A last-minute decision to go to Subic for the weekend saw myself Richard and Claire making the 4 hour drive to one of the best lowland forest patches on Luzon. Saturday afternoon was spent exploring the bat colony (both Philippine Giant Fruit Bat and Golden-crowned Fruit Bat photographed) and the lower section of roads connecting the bomb bunkers. A good selection of birds here including Whiskered Tree-Swift, Coleto, Philippine Green Pigeon, White-eared Brown Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Philippine Serpent Eagle, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Red-crested Malkoha, Guiabero, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Luzon Flameback, Luzon Hornbill and best of all, Green Racquet-tails. The Racquet-tails were quite noisy, but impossible to see until they moved by which time only a few seconds of in-flight view was possible, still a great bird though!
Sunday morning was devoted to the forest trail up to hill 394. While none of the 3 Subic specials I was gunning for showed themselves (White-fronted Tit, White-lored Oriole and Rufous Coucal) we did get a good selection. Great views of White-bellied Woodpecker, also Sooty Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, Purple Needletail, Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Blackish Cuckoo-Shrike, Philippine Falconet, Emerald Dove, along with many of the same species seen on Saturday. On the way back we were shaken out of our reverie by an almighty racket made by 4 or 5 Rufous Hornbills shouting their heads off. Despite the obvious close proximity of the birds we didn't get so much as a glimpse, extremely frustrating!
The long drive home was made a little less tedious by the sight of a dozen or so White-winged Black Terns in breeding plumage bouncing around over a pond.