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For the 4th Philippine Bird Festival: Aba Kakaiba!
13-17 September 2008

    Day 1: Saturday, 13th September
    – First stop will be the lushly-forested Balsahan trail, Iwahig. This site still has one of the best lowland forests close to the capital city Puerto Princesa. We will spend the whole morning birding and to look for the site specialties: the elusive Palawan Flycatcher and Melodious Babbler; both of these species are not present at St. Paul’s National Park. There is a good chance also for other island endemics such as Palawan Hornbill and Palawan Flowerpecker. Before lunch, we’ll then proceed to Santa Lourdes pier, our take-off point for our Honda Bay Island hopping tour. We will visit three islands: Pandan Island, Starfish Island, and Snake Island. We’ll have lunch in one of these islands and experience the local island life. Pandan, Starfish and Snake Islands are just some of the islands that dot Honda Bay. These islands are superb for swimming and snorkeling, as well as birding for shorebirds during low tides. After the island hopping tour we will return to the Asturias Hotel in time for the 4th Philippine Bird Festival: Aba Kakaiba! farewell dinner.
    Day 2: Sunday, 14th September
    – Our second day will start off by visiting nearby coastal areas. We’ll be looking in particular for the rare Chinese Egret and for other mangrove and water birds such as Copper-throated Sunbird, Common Iora and many more. We then proceed to Sabang, a small port town that is the gateway to St. Paul’s National Park.

    Crossing streams in Balsahan Trail, Iwahig. Photo Ixi Mapua
    Enroute to Sabang, we’ll do a couple of stops at several sites to look for other specialties. Some likely species are Sulphur-bellied Bulbul, Yellow-throated Leafbird, White-vented Shama, Blue Paradise Flycatcher and Palawan Tit. We continue to Sabang and check-in at Taraw Resort. Before dusk, we’ll do a bit more birding and go out to known sites to look for the uncommon Palawan Scops-Owl and Javan Frogmouth. We return to Taraw Resort.

      Palawan's breath-taking limestone cliffs. Photo Trinket Canlas /
Birding Adventure Philippines
Day 3: Monday, 15th September
    – After an early breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride to St. Paul’s National Park. The park is surrounded by walls of limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches and lush forest. Our main target bird here is the Palawan Peacock-Pheasant. Likely also are Palawan Hornbill, Blue-naped Parrots and Blue-headed Racquet-tails, Stork-billed and Oriental Dwarf Kingfishers, Hooded Pitta and Ashy-headed Babbler. After the morning birding, we will then take a small boat and take a journey into the St. Paul’s Subterranean River. This underground river is the world’s longest and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has lots of unique stalactites and stalagmites, huge columns of limestone rocks and other cave formations.

    It is also home to several species of bats, reptiles and cave-dwelling birds. After the underground river tour, we proceed to the Central Park Station to look for the elusive Falcated Ground-Babbler. After our visit to the Central Park Station, we return to Taraw resort for lunch. More birding in the afternoon.

    Day 4: Tuesday, 16th September – Second day at St. Paul’s National Park and Central Park Station. Full day birding.

    Day 5: Wednesday, 17th September – Morning birding. Drive back to Puerto Princesa after lunch. We continue birding along the road for some birds that we might still need. Check-in at Asturias Hotel.

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    (Endemics are in bold characters)
    1. Tabon Scrubfowl
    2. Palawan Peacock-Pheasant
    3. Thick-billed Green-Pigeon
    4. Philippine Cockatoo
    5. Blue-headed Racquet-tail
    6. Chestnut-breasted Malkoha
    7. Greater Coucal
    8. Mantanani Scops Owl
    9. Palawan Scops Owl
    10. Spotted Wood Owl
    11. Javan Frogmouth
    12. Large-tailed Nightjar
    13. Brown-backed Needletail
    14. Blue-eared Kingfisher
    15. Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
    16. Palawan Hornbill
    17. Great Slaty Woodpecker
    18. Common Flameback
    19. Fiery Minivet
    20. Yellow-throated Leafbird
    21. Common Iora
    22. Black-headed Bulbul
    23. Olive-winged Bulbul
    24. Sulphur-bellied Bulbul
    25. Ashy Drongo
    26. Dark-throated Oriole
    27. Asian Fairy Bluebird
    28. Palawan Tit
    29. Ashy-headed Babbler
    30. Melodious Babbler
    31. Falcated Ground-Babbler
    32. Palawan Striped-Babbler
    33. Striped Tit-Babbler
    34. White-vented Shama
    35. Rufous-tailed Tailorbird
    36. Palawan Flycatcher
    37. Palawan Blue Flycatcher
    38. Blue Paradise Flycatcher
    39. Mangrove Whistler
    40. Hill Myna
    41. Copper-throated Sunbird
    42. Palawan Flowerpecker

Lovely Sunbird
Photo Nicky Icarangal
Birding Adventure Philippines

Palawan Scops-Owl
Photo Nicky Icarangal
Birding Adventure Philippines

Palawan Peacock Pheasant
Photo Nicky Icarangal
Birding Adventure Philippines

Ruddy Kingfisher
Photo Nicky Icarangal
Birding Adventure Philippines