Philippines trip

To: "Richard Johnstone" <>
Subject: Philippines trip
From: Julie Neumann <>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:04:11 +1100
Wow Richard! 
What a hair raising experience. Nice to know that you all carried on to Palawan 
with true twitching courage.  Interesting to hear that you were able to debrief 
with others who had shared the same experience, implying that it is not so 
rare. I feel very sorry for Carlito but have no desire to go looking for that 
lovely critically endangered Philippine Eagle.

On 22/02/2015, at 9:44 PM, Richard Johnstone wrote:

> Hi all.
> I returned home yesterday from a Philippines birding trip. This was very
> successful in regard to the birds we saw, however in Mindanao we encountered
> a problem in a supposedly safe area in the north of the island, on Mt
> Kitanglad. It appears that the army mistook our party for a group of NPA
> guerrillas that they were pursuing through the mountain forest. The article
> in the attached url gives an outline of what occurred.
> birdwatchers-caught-up-in-Philippines-gun-battle.html
> Our party was comprised of 3 Danish birders, 2 British and a British guide,
> myself plus our local guide and one of his sons.
> The local guide Carlito was severely wounded when he was shot in the left
> arm , not right arm as it states in the article, he has undergone surgery in
> nearby Cagayan de Oro, and is now recovering. He will need ongoing surgery
> for a shattered arm, and the army is taking care of his needs.
> Carlito is a well known bird guide in the area and runs the lodge on Mt
> Kitanglad, the only accommodation in the area. We were there to see
> Philippine eagle, this was our second day in that particular site, very near
> the eagle viewing location. It is a shame that Carlito has, at least for the
> moment, lost his livelihood and good health, and birders who have seen him
> finding and identifying birds on Mt Kitanglad will be very concerned about
> his situation. The immediate future of birding on the mountain is probably
> doubtful as well.
> I will be keeping in contact in with people in the Philippineswho can tell
> me and the other birders in the group how Carlito is progressing.
> We all decided to continue on our scheduled 5 day trip to Palawan after the
> incident, it was a  good decision, we were able to discuss what had happened
> and work ourselves through the detail, to debrief a lot with people who had
> been through the same experience. It was very bonding for all of us.
> The birds and scenery in Palawan were also nice, it helped end the trip on a
> more positive note. No eagle though!
> Richard
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