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ULTIMATE PHILIPPINES

Sunday 19th January - Friday 14th February 2014

Simon Harrap

Philippine Eagle Owl (Simon Harrap)

Philippine Eagle Owl (Simon Harrap)

The 2014 Ultimate Philippines tour continued our long run of exciting and successful tours to the Philippines, one of the greatest biological treasure-chests on the planet. We enjoyed unusually good weather and nearly flawless logistics, and highlights included both Philippine and Pinksker’s Hawk Eagles, a surprise Slaty-lagged Crake, Bukidnon Woodcock (on the 21st aniversary of its discovery by our group in 1993), Flame-breasted Fruit Dove, Philippine Cockatoo, five spcies of racket-tail, 11 species of owl (five scops owls, four hawk owls, Philippine Eagle Owl and Australasian Grass Owl), 12 species of kingfisher (including seven endemics), seven hornbills, nine woodpeckers (including Red-headed and Yellow-faced Flamebacks, both new splits from the former Greater Flameback), great looks at Azure-breasted, Hooded and Red-bellied Pittas, four endemic cuckoo-shrikes, Short-crested and (for some of us) Celestial Monarchs, brilliant views of both Falcated and Streaked Wren-Babblers, two species of rhabdornis, Ashy Thrush, four shamas, a surprise White-browed Jungle Flycatcher, 11 flowerpeckers, 15 sunbirds and some ‘old faithfuls’ such as the habituated Palawan Peacock Pheasant at St Paul’s and the Philippine Frogmouth at Mt Kitanglad. We found ‘The Eagle’ but sadly, in one of the very few disappointments of the tour, the views were rather distant. On the Visayan Islands Extension the highlights included Negros Scops Owl, Cebu Hawk Owl and the incomparable Flame-templed Babbler.

Ashy Ground Thrush (Simon Harrap)

Ashy Ground Thrush (Simon Harrap)