With a distance of 130km (80 miles) or roughly a three to 4 hours drive from Manila, San Juan, Batangas is one of the popular destinations for an out-of-town escape. For the beach, there’s the white sand stretch of Laiya. Climbers and nature lovers also hike up the peak of Mt Daguldol. But there’s also a different type of crowd that flocks the areas of Balagbag and Pinagbayan villages of the municipality — the migratory birds. Making birding in San Juan Batangas one of the main draws for birders even beyond the migration season.
I had the chance to do birding in Coron and Busuanga when I last visited that area of Palawan. When I returned to Palawan for a Balabac trip, I made sure to allot a day to do some birding in Puerto Princesa before taking the trip. I availed of Totic’s Palawan Birding and Photography to help me spot the birds here which came highly recommended by friends. Palawan has around 27 endemic birds and here are my encounter with some of them for a day of birding.
If you plan to visit the recently inaugurated and redeveloped Arroceros Urban Forest Park by bike, I would advise to defer for a later time. The park doesn’t allow bikes in the area, let alone, on the pavement going to the park. Since it is still in development (despite being inaugurated already) there are no bike racks in the area. I asked the guards where I can leave my bike securely and they can’t give a definite answer. I was excited to check out the re-opened “last lung of Manila” and do a little birding so I decided to ride all the way from Pasig.
This posts serves to document the birds I encountered in Culion, Palawan. Culion is part of the 200+ islands in the Calamianes group of islands. This includes the other three major islands Coron, Busuanga and Linapacan. Birding in this area shares similar sets of species and endemics. A nice companion to this post Birds of Culion, is the Birds of Coron and Busuanga which I did early part of the year.
Birding has been one of the activities I enjoy while traveling lately. It gets me really immersed in nature. It’s a calming activity. And being able to observe bird behavior and the species found in the area gives me an idea on the state of the environment is. My travel to Coron and Busuanga got me excited to spot more birds in the province. Palawan alone has 23 bird species out of the 218 endemic found in the Philippines. Birds of Coron and Busuanga is a collection of birds I encountered from my last trip. Surely bumped my list of bird lifers.