Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week ending 17th October - IRRI

Much of the rice is being harvested this week, so previously undisturbed fields of gently swaying rice are now large mud holes with stubbly patches. This cycle of planting and harvesting the rice surely accounts for cycles in observations of some species, particularly rallids. Little change in the birds this week, with still no sign of passage waders other than those which have been here for a few weeks.

An interesting breeding record was the sight of a Slaty-breasted Rail with a group of 3 or 4 hatchlings on the upland farm.

Schrenk's Bittern. Originally identified by me as a juvenile Cinnamon Bittern, this is quite obviously a female Schrenk's. My misidentification was due mainly to poor illustrations of this species in my field guides, coupled with a hesitation to claim what is quite a rare bird in the Philippines, and a lifer for me. Thanks to Des Allen for pointing out the error. Post corrected 7th Sept 2011.

Brown Shrike adult male lucionensis. A very striking individual with an almost white head.

Brown Shrike juvenile, probably of ssp confusus. A much browner head and nape, though still paler than the mantle in some poses.

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