Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week ending 16th January - Makiling, IRRI

After the excitement of the last couple of weeks this was a nice quiet week at IRRI. The Peregrine is still present, and visible almost every day. A Plain Bush Hen mid-week was a big surprise.

On Sunday morning I tried the Makiling trail at dawn looking for thrushes. There was quite a dawn chorus, with a Spotted Wood-Kingfisher calling near me, and several Philippine Hawk-Owls responding to my tape. One landed close, but the light was too poor for a photograph. Half a kilometre or so up the trail I disturbed a thrush from the trail, but it didn't fly far, and soon I had views in poor light of a Scaly Thrush, my first in The Philippines. I think there was also a second bird, but it didn't hang around.

Back on the farms a Brahminy Kite drifted over, and soon snagged a large rat. Lots of Great Egrets around, and several large mixed flocks of hirundines and swifts (mainly Barn Swallow and Island Swiftlet with a few Palm Swifts). A big surprise was Green Sandpiper in one of the paddies, another first for me here.

A gorgeous Long-tailed Shrike with some kind of bug which it had just picked up off the ground

Green Sandpiper in a flooded paddy. These are very scarce migrants in The Philippines

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