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A Party of Birds at Makiling

Date: July 31, 2004
Time: 5:00 am to 4:00 pm
Birdsite: Mt. Makiling National Park, Forest trail up to Station 10 & Botanic Gardens
Birders: Mark Villa and Mike Catsis
Trip report and Birdlist : Mark Villa

This hike up in Makiling had been my best trip so far, in terms of number of birds seen. The day was very bright, the sky was clear and the sun was up (but not too hot). I was with Mike Catsis, he is visiting from the UK and it was his first time in Asia but he's done a lot of birding in other countries in South America. What's interesting is he has reviewed the Kennedy guide and seemed to already know what birds to expect.

We started out by climbing up the mountain very early in the morning to look for the thrush. Mike spotted something moving among the bushes and said it had a chestnut head. For a moment it was gone but then we spotted it in the main trail. It was instead a Red-bellied Pitta and it was obliviously hopping towards us. It's the first time I've seen the pitta in the main trail.

Yellow-bellied Whistler
Yellow-bellied Whistler


Lowland White-eye
Lowland White-eye

Aside from the pitta, everybody else seemed to come out. The small birds were very active. There were perhaps 3 to 5 trees where we just stopped and look at the nuthatches, woodpeckers, sunbirds, and flowerpeckers flit about.

We even saw a number of the always-heard-rarely-seen-in-makiling barbets among the group of birds. There were so many small birds that I think it's quite impossible to identify and give an accurate count at the same time,especially that they were moving very fast and way up the trees. We had a fine view of the bicolored flowerpeckers because they were all over this red fig tree that was just a few feet high.

White-eared Brown Dove
White-eared Brown Dove

I surmised that some of them were immature.I joked that some of them should be called "tri-colored" flowerpeckers because the upperback were greyish brown, the lower back

were dark blue and the underparts were white. The bills were not black but yellowish or orange.

That afternoon, we visited the Botanic Gardens to give a shot at the indigo-banded kingfisher at the bridge where people usually see it. We waited for a while but instead of the kingfisher, a Common Emerald Dove flew in and just strutted there for some time. It's the best view I've seen of it because usually it flies away the second you see it.

Mt. Makiling, up to Station 10
Time: 5:00 am to 2:30 pm

1. Raptor sp. – 1 seen
2. White-eared Brown-Dove, Phapitreron leucotis – 3, more heard
3. Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus occipitalis - heard
4. Black-chinned Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus leclancheri - heard
5. Guaiabero, Bolbopsittacus lunulatus - 2
6. Colasisi, Loriculus philippensis – 1 male
7. Brush Cuckoo, Cacomantis variolosus- 1 immature, finely barred underparts.
8. Red-crested Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus superciliosus - 5+
9. Scale-feathered Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus cumingi - 1
10. Philippine Coucal, Centropus viridis - heard
11. Philippine Hawk-Owl, Ninox philippensis – heard, responded to playback
12. Swiftlet sp.- 1
13. Coppersmith Barbet, Megalaima haemacephala – 5+, more heard
14. Spotted Wood-Kingfisher, Actenoides lindsayi - heard
15. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, Dendrocopos maculatus – 5+
16. Red-bellied Pitta, Pitta erythrogaster - 1 seen, 1 heard
17. Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina striata - 2
18. Black-and-white Triller, Lalage melanoleuca - 2
19. Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urostictus – 2, more heard
20. Philippine Bulbul, Ixos philippinus - common, many heard
21. Balicassiao, Dicrurus balicassius - 5+
22. Elegant Tit, Pardaliparus elegans - 3+
23. Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Sitta oenochlamys - 6+
24. Stripe-sided Rhabdornis, Rhabdornis mysticalis - 3+
25. White-browed Shama, Copsychus luzoniensis – 1 seen, more heard
26. Gray-backed Tailorbird, Orthotomus derbianus – many heard
27. Black-naped Monarch, Hypothymis azurea – 4+, including 1 in nest
28. Yellow-bellied Whistler, Pachycephala philippinensis - 3+
29. Flaming Sunbird, Aethopyga flagrans - 4 male
30. Handsome Sunbird , Aethopyga bella – 1 male
31. Striped Flowerpecker, Dicaeum aeruginosum - 2+, maybe more
32. Bicolored Flowerpecker, Dicaeum bicolor – 15+, some immature
33. Red-keeled Flowerpecker, Dicaeum australe - many
34. Buzzing Flowerpecker, Dicaeum hypoleucum - 1
35. Fire-breasted flowerpecker,Dicaeum ignipectus/flowerpecker sp. - not sure. saw this flowerpecker with this big red on its throat, it was too fast for me to be sure, but certainly not red-keeled.
36. Yellowish White-eye Zosterops nigrorum - 1, briefly seen, white eye-ring, underparts completely yellow.

1. Green Crested-lizard, Bronchocela cristatela (?)- suddenly appeared in the main trail, generally green with some white spots on its back and had a short crest behind its neck and a very long tail; looked a bit like an iguana.
2. Mabuya multicarinata - common
3. Gecko sp. - heard

Site: FBS Pukinggani Tree
1. Purple-throated Sunbird, Nectarinia sperata - 2

Time: 3pm to 4pm
1. Common Emerald Dove, Chalcophaps indica 1
2. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, Dendrocopos maculatus - heard
3. Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus - a few