The Jungle Babbler - Tropical Birding's newsletter
Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter! In this issue we feature a tour to the Philippines, which we are offering again next year, along with the usual tour status updates, new tours, new trip reports, and upcoming events.
TOUR SPOTLIGHT The Philippines: Endangered Endemics
While we regularly offer it as a custom tour, for 2017 we have a confirmed departure with space available. The Philippines is an Asian archipelago and endemic hotspot - over 240 species are found only there. What this means for the first time visitor is lots of life birds!
The tour takes has three phases: the main tour covers the larger islands of Luzon and Mindanao, and then there are two extensions, one to the western island of Palawan, and another to some of the smaller islands in the center of the archipelago (the Visayas). Multiple sites will be covered on the main tour to pick up not only more widespread Philippine endemics like Philippine Falconet, Philippine Woodpecker, Philippine Trogon and Blue-breasted Pitta, but also island specialties of Luzon and Mindanao. On Luzon some targets include Luzon Hornbill, Scale-feathered Malkoha, White-lored Oriole and White-fronted Tit, while on Mindanao we hope to see Blue-capped Wood-Kingfisher, Southern Silvery Kingfisher, Azure-breasted Pitta (the bird in the photo above), Writhed and Mindanao Hornbills, and Celestial Monarch, among many others. No trip to the Philippines would be complete without a search for one of the world’s greatest raptors, the enormous Great Philippine Eagle, which vies with only Harpy Eagle of South America and Steller’s Sea-Eagle of Japan for the title of "world’s largest".
Palawan is quite different from the rest of the Philippines, and has largely avoided the devastating habitat loss of some of the other islands. Palawan’s uniqueness is reflected in its bird list – 17 species are confined to the island, including some real stunners, like Blue Paradise-Flycatcher, Palawan Tit, Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, Palawan Blue Flycatcher, and Palawan Hornbill.
The Visayan islands of Negros, Cebu and Bohol are also on offer. These islands have received some recent conservation attention, as they have suffered the most dramatic loss of bird habitat in the archipelago. This means some of the targets on this leg of the tour are also some of the rarest birds on the planet, like Cebu Flowerpecker and Black Shama. Other rare species "on the table" will include Flame-templed Babbler, Samar Hornbill, Northern Silvery-Kingfisher, and the striking Visayan Wattled Broadbill.
Another standout feature of the Philippines is the phenomenal nightbirding, with a high diversity of endemic species to be searched for, including Philippine and Palawan Frogmouths; Philippine, Luzon, Mindanao, Everett’s, and Giant Scops-Owls; Luzon, Mindanao, and Chocolate Boobooks; Eastern Grass Owl, and Philippine Eagle-Owl!
This tour targets a slew of endemic species, many of which are rare, very local, and highly threatened by continuing habitat destruction in the country, and many that can rightly claim to be some of the best looking in all of Asia and even the world.
Philippine Frogmouth Philippine Eagle
Next tour dates:
Main tour (Luzon & Mindanao): 27 Feb – 15 March 2017
Palawan Pre-tour Extension: 24 – 27 Feb 2017
Visayas Post-tour Extension: 15 – 20 March 2017 Tour Leader: Charley Hesse Click here for more info on this tour
SPECIAL OFFERS We are offering a limited-time 10% discount on the following tours
BRAND NEW TOURS The Warbler Tour: 3 States, 38 Warblers 11-22 May 2017
This tour goes after every single eastern North American warbler, while visiting the migration Meccas of Magee Marsh and Tawas Point, but also taking in scenic locales for breeding southern warblers, like Shawnee State Forest in Ohio and Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Simply put: 3 states and 38 possible warbler species! Israel: Migration Hotspot at the Crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe - 14-25 March 2018
Israel offers some of the easiest and most awe-inspiring migration birding anywhere on the planet. On this tour we visit at the peak of spring migration, as well as search for local specialties as we bird our way through familiar, historic, and Biblical locales.
These are just some of the tours we offer; for the complete tour schedule, please see our website at www.tropicalbirding.com. Also don't forget that we run dozens of customized private tours every year to these and many other destinations; a custom tour can be an attractive option for groups that enjoy traveling together, for those who want to get off the beaten track, or for people whose work schedules make joining a set-departure tour difficult.
UPCOMING EVENTS Catch up with the Tropical Birding guides and staff at the following events.
British Birdfair, Rutland, UK19-21 August 2016. Come meet the Desiree D'Sylva and Sam Woods on our usual stand, at the largest bird festival in the World. Cape May Fall Bird Festival21-23 October 2016. Iain Campbell and Sam Woods will be attending this year's festival, giving photo procession workshops, and leading photography walks. Nature Visons Photo Expo18-20 November 2016. Iain and Cristina will be heading down to this weekend event in Manassas, Virginia.