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.

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