Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas week at IRRI

I've never been on the farms for this, the last ADUC period of the year, so was keen to get a really good day list on Tuesday. The weather co-operated with the first sunny day in weeks, and the birds were great. An early highlight was a pair of Tawny Grassbirds sunning themselves in an obscure corner of the main experimental farm. I've never seen them on IRRI land before, the normal site is at the start of the DTRI track, so this was an auspicious start. As I was watching them a Yellow Bittern popped out of the reeds behind, my first in a couple of weeks. The Peregrine was in its usual spot high on a pylon in the main fields (it, or a second bird zoomed past me late in the morning as well). Another unusual sight was the Slaty-breasted Rail which showed itself again in almost the same spot as last week.

Wednesday was similarly bright, but with few extra birds. A pair of Grey-faced Buzzards were high over the upland farm, and a Common Kingfisher was also new.

I'll be away on Pandan Island from tomorrow for a week, so the next bulletin will be on 30th or 31st. Hopefully I'll get some interesting birds over Christmas! Merry Christmas to whoever's reading this...

Peregrine, still present at the farms and using the pylons on a regular basis.

A pair of Grey-faced Buzzard high over the upland farm on Wednesday morning. The higher of the two shows a strong white supercilium, a feature of juveniles of this species.

The juvenile again from a different angle

A big surprise on Tuesday morning was the sight of a pair of Tawny Grassbirds in the open on the main farm. I've only ever seen them at the DTRI farm before (where the Buttonquail track is). This bird posed nicely, and even did a bit of sun bathing, getting the rays to those hard to reach spots (below)

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