Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Philippine Hawk Cuckoo at IRRI - 18 Feb

A very strange record this afternoon of a juvenile Philippine Hawk Cuckoo at IRRI. It was in trees next to the Open University building at the northeast gate. Initially I'd assumed it was a small accipiter as it took off from the ground and flew up into the trees. It perched nicely however, and I was amazed to see what I'd always been led to believe was a true forest bird in what was essentially farmland/ parkland. My first ever sighting of this species was outside my house at IRRI staff housing, a garden type environment, so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised but since then I've got used to brief flybys in a variety of forest habitats. Kennedy says "Lowland to high elevation virgin and second growth forest... shy and secretive foraging in all forest levels from near the ground to the canopy". To which can clearly be added "Sometimes sits around in the open in farms and gardens"

Juvenile Philippine Hawk Cuckoo

Common Kingfishers still in the fields.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week ending 16th Feb - IRRI

Not much to report this week. Few chances for midweek birding as planning for school camps is taking up a lot of spare time. A small flock of Oriental Pratincoles were present on the farms early in the week and a small flock of Ashy Minivets were at the staff housing complex.

One moment of excitement came via Fred Serrano who emailed me about Blue-breasted Quail he'd seen on the upland farms. They were close to where I normally walk the dogs, so on Sunday I varied the dogs' route slightly, taking them through some dry fields, lo and behold two Blue-breasted Quail flushed in 2 minutes! Long overdue. Hopefully I'll get some pictures soon.

Owl activity is on the increase, with Philippine Scops and Philippine Hawk Owl calling regularly outside my house. A Philippine Nightjar has also taken up residence in one of the coconut trees in the garden, waking us regularly with its gorgeous churr at about 3am. Fiona is less impressed however!

Zebra Dove. A really good looking dove, a pity they're so common!
Oriental Pratincole. A small flock arrived during the week.

Swinhoe's/ Pintail Snipe.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week ending 2nd Feb - IRRI

A quiet week on the farms in general, though numbers of Wood Sandpiper and Whiskered Tern are both high. A Peregrine and a Common Kestrel had a mid-air tussle on the upland farms on Friday, the Common Kestrel was still present on the main farm on Saturday. Two Little Grebes were displaying to each other on one of the farm ponds on Sunday.

In the botanical gardens an Asian Brown Flycatcher provided a diversion.

At staff housing two Striped Flowerpeckers were present on Sunday.

Wood Sandpiper. Plenty about at the moment.
Buff-banded Rail
Little Grebe.
Striped Flowerpecker at IRRI staff housing