Philippine Eagle Bird Tour
"I wanted to write to say thank you for kindly arranging my birding excursion on Thursday with Mr. Anthony Balbin. It was simply fantastic. Anthony picked me up at 5:30 on the dot and, stopping at various points along the way, drove me out of Manila and up into the Sierra Madre mountain range all the way to a lookout point in Real over Polillo Bay and Island in the distance.
I could not keep up with all the species of birds we saw, which ended up numbering about 30 by day's end, but Anthony kept a running list, which he sent to me at the end of the day. His experience as a birder and photographer were enormously helpful: he knew all the best places to look for birds, recognized their calls, and even helped me with my camera settings. We were treated at the end with a clear view of four rufous hornbills alighting from a distant pine tree, all happening in an instant that I was unable to photograph but which left a deep impression in my mind's eye. I recommend Anthony most highly and am eager to come back to the Philippines again to explore the islands' avian fauna even further."
Matthew - Japan
"Just a note to say thanks for organising everything so well. Your driver and Angie were on time every time, something we very much appreciated.
The Villa Escudero trip was excellent - the local guide Ronald was very knowledgeable - we saw the amazing Indigo Banded Kingfishers several times, along with many other exciting birds.
Los Banos was also very rewarding and Jonas the guide served up the Red-Crested Malkhoa, Tarictic Hornbill and Spotted Wood Kingfisher in the forest.
The locals knowledge and expertise of the guides made a massive difference to the number of birds I could identify."
Nick - UK
"Thank you for a fine tour of the Philippines. I ended up seeing 123 "lifers." I was particularly impressed with Palawan, where I saw almost all of the Palawan endemics thanks to my able guide Totic.
I also appreciated Anthony Balbin on Luzon, where we also had great success at both Subic Bay and the Sierra Madres.
I am now back in the United States with a lot of fine memories. Thanks again for your work in putting this together at very reasonable cost.."
Steven - USA
Explore a land of 7,107 beautiful emerald islands, blessed with natural beauty and with more than 600 species of resident and migratory birds. Of these, almost a third are endemic.
Being located in the East Asian Flyway of migratory birds, the Philippines is an important destination for many species, with a good number belonging to the list of threatened species, like the Chinese Egret and Asian Dowitcher.
Philippines Birdwatching Package - 21 Days/20 Nights
Take the full itinerary, or select shorter sections.
N.B. This is a Private Bird Watching itinerary, and as such, is flexible, and may be taken at a time to suit you. Local Guides are employed for each section.
The comprehensive example illustrated here is for 21 days, (which used to be the maximum period most visitors were allowed to stay in the Philippines without a visa). That has now been increased to 30 days, so we can extend your tour accordingly, should you require that. Please ask.
Selected sections of the itinerary may be undertaken as shorter Birding Tours, may be combined, or may be incorporated as part of other packages. Simply let us know your requirements. We will be happy to devise an itinerary to suit you.
PRIVATE TOUR - 21 DAYS ITINERARY:
Section 1 - South Luzon
Day 1 - Manila
Arrival. Airport Meet & Greet and Transfer to Hotel.
Day 2 - Villa Escudero
Pick up Hotel Lobby. Early Morning Start. Travel South of Manila to Villa Escudero. Afternoon Birding.
In Villa Escudero you can see the Common Koel, Philippine and Lesser Coucals, Grassbirds, Philippine Scops Owl, Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers, water birds among others. You can also see the Indigo-banded Kingﬁsher and if lucky enough see the Spotted-wood Kingﬁsher. You can also go to nearby places in Villa Escudero for birding like Bangkong Kahoy Valley about 30 minutes drive up from Villa Escudero. Here you can see Blue-headed Fantails, Citrine Canary Flycatcher and if lucky enough the Ashy Ground Thrush amongst others.
Overnight at Villa Escudero
Day 3 - Villa Escudero
Continue Birding at Villa Escudero and Surrounds
Overnight at Villa Escudero
Day 4 - Mt Makiling
Early Morning Start. Travel to Mt. Makiling. Mt. Makiling Birding and Surrounding Campus.
Mount Makiling is a forest area that hosts a remarkable number of Philippine endemic bird species. Some of the best-looking birds in the Philippines can be found on the ﬂanks of this mountain, that borders the chilled-out university at Makiling.
The campus itself holds some special birds, like the Luzon endemic Spotted Buttonquail. Others include the crazy-looking Scale-feathered and Red-crested Malkohas. Other great looking birds there include the well-named Luzon Bleeding-heart and Ashy Ground-Thrush.
Late Afternoon Return to Manila. Overnight Stay Manila.
Section 2 - Bohol & Cebu
Day 5 - Bohol - Raja Silatuna Park
Pick up Hotel. Transfer to Airport for ﬂight to Tagbilaran, Bohol.
Arrive Tagbilaran. Transfer to Bee Farm. Lunch. Afternoon Birding at Raja Silatuna Park
Some bird species often found in Rajah Sikatuna National Park are the following: Silvery kingﬁsher, Rufous-lored kingﬁsher, Philippine Hawk-Owl, Philippine Frogmouth, Philippine Trogon, Brush Cuckoo, Black-faced Coucal, Philippine Nightjar, Philippine Coucal, Large-billed Crow, Pygmy Swiftlet, Spangled Drongo, Drongo Cuckoo, Nightbirds, Yellow-wattled Bulbul, and Streaked Ground-Babbler.
Day 6 - Bohol - Raja Silatuna Park
Breakfast. Continue Birding at Raja Sikatuna Park
Day 7 - Bohol
Birding, or option of snorkeling at Balicasag Island with whale and dolphin spotting cruise, inclusive of lunch
Day 8 - Cebu
Check out Accommodation. Fast Ferry to Cebu. Transfer to Accommodation. Free Time at Leisure
Day 9 - Olango Island
Bird Watching at Olango Island, Cebu
The Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary has become a major tourist attraction as it is one of the seven best-known ﬂyways in the world for migratory birds. The 920-hectare sanctuary is a haven for birds migrating from Siberia, Northern China, Japan, and other parts of northern Asia during the winter months.
Some species of the migratory birds that stop at the wildlife sanctuary are considered endangered.
Among the migratory birds in the island group are Chinese egrets, Asiatic dowitchers, Eastern curlews, plovers, sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwit, and Red Knot.
Section 3 - Davao, Cagayan De Oro, & Mt. Kitanglad
Day 10 - Davao
Transfer to Airport. Flight to Davao. Arrival Davao. Transfer to Accommodation. Afternoon Free Time
Day 11 - Eden Park and Philippine Eagle Center
Full Day - Eden Park At 3,000 feet above sea level. Eden now serves as home to over 100,000 pine trees, beautiful gardens, orchards, animal sanctuaries, endemic and lowland birds and other ﬂora and fauna thriving in their natural environment.
Day 12 - Cagayan De Oro
Check out Accommodation. Transfer to Airport. Flight to Cagayan De Oro
Arrive Cagayan. Transfer to Mt. Kitanglad Park Range. Check in Accommodation. Late Afternoon Birding
Mt Kitanglad National Park includes an extensive mountain range with about a dozen peaks, and is an important bird area and popular birdwatching site, with many threatened species, including the Philippine Eagle.
We search for Mindanao specialties including Apo Sunbird, McGregor’s Cuckooshrike, and the Mindanao Raquet-tail.
Day 13 - Mt. Kitanglad
Mt. Kitanglad - Full Day
Searching for one of the world’s rarest raptors, the monstrous Monkey-Eating Eagle, which competes with South America’s Harpy for position as the world’s largest eagle.
There are plenty of other great birds at Kitanglad, like Blue-capped Wood-Kingﬁsher, Rufous-headed Tailorbird, Black-and-Cinnamon Fantail, Cinnamon Ibon, and Apo Myna.
Nights will be spent camping and birding on the mountain where there will be time to search for Giant Scops Owl and the recently described Bukidnon Woodcock.
Day 14 - Mt. Kitanglad
Continue Birding at Mt. Kitanglad
Section 4 - Palawan
Day 15 - Palawan
Check out accommodation. Transfer to Airport. Flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Arrive Puerto Princesa. Check in Accommodation - Bambua Nature Park Resort
Day 16 - St. Paul's National Park, Palawan.
In the beautiful untouched forest within the park we will expect to find most of Palawan's endemics.
Species hopefully including the spectacular Palawan Peacock Pheasant, Blue Paradise-Flycatcher, Palawan Tit, Palawan Hornbill, Sulphur-bellied Bulbul, and Palawan Blue Flycatcher. Others may require more work, like the dazzling Palawan Peacock-Pheasant and Falcated Ground-Babbler.
Day 17 - Rasa Island and Balsahan Trail
Rasa Island is now the most reliable site in the Philippines for the endangered Philippine Cockatoo. The Balsahan trail is where we will have further chances to see some of the specialties like Palawan Flowerpecker, Yellow-throated Leafbird, and Melodious Babbler, an endemic that is absent from St Paul’s. Later in the day we drive to Narra where we will board a boat to the tiny island of Rasa. A small population of the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo still comes to roost here from the mainland in late afternoon.
Section 5 - North Luzon
Day 18 - Candaba Marsh, Luzon
Check out Accommodation. Transfer to Airport. Flight back to Manila
Arrive Manila. Travel to Subic via Candaba Marsh. Birding at Candaba. Continue journey to Subic. Arrive Subic Check in Accommodation
We search for Luzon specialties like Green Raquet-tail, White-lored Oriole, and other more widespread endemics like Philippine Falconet and Philippine Pygmy-Woodpecker. In addition to birding the forest, we will visit some wetlands loaded with waterbirds like the rare Philippine Duck, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Yellow & Cinnamon Bitterns, and Barred and Buff-banded Rails.
Day 19 - Subic, Luzon
Continue birding at Subic and Surrounding Areas
Day 20 - Subic, Luzon
Continue birding at Subic and Surrounding Areas
Day 21 - Manila
Check out accommodation. Transfer to Manila.
END OF TOUR
20 Nights Accommodation - AC Standard Room
All Meals and Drinks (during meal, non alcoholic)
All Airport - Hotel/Accommodation Transfers
All Land Transportation - Private AC Vehicle
All Internal Flights within the Philippines
Local Guides, Local Tax, Service Charge and Environmental Fee