March 2021

Missed the entire February and did not visit the refuge at all.

March is hot, as expected. But still windy! We are trying to keep all the young trees going until rainy season. We have more than 150 Toog trees in the nursery ready to be planted during rainy season.

The birds are loud! We could hear Koels calling from different parts of the refuge. How many are there? It sounded like a lot! We also heard a Hawk Cuckoo near the cottage.

The birds also looked bigger somehow! Perhaps I’ve been away too long and have gotten used to small urban garden birds. Or I’m out of practice. On my usual walk around with the dogs, I would see a movement and think –what is that??

This Lesser Coucal that walked across the path made me think — is that a mammal? No, it’s a bird skulking stealthily into the bushes!

These Island Collared Doves looked huge!

Island Collared Dove Streptopelia bitorquata

This Scaly Breasted Munia looked regular sized. It was nice though to have one approach closely.

Chestnut Munia
Scaly Breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata perched on a Malabulak

I was also very relieved to see two Philippine Ducks! We did not see any Philippine Ducks in January and it made us wonder if something bad happened to them. Did they get shot? We saw two of them flying out from the grass. When we see them walking in the grass and flying low over the grass, it makes us think that maybe, hopefully there is a nest in the grass and they are breeding in our refuge!

Philippine Duck Anas luzonica in flight

Tara, one of our horses passed away in February. It was sad to see the mound of stones in the paddock where she was buried.

Visiting Tara’s grave

Right now there is a lockdown and we are stuck in Metro Manila. The time spent days looking at birds and trees and wondering about the next new bird we will spot at the refuge is a wonderful gift. I am grateful!

looking for birds with Momo

Updated pictures of the Toog that we planted.

9 thoughts on “March 2021”

  1. Thank you for your bird refuge work. Wishing I had similar resources. In Taytay, Rizal where I live, I often go to bird watch at the last remaining rice fields in this town. It’s sad that the fields are slowly being turned into residential areas.

    1. Hi Myra, that’s really sad. Ideally, the local government or even community leaders would provide and protect natural areas for the entire community to enjoy and use. Even just a park. Or better, a protected wildlife area. But as we can see, these types of places are seen as “areas that need to be developed” instead of seeing them as valuable resources that belong to the whole community. Everyone deserves access to fresh air, clean water, and outdoor areas, but government funds rarely go to that.

  2. Hope all is well. How are your Toog seedlings coming along? I can see some pictures of the tree? Just started planting Narra seedlings a month ago. I have only less than 50 but I hope to reach a hundred or more.

    1. Hi, the Toog seedlings are growing well! I will add pictures to this post. The ones that grow well in our place are Narra, Agoho, and Toog. We are using Agoho and Toog around our borders.

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