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Mt. Makiling
(from Forestry entrance up to Mudspring only)

Date: April 7
Time: 8 am to 5pm
Weather: Weather was hot hot hot!
Birders: Lu-ann Fuentes, Kitty Arce, Andrew Galano, Jenny de la Cruz, Lala Española, Mads Bajarias

Due to some snafu, Lu-ann and I were not able to get up at 4am as originally planned. The sun was up
(scorching!) when we arrived at the bus station. I texted my apologies to Kitty and received a message saying that her group was also running late.

Lala, who resides in the UP Los Baños area, texted to say that she was free after lunch and promised to catch up with us on the main trail.

We finally started our walk at 8:45. The MyZoo group arrived 30 minutes earlier and had gone ahead.

Just a few steps past the Flat Rocks marker, Lu-ann and I spotted Red-keeled Flowerpeckers in a fruiting tree. There were also Philippine Bulbuls there. While straining hard to see the Red-keels in the canopy we chanced on a Coppersmith Barbet. Ah, the elusive Barbet. After 6 tries on Makiling and hearing its "pok pok pok pok" dozens of times in the past, I finally got to see one! Lala, a field biologist with extensive (and very exciting) experience, called it "the pokpok bird."

The fruiting tree where the birds were perched was bare of leaves, so we could see the sky clearly, and there we saw our first glimpses of bee-eaters. They were in flight and their profiles reminded me of Egyptian heiroglyphs. Very neat.

Farther up the road, we saw a Blue-throated single Bee-eater perched on a high branch. Caught in its beak was a rather large insect.

When we finally hooked up with the My Zoo group, they told us that they had spotted a Black-chinned Fruit Dove! The fruit-dove (perched next to another species of dove) was a few meters from the Mahogany Plantation along the main trail.

From Kitty's report: The black-chinned was unmistakable and huge with it's grey head and yellow beak! It was with a smaller dove....we couldn't identify what it was but it was darker and smaller the the Black-chinned though they perched side by side and then it was sort of scaring the Black-chinned away...and so it got scared and flew away and the smaller dove was just sitting there doing it's business...and flew a couple of minutes later.

The MyZoo group also saw two endemics.

From kitty's report:
1. White-eared brown dove - first seen by Andrew.....almost impossible to see but lucky that we did. This dove was seen a few feet away after the last house on the Makiling Trail.
2. Colasisi - heard and seen along the sharp curve...near the short-cut that cuts between the switchbacks.

Moving on, we we treated to the sight of Bee-eaters flying high up over the canopy.

Even higher than the bee-eaters we saw a pair of raptors. We got good views of the raptors but couldnt ID them. they were brownish with areas of white leading to the wingtips. my guess is honey buzzards but am not positive.

We saw squadrons on them flying throughout the day. On our way back to Manila (at sundown) we passed
an empty field a-swarm with them. Estimated over 50 Bee-eaters. All in all, we must've seen 100+ bee-eaters today.

1. Unidentified Raptors -- 2 believed to be Honey Buzzards
2. Black-chinned Fruit-dove -- 1 adult
3. Unidentified Dove -- Single perched next to the BCFD. kitty at one point wondered if it might've been an immature BCFD.
4. White-eared Brown Dove -- Single, well-camouflaged. Andrew saw it even without binocs
5. Colasisi --1
6. Coppersmith Barbet -- 1 seen
7. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker -- heard only.
8. Blue-tailed Bee-eater -- 1. We saw one perched
9. prominently near the "canopy," while more bee-eaters were flying about it.
10. Blue-throated Bee-eater -- 1
11. Red-crested malkoha -- 2. super-looks near entrance on our way down
Balicassiao -- 2
Philippine Bulbuls -- 6. Always in pairs!
Mangrove Blue-flycatcher -- 1. Seen perched silent in middle-storey. Weren't 100% sure about this one at the time of sighting. Finally settled on IDafter process of elimination.
Yellow Wagtail -- 1. Lala showed us the "canopy" and this was where we saw the wagtail. It flew down and landed on the road and walked unconcerned about us.
Unidentified Sunbird -- 1. Lu-ann and A saw a large sunbird on a dapdap tree. My guess is it was a spiderhunter since it was almost a size bigger then the usual sunbird. unsure though.
Orange-bellied flowerpecker -- 1 in Mudspring area.
18. Red-keeled Flowerpeckers -- c.10