Saturday, September 15, 2012

San Juan and IRRI - week ending 16 Sept

The heavy rains continued this week, with consequently few decent birding opportunities. I got down to the fields a couple of times, to find the first Brown Shrikes, Yellow Wagtails and Common Kingfishers of autumn. Other migrants included more Pacific Golden Plovers in various stages of moult and several Long-toed Stints.

On Sunday Richard and I headed over to San Juan to see if any waders had arrived. The water levels were very high, with few waders in evidence. A Greenshank with unusually yellow legs caused some brief excitement. Other than that little of interest other than Marsh Sandpipers, Whimbrel, more Pacific Golden Plovers, several Tawny Grassbirds and a small flock of Pink-necked Green Pigeons.

Red-keeled Flowerpecker at IRRI Staff Housing
 Intermediate Egret
Pacific Golden Plovers are passing through in some numbers, and in a variety of stages of plumage. Many are in full non-breeding dress...
 ...while others retain bits and pieces.
Common Kingfishers have turned up this week for the first time.

 Strange purple mangrove crab
 Mud-skipper sp.
The Fiddler Crabs in the mangroves are very entertaining..
... and come in both left-handed and right-handed varieties
I believe this is a Dog-faced Water Snake, Cerberus rynchops in a drainage ditch lined with mangrove trees on the fish farm at San Juan. The identity of reptiles in the Philippines can be tricky to establish, so it is perfectly possible I am entirely wrong. If anyone can correct me with the real information I would really appreciate it.