"Listening Walk" in Makiling

We planned a morning side-trip up Mt. Makiling before a birdwatching talk and activity in Sta. Rosa, Laguna  later in the afternoon. Jun, Jops, and I headed straight for the trail which was recently opened to the public again and had high hopes of seeing lots of birds. Unfortunately, we didn't.

Perfect setting for a Luzon Bleeding Heart... OR
our Makiling listening walk

The trail was actually very noisy with birdsong. We could hear tailorbirds, flowerpeckers, shamas, even hornbills calling from the trees but we saw very little. I did get to see a Greater Flameback for the first time in Makiling. We heard it hammering away on a high branch before Jun was able to spot it.

A very busy Greater Flameback

Further up the trail, we could constantly hear a Black-chinned Fruit-Dove as well as more White-browed Shamas, tailorbirds, flowerpeckers, and Philippine Bulbuls. Our "heard only" list was getting longer and longer! But we did get to see a White-eared Brown-Dove feeding on the small flowers of a tree.

On the way up, a lot of bikers and hikers caught up with us. The hikers came in large, noisy groups and we decided their noise would drive away any chances of seeing any more birds. We headed down the trail. We heard a raptor calling loudly from above us and saw a Crested Serpent Eagle soaring over the forest. We were also able to see a Yellow-bellied Whistler perched quite low and near the trail. Additional birds we heard on our listening walk were some Colasisi and a Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo. That cuckoo has been evading me!

Of course, we also turned our attention to the other creatures in the forest. I was able to take a photo of this Flying Dragon Draco volans, showing off its yellow dewlap (the fold of loose skin on its throat.) I always like seeing this in the forest given that they have such great camouflage when seen against the tree bark.

I think I actually "heard" it land on this tree trunk!

I was also very pleased with myself being able to take a nice photo of this butterfly I haven't seen before. Or maybe I have and just didn't look close enough to see its beautiful circular wing patterns. Good thing it stayed still long enough for at least one good photo!

Mycalesis ita
Thanks to my friends who id'd it for me =)
It was the same scenario going down... lots of listening going on =) The only additional birds we saw were a couple of Balicassiao near the trail entrance. Plus a huge Golden Orbweaver on its web.

Spiders make lovely subjects... until they start moving!

We left the trail mid-morning with quite a good list of mostly heard only birds. We dropped by the Philippine Carabao Center to buy some fresh and chocolate milk (yum!) and also passed by one of the small bridges in the UPLB campus. We were hoping to see the Indigo-banded Kingfisher but didn't. We did get to see a couple of Yellow-wattled Bulbuls though! We were also treated to top views (and side views, and bottom views) of lots of Striated Swallows flying around the area.

I think they are my favorite kind of bulbul =)

So, it wasn't such a birdy morning but we did get to bird all the same. I think one full day of birding in Makiling is due very soon =)


  1. I miss Makiling! Great perspective, Maia!
    (I think the butterfly is a Mycalesis sp.)

    1. Thank you, Trinket! And thanks for the id on the butterfly too! I love the circles on its wings! =)