet-fronted Nuthatch being one of them. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

LANCEOLATED WARBLER (Locustella lanceolata) [*]
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (TAWNY) (Megalurus timoriensis tweeddalei) – Decent looks for most at the UPLB campus near Los Banos. This species is probably in need of some taxonomic revision.
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (TAWNY) (Megalurus timoriensis crex) – This was the race we encountered on Mindanao. [N]
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) [N]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) [*]
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis chloronotos) – I'm still not buying the idea that the "Philippine" Tailorbirds on Luzon are actually Dark-neckeds - but that's how the Clements checklist classifies them at the moment.
RUFOUS-FRONTED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus frontalis) – All of these endemic tailorbirds - and there are a bunch of them here - can be really difficult to see well. We did well with all of them this year, thankfully. The field guide lumps this one with the Philippine Tailorbird. [E]
GRAY-BACKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus derbianus) – We watched one of these foraging for nesting material out in the open along the road up Mt. Makiling. [EN]
RUFOUS-TAILED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sericeus) – Including a couple of stub-tailed juveniles being fed by adults near Sabang. [N]
WHITE-BROWED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus nigriceps) – This is often the most difficult of the tailorbirds to see on this tour and it took us until our final morning at PICOP to finally track it down. Called Black-headed Tailorbird in the book. [E]
Zosteropidae (Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-FACED BABBLER (Zosterornis whiteheadi) – A common flock component up in the oak forest on Mt. Polis. [E]
MINDANAO WHITE-EYE (Lophozosterops goodfellowi) – Often one of the most difficult of the highland endemics on Mindanao, but we all scored on it on the final full day on Mt. Kitanglad. Called Black-masked White-eye in the guide. [E]
RUSTY-CROWNED BABBLER (Sterrhoptilus capitalis) – This was the highlight of an otherwise quiet morning at PICOP. [E]
MINDANAO PYGMY-BABBLER (Dasycrotapha plateni) – We had a couple of encounters with this tiny babbler on our first full day at PICOP. The birds found in the Visayan Is. have recently been split off as a separate species. [E]
LOWLAND WHITE-EYE (Zosterops meyeni) – We did a lot of running around trying to find this one in Los Banos, eventually finding it at the old standard locale. [E]
EVERETT'S WHITE-EYE (Zosterops everetti) [*]
YELLOWISH WHITE-EYE (Zosterops nigrorum) – Reliable in the gardens of our Banaue hotel, but no longer reliable on Mt. Makiling. [E]
MOUNTAIN WHITE-EYE (Zosterops montanus) – Often the most common highland bird in the broadleaf forest on Luzon and Mindanao.
Pellorneidae (Fulvettas and Ground Babblers)
ASHY-HEADED BABBLER (Malacocincla cinereiceps) – It took a couple of tries in the Sabang area, but it paid off for us with wonderful views. [E]
PALAWAN BABBLER (Malacopteron palawanense) – Mark & I were both astounded to hear one of these Palawan endemics on the west side of the island, instead of the usual east side (the first such record for either of us in many trips here). Great views once they came in for a look! Called Melodious Babbler in the book. [E]
STRIATED WREN-BABBLER (Ptilocichla mindanensis) – Both species of wren-babblers can be tough, but we had both of them rather easily this year. Both of the wren-babblers are called ground-babblers in the field guide. [E]
FALCATED WREN-BABBLER (Ptilocichla falcata) – This one is the tougher of the two Ptilocichlas, and it took us a couple of tries, but we came away with fab scope views of a singing bird near Sabang! [E]
Timaliidae (Babblers)
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Macronous gularis woodi) – Formerly known as Striped Tit-Babbler, this one was recently split into two species, Pin-striped TB & Bold-striped TB. Both occur in the Philippines, but the Bold-striped is restricted (in the Philippines) to tiny Cagayan Sulu off the s. tip of Palawan.
BROWN TIT-BABBLER (Macronous striaticeps) – Seemingly more of a skulker than the above relative. [E]
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – The beautiful male with the broken bill was a bit of a shocker!
PHILIPPINE FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena cyanogastra) – Never very common at all on this tour, we saw one singing male and heard another - that was it. [E]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DARK-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa sibirica) – We ended up with three migrant species of Muscicapa flycatchers in those tall Acacia-like trees along the road to Sabang. This species (aka - Siberian Flycatcher) may have been the rarest find.
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa latirostris) – This rare migrant was nicely photographed.
GRAY-STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa griseisticta) – This is the common wintering and migrant Muscicapa throughout the Philippines. We recorded it on all three of the islands we visited on the main tour.
PHILIPPINE MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus mindanensis) – Another recent split from Oriental Magpie-Robin in the latest version of the Clements checklist. Our only site for this one was at PICOP. [E]
WHITE-BROWED SHAMA (Copsychus luzoniensis) – Much more of a skulker than the other shamas. [E]
WHITE-VENTED SHAMA (Copsychus niger) – Not very scarce and quite confiding - the way all endemics should behave! [E]
PALAWAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis lemprieri) – This was one of the several Palawan endemics that we got in the bag before we boarded our boat to explore the Underground River. [E]
MANGROVE BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis rufigastra blythi) – Finding a singing male at Subic Bay on our last morning there was a big surprise.
ISLAND FLYCATCHER (Eumyias panayensis) – If you need to see this one outside of the Philippines, you'll have to go to the s. Moluccas or to Sulawesi. Another name is the Mountain Verditer-Flycatcher.
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana poliogyna) – Difficult to see well in the dark forest understory on Mt. Polis.
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana mindanensis) [*]
PALAWAN FLYCATCHER (Ficedula platenae) – We found this one straight away in its usual spot along the Balsahan Trail. [E]
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – In the highlands only on this tour.
SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra) – That bird that popped up in that little flock above the eagle camp on Mt. Kitanglad was certainly this widespread species.
LUZON REDSTART (Phoenicurus bicolor) – With none visible from the road this year, we had to do a little hiking to get our looks at Bay-yo. Also called the Luzon Water-Redstart. [E]
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EYEBROWED THRUSH (Turdus obscurus) – Only a few migrants around Mt. Kitanglad this year.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
ASIAN GLOSSY STARLING (Aplonis panayensis)
SHORT-TAILED STARLING (Aplonis minor) – A local highland replacement for the above species on Mindanao.
APO MYNA (Basilornis mirandus) – This and the endemic Coleto are two of the stranger endemics in the Philippines. There were certainly more of these around on Mt. Kitanglad this year than in most years that I've visited there. [E]
COLETO (Sarcops calvus) – On the main tour, we didn't run into this one until we got to PICOP, which is rather surprising! [E]
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – Only in Palawan.
CRESTED MYNA (Acridotheres cristatellus) [I]
STRIPE-SIDED RHABDORNIS (Rhabdornis mystacalis) – This one is the most widespread and common of the four species of Rhabdornis (formerly an endemic family, Rhabdornithidae). [E]
STRIPE-BREASTED RHABDORNIS (Rhabdornis inornatus) – Usually, we get maybe a pair of these uncommon birds during our stay on Mt. Kitanglad. This year, we recorded the species every day while there. [E]
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
PHILIPPINE LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis flavipennis) – I'm a little surprised that we found just one of these while at PICOP, but there's a pretty long list this year of endemic birds that we recorded just once on the tour and that's certainly cause for concern. [E]
YELLOW-THROATED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis palawanensis) – Quite common on Palawan. [E]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
OLIVE-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus olivaceus) – Excellent studies of this uncommon flowerpecker at PICOP this year. [E]
PALAWAN FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus plateni) – If you know the call of this one, it's just about everywhere on Palawan. [E]
THICK-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum agile aeruginosum) – Kennedy, et al., splits this one off as Striped Flowerpecker (D. aeruginosum). It may yet wind up that way in Clements.
OLIVE-CAPPED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum nigrilore) – Somewhat scarce and inconspicuous in the highlands of Mindanao. [E]
FLAME-CROWNED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum anthonyi) – Excellent studies of a couple of birds next to the road on Mt. Polis. [E]
BICOLORED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum bicolor) – This was the last of our eleven species of flowerpeckers seen on the main tour - is there any tour better for this family? [E]
RED-STRIPED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum australe) – Kennedy, et al., lump this one with the Red-keeled of the Visayan Is. and call it all Red-keeled Flowerpecker. We had this one in the lowlands of Luzon and Mindanao. [E]
ORANGE-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum trigonostigma) – Amazingly, we didn't record this widespread species until we arrived on Mindanao.
WHITE-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum hypoleucum) – The field guide calls this one Buzzing Flowerpecker, which is actually a better name for this one since the birds on Luzon are yellow-bellied. [E]
PYGMY FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum pygmaeum) – One of the few Philippine endemics that's found on Luzon, Mindanao, and Palawan. [E]
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum ignipectum apo) – This race sure looks a lot like the Black-sided Flowerpecker on Borneo, and not at all like the true Fire-breasted Flowerpecker of the Himalayas and northern s.e. Asia (calls are different, too).
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (GRAY-THROATED) (Anthreptes malacensis birgitae) – These were the birds we saw around Mt. Makiling. The birds seen in the Bislig area were likely the race griseigularis. There's talk of splitting birgitae & griseigularis off as a species separate from the brown-throated races.
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (BROWN-THROATED) (Anthreptes malacensis paraguae) – These were the birds we saw on Palawan.
PURPLE-THROATED SUNBIRD (Leptocoma sperata) – All of the races in the Philippines are now split from birds elsewhere, establishing yet another Philippine endemic landbird species. The birds outside the philippines are now all called Van Hasselt's Sunbird (L. brasiliana). [E]
COPPER-THROATED SUNBIRD (Leptocoma calcostetha) – It took some patience, but we all came away with good looks at this gaudy species in the mangroves on Palawan.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (OLIVE-BACKED) (Cinnyris jugularis obscurior) – All of the birds that we saw outside of Palawan were likely this race. Olive-backed Sunbird might be due for some revision, so keep track of where you see them.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (ORANGE-BREASTED) (Cinnyris jugularis aurora) – These were the beautiful orange-breasted birds we saw on Palawan.
GRAY-HOODED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga primigenia) – Another one of the many Mindanao endemics that we tracked down on Mt. Kitanglad. [E]
MOUNT APO SUNBIRD (Aethopyga boltoni) – We were very lucky with this one when we found a stunning male with the clock winding down for our descent from the mountain to camp. [E]
FLAMING SUNBIRD (Aethopyga flagrans) – If you can find the right flowering tree, then the Botanical Gardens on the campus is the place for this one. Actually quite similar in appearance to the aurora race of Olive-backed Sunbird found on Palawan. [E]
METALLIC-WINGED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga pulcherrima jefferyi) – This is the race we saw in the highlands on Mt. Polis on Luzon. There's a move afoot to split the three races of this one as separate species. [E]
METALLIC-WINGED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga pulcherrima pulcherrima) – In contrast to the birds on Luzon, these birds are found in the lowland forests of Mindanao. [E]
LOVELY SUNBIRD (Aethopyga shelleyi) – These birds on Palawan sure didn't like being looked at! Lovely and Handsome were split several years back. [E]
HANDSOME SUNBIRD (Aethopyga bella) – Nice scope looks at the Botanical Gardens near Los Banos. [E]
ORANGE-TUFTED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera flammifera flammifera) – This and the next species are the result of a recent split from Little Spiderhunter. [E*]
PALE SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera dilutior) – We found a few of these on Palawan. Much more washed out looking than typical Little Spiderhunter (from which it was recently split), and males have a fleshy yellow eye-ring. [E]
NAKED-FACED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera clarae) – This is typically one of the tougher birds to see on Mindanao (or on Luzon), but we had no trouble this year at PICOP. [E]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis) – It looked like all of our birds that we saw well were the race simillima.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea)
ORIENTAL PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – Ours were the breeding race lugubris, which sounds and looks a little different from the birds I know on the mainland. A split from Richard's Pipit and also known as Paddyfield Pipit.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
WHITE-CHEEKED BULLFINCH (Pyrrhula leucogenis) – This one couldn't have been any easier than the one we had on Mt. Polis this year. Our bird appeared to be a sub-adult male, and he sure was responsive to my whistle! [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
CINNAMON IBON (Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus) – A paper came out a few years ago that recommended that this enigmatic species be removed from the white-eyes and placed with the Passeridae (House Sparrow, etc.). Seen well many times up on Mt. Kitanglad. [E]
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) [I]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
NUTMEG MANNIKIN (Lonchura punctulata) – AKA Scaly-breasted Munia.
WHITE-BELLIED MUNIA (Lonchura leucogastra) – All three of these munias were in the same patch of weeds on Palawan, giving us some good comparisons.
CHESTNUT MUNIA (Lonchura atricapilla)

LARGE FLYING FOX (Pteropus vampyrus) – We had this and the next species daily at Subic Bay - the day roosts and the evening take-off were equally impressive!
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – AKA Long-tailed Macaque.
MINDANAO SQUIRREL (Sundasciurus mindanensis) – We saw a couple of squirrels on the trip, including this one on Mindanao that Mark called Mindanao Tree-Squirrel. [E]
NORTHERN PALAWAN TREE SQUIRREL (Sundasciurus juvencus) – This was the Southern Palawan Tree-Squirrel. [E]


Totals for the tour: 309 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa