Post Bird Festival Trips

Highlights of the various birding trips around Dumaguete taken by members of the WIld Bird Club of the Philippines.

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Birding Around Dumaguete
by Maia Tañedo

The recently concluded 7th Philippine Bird Festival in Dumaguete provided birders with the perfect opportunity (or excuse) to go birding in the province of Negros Oriental as well as in some of the nearby islands.

The  bird photos in this article were taken in various sites around Negros to illustrate the species seen by the different groups. The photos were taken by Negros-based WBCP members Clemn Macasiano Jr. and Marester Macasiano.

The photos for the Siquijor trip, RORO trip, and Sibulan Station trip were taken on site by WBCP member Christian Perez.

The video of the Flame-templed Babbler was taken by Nicky Icarangal and edited by Adri Constantino.

The Famous Spotted Wood Kingfisher of the Bird Festival

  • CENTROP, Silliman University
  • Many birders made a quick trip to Centrop for great views of a very cooperative Spotted Wood Kingfisher that allowed itself to be photographed and digiscoped for long stretches of time.

Spotted Wood Kingfisher photo by Clemn Macasiano Jr.

Quests for the Flame-Templed Babbler
The Flame-templed Babbler is a Negros and Panay endemic and was one of the most sought-after birds in Dumaguete.  Here are peeks from  trips to three different sites where the babbler was seen.


video of a Flame-Templed Babbler courtesy of Birding Philippines
video by Nicky Icarangal and edited by Adrian Constantino

  • Malangwa River (traverses Bgys. Timbao, Mampas, and Liptong in the Municipality of Bacong, Negros Oriental)
  • Birders Present: Karen Ochavo, Christian Perez, Ruben Bala, Rene Vendiola (local guide)
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Asian Palm-Swift
  2. Philippine Bulbul (guimarasensis race)
  3. Balicassiao (mirabilis race)
  4. Elegant Tit (albescens race)
  5. Flame-templed Babbler
  6. Philippine Tailorbird (rabori race)
  7. Blue-headed Fantail (albiventris race)
  8. White-vented Whistler (winchelli race)
  9. Crimson Sunbird (also saw an empty nest according to guide)
  10. Visayan Flowerpecker (Black-belted Flowerpecker )
  11. Yellowish White-eye (Golden-yellow White-eye )

    Visayan Flowerpecker by Clemn Macasiano Jr.

    White-vented Whistler by Marester Macasiano

    Blue-headed Fantail by Clemn Macasiano Jr.

  • Other highlights of the trip: Malangwa River is a very promising location for forest birding especially for Negros endemics. At the time of this trip, the river was narrow and shallow looking more like a stream; at sections where we crossed it, deepest water level was around 2 feet. The trail was narrow, good enough for a single file of people, and quite challenging–up and down steep, rocky slopes, passing through the river and stepping over river boulders. According to Rene Vendiola, best time for birding is during breeding season around January-February.

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  • Lake Balinsasayao, Sibulan, Negros Oriental
  • Birders Present: Karen Ochavo, Christian Perez, Ruben Bala
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Savanna Nightjar
  2. Fork-tailed Swift (Pacific Swift)
  3. Philippine Bulbul (guimarasensis race)
  4. Flame-templed Babbler
  • Other highlights of the trip: Not many other bird species were seen around the viewing deck and having a boat ride was disallowed because of the strong winds and rainfall. A surprise though was spotting (or flushing!) 4 Savanna Nightjars lying in the middle of the dirt road going down from the Twin Lakes at early evening.

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  • Twin Lakes Natural Park (Balinsasayao and Danao)
  • Birders Present: Alain Pascua, Rey Sta Ana, Mark Jason Argallon, Joni Acay, Nikki Dyanne Realubit
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Flame-templed Babbler Stachyris speciosa
  2. Philippine Tailorbird Orthotomus castaneiceps
  3. White-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina ostenta
  4. Balicassiao Dicrurus balicassius mirabilis race

    White-winged Cuckoo Shrike by Clemn Macasiano Jr.

  • Other highlights of the trip: Had a glimpse of the male Crimson sunbird Aethopyga siparaja and the Blue-crowned Racquet-tail Prioniturus discuru; Had a long, hard look at the male Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma; Had a taste of the fruit of the Ficus tree the Flame-templed Babbler was feeding on 😉

Taking Out Our Foreign Guests
Some birders took out some of our foreign delegates to some birding sites around Negros. Here’s a peek at what they saw.

  • Lake Balinsasayao, Sibulan, Negros Oriental
  • Birders Present: Marts Cervero, Alex Tiongco, Charo Lim and Takayoshi Murate
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Visayan Tarictic
  2. Balicassiao
  3. Flaming Sunbird
  4. Crimson Sunbird
  5. Crested Serpent Eagle

    Flaming Sunbird by Marester Macasiano

    Crimson Sunbird by Clemn Macasiano Jr.

    Crested Serpent Eagle by Marester Macasiano

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  • Lake Balanan, Siaton, Negros Oriental
  • Birders Present: Marts Cervero, Alex Tiongco, Gina and Martin Johnson, Jimmy Chew, Mark Wallbank
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Javan Pond-Heron
  2. Pink-necked Green-Pigeon
  3. Fork-tailed Swift
  • Other highlights of the trip: The place has century old Balete trees but they were not fruiting during that time. It was too quiet, almost haunting… felt a bit spooky walking on the boardwalk around one side of the lake

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  • Baranggay Baybay Maslog, Sibulan
  • Birders Present: Tan Ju Lin, Tonji Ramos, Sylvia Ramos, Ixi Mapua, Mel Tan, Ruben Bala, Carmela Balcazar, Henry Ocier,
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Red-necked Phalarope

Birding Siquijor
A group of birders also made their way to the neighboring island of Siquijor in search of the Streak-breasted Bulbul, an endemic to the island. Just a ferry-ride from Dumaguete, they went around five sites on the island.  

  • Salagdoong Man Made Forest, Olang, Maria, Siquijor
  • Birders Present: Jasmin Meren, Anna Gonzales, Cristina Cinco, Diuvs de Jesus, Jun Osano, Leni Sutcliffe, Peter Sutcliffe, Mailyn Yangco, Rosario Lim, Des Cambaliza, Chee-Anne Rono, Ivan Sarenas, Christian Perez, Ruben Bala, Linda Gocon, Karen Ochavo
  • Notable Species Seen: Streak-breasted Bulbul
  • Other highlights of the trip: The group also went birding in Cambugahay Falls, Capilay Spring Park, Dondeezco Resort and Canghaling in San Juan City.

    Streak-breasted Bulbul by Christian Perez

RORO Birding
Christian Perez brought his vehicle to Dumaguete via a RORO (Roll-on/Roll-off) ship accompanied by Ruben Bala. They were able to bird in three different locations on their way back to Manila. Here are some of their notes from the different stops they made.

  • FISH POND OUTSIDE RORO and on the FERRY

    The Bacolod-Iloilo ferry by Christian Perez

  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Red-necked Phalarope
  2. Javan Pond-Heron (5, in breeding plumage)
  3. 2 Aleutian Terns – this was only the 3rd time these birds were recorded in the Philippines

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  •  Sibaliw Station, Barangay Tagusip, Buruanga, Aklan

    Christian Perez and Ruben Balan in Northwest Panay with famed bird guid Jun Tacud - photo by Christian Peres

  • Notable Species Seen:
  1.  Visayan Tarictic Hornbill
  2. Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeon
  3. White-throated Jungle-Flycatcher
  4. White-vented Whistler
  5. Philippine Frogmouth

    Visayan Tarictic Hornbill by Christian Perez

  • Other highlights of the trip: It was a tough trip requiring hours of hiking in the forest. We did not see nor heard our main target bird, the Negros Bleeding-Heart.

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  •  Old marble quarry, Ponderosa, Barangay San Isidro, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
  • Birders Present: Ruben Bala, Peter Stevens (WBCP member based in Puerto Galera), Christian Perez
  • Notable Species Seen:
  1. Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker
  2. Purple Needletail at close range (we could see the needles)
  • Other highlights of the trip: We also saw a large group of House Swift at Escarceo Point in Puerto Galera
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One thought on “Post Bird Festival Trips

  1. Hi I need to contact Ms Nikki Realubit. As UPLB Grad School Secretary, she needs to contact me about her thesis. Thanks. Mark Arboleda (markdondi@gmail.com)

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