Monday, September 27, 2010

Week ending 26th September - IRRI, Makiling

A nice week on the farms, with interesting records including Red Turtle Dove and Australian Lark (scarce residents), Grey Wagtail (migrant, first record this autumn) and Brahminy Kite (Philippine resident, occasional birds wander through IRRI). Numbers of Yellow Wagtails have built up very quickly, with most identifiable birds being of subspecies tschutschensis.

I finally got up to Makiling on Sunday and met up with another expat birder. An excellent day with plenty of endemics on show. First birds were a small group of Greater Flameback, which disturbed a small accipiter which was almost certainly a Besra. In the same area a small flock of Balicassiao. Several bird parties through the trees. Constituent birds included Elegant Tit, Stripe-headed Rhabdornis, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Black-naped Monarch, Philippine Bulbul, Yellow-wattled Bulbul, Arctic Warbler, Philippine Woodpecker, Flaming Sunbird, Yellowish White-eye and Red-keeled Flowerpecker. Several Scale-feathered Malkoha were calling at various points, with at least 2 being seen. Other calling birds not seen included many Philippine Tailorbird, and White-browed Shama, and singles of Philippine Coucal and Plaintive Cuckoo. White-eared Brown Dove were also calling constantly, with several sighted. In gaps in the forest Glossy Swiftlet and House Swift were overhead. It was a very good day for raptors. Apart from the unidentified accipiter already mentioned a pair of distant Philippine Falconets were nice, and both Philippine Serpent Eagle and Philippine Hawk-Eagle were seen overhead. A third large raptor overhead could even have been the endemic race of Oriental Honey Buzzard, but only extremely brief views were obtained. The Hawk-Eagle was a particularly exciting find. In very heavy moult, the bird had a strongly, but narrowly barred tail combined with narrowly barred underwings, broad wings and a buffy breast and belly.

Snipe spp.

Snipe spp.

Brown Shrike ssp. lucionensis

Yellow Wagtail juvenile

Yellow Wagtail M. f. tschutschensis

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