Helen lived in Tel Aviv for a couple of months and Rob visited twice for some targetbirding.
A 2 week independent trip to the Philippines, visiting Luzon and Palawan. Originally we had planned to visit Mindanao (Kitanglad, PICOP) but it turned out that the guides were already fully booked by tour companies. Instead we decided to include a visit to northern Luzon and do a tracking to Sawa camp for the Whiskered Pitta.
With trips planned this year in March and December we decided in June the gap between those two trips was to big. So we fit in a one week birding trip to Malaysia. We decided on Malaysia because of ease of travel, season, and of course a chance for Rail-babbler. With Rail-babbler easily found on our first afternoon this made for a perfect bonus-trip. Our 8 days of birding we divided between the two popular birding spots Taman Negara and Fraser’s Hill.
A three week independent trip to Sulawesi and Halmahera, a popular combination of islands since it offers two very different sets of species with lots of endemics. In the first two weeks we visited Central and North Sulawesi (Lore Lindu, Tangkoko, Dumago Bone and Gunung Ambang). The last week we travelled to Halmahera to visit three sites: Binagara, Galela and Weda.
Since Martijn Hammers, Sjoerd Radstaak and Mark de Vries were in Sabah (Borneo) around this time (as a part of their longer trip) we decided to join them for a bit. Because they had more time we decided we would join them in Danum (and do Sepilok & Kinabatangan by ourselves while they were already there). After Danum we went to Mt. Kinabalu together, from where we travelled back, and they went on to Poring and Rafflesia.
Southern India: 2 weeks: October/November
This was our first trip to India and since we had heard good things about the South we planned a two week trip to South India. Due to work obligations we could not go any later than the last two weeks of October, which was a bit tricky since this was at the ending of the monsoon period. We managed to see all our main target which included all South India endemics. India is a beautiful country and besides all the special birds there are, we also really enjoyed the friendly people, delicious food and beautiful scenery.