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Bird Watching

Our tours are planned to optimize the opportunities for bird watching at each site visited by focusing on the most enigmatic species, localized and difficult to find. Allowing time for complete coverage we give the best realistic chance of locating these specialty birds of the region.

We aim to provide the best bird tour experience through a combination of small groups, experienced and competent leaders, a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and of course some of the best birding in the world. All our leaders have extensive experience of birds in the area and spent long periods of time to explore all the tourist destinations.

In addition to our regular tours, we also offer custom designed tours for birding groups or individuals. We have extensive experience in South Asia, southeast Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia, and we can organize and guide tours to all areas covered by our regular visits and most other destinations region. Previous personalized tours travel Skytrak visited, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Borneo and the Philippines.

Custom tours have many advantages over our main circuits, they are inherently more flexible, with group sizes and land arrangements organized to your specific needs. They are ideal for those who prefer to travel alone or with small groups of friends, ornithologists with rigid holidays do not coincide with our regular tour dates or those with specific target species, which can be difficult to see on our main visits.

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The Philippines


The Philippine archipelago comprises more than 7100 islands, however, the total land area is slightly smaller than the British Isles. The astonishing degree of biological endemism within the Philippines is well represented by the avifauna of the country, although the total list of the Philippines is not great at just over 590 species. Of the approximately 400 species more than 200 residents are endemic.


During this tour we will focus on three major islands - Luzon, Mindanao and Palawan, which account for over two thirds of the earth's surface. They have the largest number of endemic species, which we can expect to see more than 120, including such spectacular species as Philippine Eagle, Palawan peacock pheasant, Blue-breasted Pitta, silver Kingfisher, Rufous Hornbill, Celestial Monarch, Philippine Trogon and two representatives of the family Rhabdornis endemic.


Unfortunately much of the rain forest that once surrounded these beautiful islands have already disappeared and many bird species that depend on old growth forests are in serious decline. However, the Philippines still offers some of the most interesting and fascinating birds of Asia, including many of the most rare and desirable birds.


Day 1:

International arrivals at the Manila International Airport. Night in Manila.


Day 2:

A morning from Manila to Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao) and then continue to Damitan town, Bukidnon province. From here we will walk in the mountains Kitanglad a tented camp comfortable, that will be our home for the next three nights. Spend the afternoon bird watching over the camp.


Days 3-4:

We will have two full days to explore the remaining forest. One of the main objectives here is the magnificent Philippine (Monkey-eating) Eagle - the national bird of the Philippines. We will work both in the lower areas and trails higher until at least 2000 meters in search of Mindanao endemics and other specialties that are restricted to this habitat montane including Mindanao Racquet-tail, ears Parrotfinch red, white-cheeked Bullfinch, Stripe-Rhabdornis chest Cuckooshrike McGregor, blue-capped Wood Kingfisher, Sunbird Apo, Apo Myna and if we're lucky, the ultra-hanging Bagobo charlatan.


Vigils dawn and dusk should produce the recently described Bukidnon Woodcock as night birding around our cottage could produce Frogmouth Filipino, Filipino or Nightjar with a good dose of luck Mindanao or giant scops owls.


Day 5:

After an early morning birding last we left the camp, returning to Damitan before transferring to Bislig where we stay at the Country Inn role for the next four nights.


Day 6-8:

We will have three full days to explore the forest concession PICOP.


Although deforestation has damaged much of the grant, a forest is still good and gives us a good opportunity to meet some of the lowlands of Mindanao foresters. The possibilities here are Rufous Hornbill, Hornbill writhed, Pinsker Hawk Eagle, Honey Buzzard Steere, Blue-capped Wood Kingfisher, Kingfisher blue, red-bellied Pitta, Blue-breasted Pitta, Little Slaty Flycatcher, Celestial Monarch and short crested Black-headed and Mindanao Wattled Broadbill Tailorbird. Birdwatching night possibilities include Philippine Frogmouth, Chocolate and Boobook Boobook Mindanao.


Closer to the city, visit the Bislig airfield disused where we have a good chance to see Pato Filipino and Eastern Grass Owl.


Day 9:

After a final birding PICOP headed to Davao to connect with a flight back late afternoon to Manila (Luzon). Night in Manila.


Day 10:

Leave early in the morning birding in Candaba Marshes before continuing in the Cordillera Central Cordillera to Banaue where we arrive late afternoon. Night in Banaue.


Day 11:

Spend the whole day birding around Mount Polis leaving early in the morning to make the most of early morning activity of birds. The remaining montane forest here still has many mountainous Luzon endemic Chestnut-faced charlatan, Luzon Bush Warbler, Long-tailed Ground Warbler and Green-backed Whistler. Possibilities are scarce Mountain Shrike, White-cheeked Bullfinch and crowned with flames and Benguet Bush Warbler flowerpecker that is widespread here, but extremely difficult to see. During the day visit the picturesque village of Bay-I, where the mountain river at the bottom of a deep valley is a reliable site for Luzon Water Redstart.


Day 12:

Final morning at Mount Polis for any specialty who are still missing, keeping an eye out for rarer species like Luzon Racquet-tail, Flame-breasted Fruit Dove Luzon or Jungle Flycatcher. Luzon Scops Owl and Whiskered Pitta are easily heard near the pass at Mount Polis, but are difficult to see, such as steep slopes inaccessible. In the afternoon we headed south to Subic Bay for the night.


Day 13:

We will spend the whole day around birding Subic Bay Naval Base. The remaining lowland forest in Subic Naval Base offers excellent bird watching and we expect to see a number of endemics more widespread during the search of several species that are difficult to see in other places including Green Racquet-tail, Luzon Hawk Eagle, Rufous Coucal, White-lored Oriole, Cuckooshrike blackish Sooty Woodpecker, Philippine Tailorbird, Luzon Hornbill and White-fronted Tit hope. Overnight in Subic Bay.


Day 14:

Let's move on to the final morning birding at Subic Bay before driving Banos pm. Night in Los Banos.


Days 15-16:

Two days birding on Mount Makiling. The well-preserved forests in the mountains are an excellent introduction to birding in the Philippines. We can expect to see several endemic species hardest generalized, including the impressive scale of feathers Malkoha, Philippine Trogon, Luzon Hornbill, White-browed Shama, stained wood and even rarities like Kingfisher Luzon Bleeding heart and Ashy Thrush are occasionally seen.


Bird watching nearby pastures usually produce Buttonquail stained, while rivers are home to Indigo-banded Kingfisher and night birding, often rewarding here is a good opportunity to see both Boobook Philippines and Philippine Scops Owl.


Day 17:

We took an early morning flight to Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island. On arrival we visit a nearby beach in search of shorebirds, including Chinese Egret endangered before continuing to Sabang on the edge of the National Park of St. Paul, in a moment of birding in the afternoon. Night in Sabang.


Day 18:

Today we spend a full day birding in the St. Paul National Park. In the beautiful untouched forest within the park expected to be found most of the endemic species of the islands, hopefully even the earth lurking Falcated charlatan and Palawan Peacock Pheasant spectacular. The area near our resort is a good area to look Palawan Palawan Frogmouth and Scops Owl and we will make a special effort to find these elusive birds. Night in Sabang.


Day 19:

Let's spend a final morning birding in St. Paul, before returning to Puerto Princessa in the afternoon. Night in Puerto Princessa.


Day 20:

Today we will bird along the river Balsahan within Iwahig penal colony. This is an excellent place to find the islands two endemic birds and night we leave early for a try before sunrise if we have not already seen in San Pablo. There is considerable overlap with species seen in St. Paul, but we will also expect to add charlatan melodious and perhaps the elusive Palawan Flycatcher. In the afternoon we head south to Narra and in the afternoon take boats to Isla Rasa. Rasa Island now is the most reliable in the Philippines by the Philippine cockatoo danger and we enjoy good if a little distant views as they come to nest on the island, in the evening we hope to focus Mantanani Scops Owl, a Specializing in small island that is only found in the Philippine archipelago and the islands of North Borneo. Night in Narra.


Day 21:

This morning we will return to Puerto Princesa. Narra leave early and stop along the way to finding Palawan Flycatcher in one of the safest places. Noon flight to Manila to connect with international return flights.


Vietnam  4th – 24th March 2012