Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week ending 29th May - IRRI, Batangas crossing

A combination of end of year exams, blistering heat and the departure of most spring migrants makes this one of the least productive times of year in The Philippines. Well, that's my excuse for not posting anything for a couple of weeks.

Very little movement overall on the farms, with most passage birds disappearing by mid-month. An extraordinary exception to this was an Indigo-banded Kingfisher which appeared on one of the streams crossing the farm, on Tuesday 25th. These are normally restricted to the fast-flowing rocky streams flowing through forest that come off Mt. Makiling, so it was a real surprise to find one on the farm stream, which is slow-moving, is about narrow enough to jump across, and is at least 1 km from any sign of forest. Probably a youngster striking out for new territory, but if so it was heading in the wrong direction!

An interesting breeding record was the sight of a Barred Buttonquail with a group of newly hatched chicks scurrying through the grass.

Elsewhere, at TREES Lodge most of the fruit on the large fig were destroyed by the storms, so no luck there. I spent 26th - 29th diving at Sabang (pictures on Flickr here), and on the way back saw a group of 3 Red-necked Phalaropes, quite an unusual sighting here.

White-bellied Munia

Barred Buttonquail chick

Cinnamon Bittern, looking very smart.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Week ending 8th May - IRRI, TREES Lodge

A hot, dry week, ending with a huge blow out on Sunday when we caught the edge of a tropical storm passing to the south. Little to report on the farm, bar the absence of any interesting migrants! Even the Wood Sandpipers have disappeared, maybe they knew the storm was coming.

Up at TREES lodge the fig tree is again in fruit. Not much about on Sunday, bar a couple of Coppersmiths and some Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrikes, but I'm sure the action will pick up in the week.

Spotted Dove

Common Moorhen

Barred Rail

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week ending 1st May - IRRI

Amazingly the Peregrine has made a return after I thought it had headed north. Lots of Oriental Pratincoles around now, and literally thousands of Yellow Wagtails, all ssp. tschutschensis. I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen taivana here, though they should occur.

Around the house both Philippine Scops Owl and Philippine Hawk Owl calling regularly, and Philippine Hawk-Cuckoos going demented at ludicrously early hours.

Yellow Wagtail, M. f. tschutschensis. Hundreds in the fields at the moment

Scaly-breasted Munia.

Red Turtle Dove.

Oriental Pratincole. Behaving very territorially at the moment, may be getting ready to breed here.