Composed of 7,107 islands strewn across a vast stretch of tropical sea, the Philippines occupy the unenviable position of harbouring the most birds facing imminent extinction. Many of these critically endangered yet spectacular species survive only in increasingly shrinking remnants of habitat. During our tour, we can expect to encounter close to 150 endemic birds and many other spectacular migrants and residents. Our Endangered Endemics tour explores the Philippines’ three largest islands. On Luzon, we visit sites for Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Coleto, the sensational Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, secretive Whiskered Pitta and recently discovered Chocolate Boobook. Mindanao hosts the largest tracts of remaining lowland forest and here we search for the secretive Wattled Broadbill, Azure-breasted Pitta and beautiful Philippine Trogon.
The forested slopes of Mount Kitanglad are the most reliable site for the magnificent Philippine (Monkey-eating) Eagle, this giant raptor is often rated as the world’s single-most desirable bird! Here we will also search for another recently discovered bird, Bukidnon Woodcock, as well as Apo Myna and Giant Scops Owl. On Palawan, white sandy beaches, extensive coral reefs and an underground river make a spectacular backdrop for several specials we are likely to find. Highlights include the mound-building Philippine Megapode, Philippine and Hooded Pittas, the incredibly beautiful Blue Paradise Flycatcher and glittering Palawan Peacock-Pheasant.
One of the highest endemic species counts of any country on Earth! Between 160 and 190 endemics & near-endemics expected; Philippine Eagle; Philippine Serpent Eagle; Philippine & Pinsker's Hawk-Eagle; Philippine Honey Buzzard; Philippine & Palawan Frogmouth; Philippine Nightjar; Eastern Grass Owl; 3 endemic Boobooks; 6 endemic Scops Owls including Giant; Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo; Stripe-headed & Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis; Scale-feathered & Rough-crested Malkoha; Rufous & Black-faced Coucals; Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove; chance of Luzon & Mindanao Bleeding-heart; Celestial & Short-crested Monarch; 6 endemic Kingfishers including Spotted Wood, Hombron’s, Winchell's & Southern Silvery; Wattled Broadbill; Azure-breasted & Philippine Pittas; Philippine Trogon; Philippine Megapode; Bukidnon Woodcock; 5 endemic Racket-tails; 5 endemic Honrbills including Rufous & Writhed; Palawan Hornbill; Philippine Falconet; Red-vented Cockatoo; 4 endemic Fantails; Rufous & Blue Paradise Flycatchers; 5 endemic Tailorbirds; Falcated & Striated Wren-Babblers; Philippine & Palawan Fairy-bluebirds; White-browed & White-vented Shamas; Philippine & Yellow-throated Leafbirds; 11 endemic Flowerpeckers including Whiskered; 10 endemic Sunbirds including Apo & Lina's; 3 endemic Spiderhunters; Red-eared Parrotfinch; Cinnamon Ibon; White-cheeked Bullfinch; Ashy Thrush; 6 endemic woodpeckers including Northern Sooty & 4 Flamebacks; Coleto; Apo Myna; Elegant & Palawan Tits; Sulphur-billed Nuthatch; Guaiabero; Fair chance of Chinese Crested Tern
huge Flying Fox roosts consisting of 3 species (Golden-capped, Philippine Grey & Large)
lowland, foothill and montane rainforest, bamboo forest, woodlands, rivers and wetlands, mudflats
hot and humid in the lowlands, cool at night but warm during the day in the highlands, some rain expected
10 with 1 Rockjumper leader & 1 local leader
demanding to moderate pace, birding mostly along tracks and roads through the forest or at the edge, some long walks on forest trails on Mt.Kitanglad
mostly comfortable, one basic lodge
310 - 330
around 160 Philippines endemics & near-endemics expected, 180 endemics if you combine the extension, St Paul’s underground river, highly threatened forests & endemic birds, Palawan Monitor Lizards
Although we had plenty of rain the trip turned out to be very rewarding. Erik Forsyth did an excellent job in trying to accommodate my strange request for knowledge on the vegetation of the Philippines. Although both Mark and he had no idea on how to respond to this request, they were able to get a tree book for my use. After losing the use of my cell phone which was used to take photos of the vegetation for future identification, Mark followed up by taking photos for me.
We saw some good birds and are happy about that. Erik Forsyth is an excellent guide and companion. We would certainly travel with him again. He was most helpful for those of us whose eyes are not as sharp as they once were. Erik managed the group well and group dynamics were excellent. Local guides, such as at PICOP, were very friendly and most helpful. The Philippine ground agent/bird guide, Mark Villa, was certainly knowledgeable about the local birds and a good source of information. We have enjoyed Rockjumper tours in the past and hope to again.
I participated in the Jan-Feb [private] tour to the Philippines guided by Rich Lindie.... I have to say that Rich's ... indefatigable attempts to make our trip a success was exemplary in every way. His birding skills are definitely well above the norm in birding companies I am familiar with (including some very elite companies). Rich is also enthusiastic, energetic, fun loving, patient and always in full control of his clients. In short, he is in the elite echelons of the guiding profession and should be considered a valuable asset to your organization. It is my intent to single out trips guided by him for my travel considerations.
The guides were knowledgeable, energetic, and very personable. I would go with Erik Forsyth anytime, anywhere. He made sure we were comfortable, well fed, and saw the birds, not an easy feat with the constant rainy conditions. I also appreciated his sense of humour. Yes, I would go with Rockjumper again, and I am planning on a 2019 trip already. They have become my favourite bird tour company for many reasons.
It was amazing that the guides could make the tour so enjoyable despite having rain 8 days out of 10! Guides were excellent. Erik Forsyth was very knowledgeable and personable.
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