Maria Makiling National Park, Los Banos
Sunny and Partly cloudy
Nilo Arribas, Jr and Patty Adversario
Report and Bird List: Patty Adversario
(Pictures): Nilo Arribas, Jr
Since the Aseana birding was going to be cancelled, we thought
we'd go to Makiling for the weekend. The prospect of letting
good weather on a weekend pass us by was too good to waste.
lingered for a while behind the TREES guest lodge where the
car was parked. There was a platform that gave a good view
of the treetops that grew from the slope below the lodge.
We spotted a pair of Balicassiao flitting among the branches.
started our leisurely climb to Station 2, and allowed noisy
groups of weekend picnickers --some carrying loud radios --
pass us by. We won't be able to see any birds if we walked
with them. I'm glad we took our time. A few paces ahead, we
saw a pair of Philippine Falconets perched on a tree just
slightly above eye level (maybe lower for Nilo because Im
smaller). We spent about 15 minutes just ogling at the pair,
and they obliged us by not moving from their perch. Around
us, we heard the cackle of Philippine Bulbuls and the hoot
of a Black- Chinned Fruit Dove.
up at Station 3, just before entering the wooded portion of
a mahogany plantation, we suddenly saw a raptor glide toward
us. It pierced the air with a loud wheew-wheew as it flew
right above us --TWICE --before soaring towards the other
end of the mountain. We couldn't figure out what it was on
field, but Nilo's pictures which showed the raptor's distinct
white band spanning its wings gave it away. It was a Crested
Station 4, Nilo saw a pair of Philippine Tailorbirds (a lifer
for him) and a Red-crested Malkoha. They flitted about the
trees and were very elusive. We also heard the Philippine
Pygmy Woodpecker, saw Olive-backed Sunbirds, and a Red-Keeled
Flowerpecker feeding from the flowers of a tree.
stopped for about five minutes at Station 6 and decided to
make a slow trip back down to make it back to the city by
4pm. Coming down, we kept hearing the familiar tonk-tonk-tonk
of the Coppersmith Barbet, but didn't see any.
Station 5, we saw a pair of Bar-Bellied Cuckoo Shrikes. Exactly
at 12:01, we spotted the long-awaited Philippine Trogon in
clear view. The light was good, and it showed off the trogons'
beautiful yellow. We were ogling at it for about five minutes,
and could have stood there much longer were it not for a noisy
group of picnickers (again) that was coming up the road. In
a few minutes, the gorgeous bird was gone.
later spotted a nesting pair of Elegant Tits that had made
their home in the hollow arm of a tree. A noisy Philippine
Bulbul finally made an appearance, and obliged by staying
put on a branch for about 5 minutes. It wasn't really a plain-looking
dull brown bird as pictures in the field guide showed. In
good light, its color, especially around the neck, was a beautiful
we saw another raptor emerge from the trees above us. Once
again, we couldn't identify it on field, but Nilo's pictures
of the raptor's flight silhouette helped. Distinct features
of the Oriental Honey-Buzzard's were its long wings and tail.
Its tail was closed while in flight, and the dark tail had
a broad white bar.
were still talking excitedly about our second raptor when
Nilo made a sign to be quiet as he pointed to a White-Browed
Shama perched on a bush by the roadside. It didn't stay long
and swooped down the slope when it heard more people coming
We were back down at the platform hoping to see more malkohas,
but our surprise treat was the Spotted Wood Kingfisher. We
nearly missed it because it didn't call. It was silently perched
on a tree near the kitchen, unmindful of the racket from the
kitchen helpers who were having a break. We spent about 15
minutes just admiring its beautiful colors. I even had time
to draw it, while Nilo kept firing away at his camera and
used up a whole roll of film. Definitely, not bad for a day's
birding even if the trek was just halfway up to Maria Makiling.
Honey-Buzzard (Crested Honey-Buzzard) Pernis ptilorhynchus
Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela --1
falconet Microhierax erythrogenys -2
fruit-dove Ptilinopus leclancheri - HO
Malkoha Phaenicophaeus superciliosus - 1
Trogon Harpactes ardens - 1
Wood Kingfisher Actenoides lindsayi - 1
Barbet Megalaima Haemacephala - HO
Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos maculates - HO
Tit Parus elegans - 2
Cuckoo Shrike Coracina Striata- 2
bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus - 2, more HO
Dicrurus balicassius -2
Shama Copsychus Luzoniensis-1
tailorbird Orthotomus castaneiceps - 2
sunbird Nectarinia jugularis - 4, more HO
flowerpecker Dicaeum australe - 1, more HO