On the morning of the 3rd I took an early boat (5:30 am) to the park, arriving on the dot of 6. I hung around the ranger station for what seemed like forever, becoming ever more convinced that it was not going to be my day. Finally at about 7:45, long after the rangers' had said it wasn't coming the Palawan Peacock Pheasant showed up. At first it just called, from some 30m or so into the forest, and didn't do much else. Then it just made up its mind and walked straight towards me. It is totally habituated to people, and clearly came to me looking for food. It passed about 4 feet away, before giving a funny squawk and disappearing back into the forest. A surreal few minutes with one of the most spectacular birds I've ever seen! After that I walked back to Sabang through the forest. More Palawan Hornbills, as well as Great Slaty Woodpecker and the gorgeous local race of Greater Flameback in adjacent trees. A steep section of the trail allows good views over the forest in one place, and a party of Palawan Flowerpeckers showed well here, as did a pair of Yellow-throated Leafbirds. Close to Sabang I found a huge fruiting fig stuffed full of Green Imperial Pigeons and Thick-billed Green Pigeons.
Spent the afternoon in Sabang. Birds around the town included a beautiful Olive-backed Sunbird (of Palawan endemic race aurora) feeding its young, Olive-winged and Sulphur-bellied Bulbuls, Little Spiderhunter, White-vented Shama, Slender-billed Crow. In the evening Augusto Asis took me night birding, and after much effort we called up an amazing Palawan (Javan) Frogmouth, but only heard Palawan Scops Owl.
The last day in Sabang I did the forest trail, which was very quiet apart from Palawan Hornbill and Black-naped Monarch. A lovely Malaysian Plover on the beach was nice. The fruiting tree was still full of Pigeons, but nothing new, so I went out of town instead trying Augusto's suggested sites. Small Minivet, Ashy Drongo and best of all Ashy-headed Babbler were the result.
White-vented Shama. A Palawan endemic, very common, even in disturbed habitat. This was behind my hut at Dam-Dam lodge in Sabang
Thick-billed Green Pigeon, male. In The Philippines restricted to Palawan and Mindoro
Palawan Peacock-Pheasant. This stunning male has been frequenting the ranger station at the underground river for the last few years. A Palawan endemic
Palawan Hornbill. Another Palawan endemic, but regularly seen
Palawan (Javan) Frogmouth. A potential split, this taxon is restricted to Palawan and nearby islands
Palawan Blue Flycatcher. Another Palawan endemic, and one of the easiest to find in the forest at St Paul's N.P.
Olive-backed Sunbird of the Palawan race aurora. This stunning bird appears to be feeding a large juicy spider to its youngsters.
Green Imperial Pigeon, hiding in a huge fruiting tree.
Greater Flameback, ssp. erythrocephalus. This Palawan endemic race is one of several candidates for splits in this highly variable species in The Philippines. The quantity of yellow in the crown suggests this is a female.
Great Slaty Woodpecker. Supposedly declining on Palawan (it occurs nowhere else in The Philippines), I found at least two parties of these in three days, and heard another.
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch ssp. palawana. The red bill differentiates this from the very similar Sulhur-billed Nuthatch of the rest of The Philippines.
Palawan Tit. Another Palawan endemic, and very lovely.
Little Spiderhunter, ssp. dilutior. Occurs on several islands in the south of The Philippines.
Millipede spp. curled up in a defensive ball.
Mangrove Snake. At least 10 seen in 40 minutes in the mangroves.