More Birds on the Farm

We are now at 77 bird species at the farm! We have seen 3 new bird species since I posted my farm bird list. Tonji saw 2 Stripe-headed Rhabdornis while he was showing Romy Ocon the Father of Philippine bird photography around the farm. That same weekend we also saw a Grey Wagtail, and several Japanese Leaf Warblers.

We are well into migratory season for birds here in the Philippines. It’s the time when birds fly in from colder climates to winter here. Our first migrant for the season was either the Brown Shrike or the Barn Swallow. I will take better notes next season, writing the exact dates of the first sightings.  Next we got a Kamchatka Leaf Warbler. And now Japanese Leaf Warbler and Grey Wagtail.

Japanese Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus xanthodryas

The Japanese Leaf Warbler and Kamchatka Leaf Warbler look very, very much alike. They used to be considered one species, Arctic Warbler. But they were split into three different species that are told apart by call and song. So now you can’t just be a bird watcher or bird photographer. You need to listen to the bird too!

The round pen that I use for training the horses is popular among the birds. They like to walk on the grass inside the pen and also perch on the fence surrounding the pen. Since the round pen is next to the cottage, we get good views of different kinds of birds eating, resting, and doing their own thing.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea on the round pen fence

Our resident birds are also still around. I noticed that the female Pied Bushchat is getting bolder. She doesn’t just come close to the cottage, she now comes into the house! I’ve seen her perched on the corner of the veranda. The male however still keeps his distance.

female Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata on a guava plant next to the cottage

I learned something new about an old, familiar bird this week.  Olive Backed Sunbirds are a very pretty and common garden bird. I usually see them on plants with big, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers. These are usually imported ornamental plants like Pink Tabebuia, African Tulip Tree, and Chinese Hat vine. We even planted a few non-native Pink Tabebuia trees at the farm, just because the sunbirds at home in Alabang like those trees so much. Last week I learned that I didn’t have to bother planting those non-native trees at the farm. Olive Backed Sunbirds feed on weeds! The Olive-backed Sunbird spent a long time dipping its bill in and out of the tiny, purple Kandikandilaan Stachytarpheta indica flowers. Soon the tip of its long bill was covered in white pollen.

Olive Backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis
A singing Olive Backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis
Look at the long, nectar-gathering tongue!

I wonder what bird we’re going to see next?

5 thoughts on “More Birds on the Farm”

  1. I found this blog after reading your other, equally beauriful blog, Ebon. I was searching for bird pictures to show my niece, who is as much an animal lover as I am. I had the wonderful opportunity to go birdwatching with Haribon when it was still a new organization, and I am now introducing it to my niece. You live a life I dream of living…someday….for now, I enjoy the wild life in the city, where, thank God, we see migratory birds at this time of the year. I hope someday you’ll open your farm to bird enthusiasts….wouldn’t mind paying for that wonderful opportunity.

    1. Thanks for following the blogs! Do tell your niece to check out the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines for free bird watching trips!
      For now, I’m hoping that more people are encouraged by my blog
      to support and preserve the natural spaces around them.

  2. Wow! I’m so glad I found your blog…your pictures and farm are amazing! 🙂 Olive-backed sunbirds are stunning! You’ve got beautiful pictures of them. They visit my garden often and they once nested there. (https://mynatureexperiences.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/olive-backed-sunbirds-nesting-in-my-garden/)
    I’m very envious of your life at the farm, with such bounty of nature around you 🙂 I’d really love to visit the Philippines one day!

    1. Hi Lavanya! I know your blog! I think I discovered it when you followed eBON. I’m really, really lucky to have this farm. It is one of the top fun things I ever bought!
      I hope you get to visit the Philippines and see some of our birds! Do get in touch with me or the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines if you do. You can meet WBCP members in the upcoming Asian Bird Fair that is going to be held in Singapore this year.

      1. I’d love to go for the Bird Fair in Singapore this year…Thank you so much 🙂 Looking forward to more of your posts!

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