Awesome birdy August

We are having an awesome birdy August! We added three more new birds to the farm bird list! That makes SIX new birds for August!

  • Striated heron Butorides striata
  • Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephaus stentoreus
  • Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urosticus
  • White-bellied Munia Lonchura locugastra 
  • Ruddy-breasted Crake Ponzana fusca
  • Philippine Green Pigeon (formerly known as Pompadour Green Pigeon) Treron axillaris
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Yellow-wattled Bulbul

We’ve now seen three kinds of bulbuls at the farm:

  • Yellow-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus goiavier – One of the most common birds at the farm. It’s a garden bird and is never found in mature forests.
  • Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus – This is a forest bird! It is usually seen in forest edge and advanced second growth. I always keep an eye out for these birds because I think they assist in reforestation by bringing in different seeds from forest trees and plants. I’ve been seeing more of them in our area. 
  • Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urostictus – Another forest bird like the Philippine Bulbul. It is usually seen in lowland early second growth and forest edge. I only saw one bird that perched in front of me for a few seconds. Maybe we’ll be seeing more of them as our area becomes more and more forest-like.

We also had a returning bird. A few years ago, we had two Pied Harriers Circus melanoleucos, a female and an immature, that hung around the farm for three months. This was in November 2013 until January 2014. Then they both disappeared. Later in 2014, we saw a female Pied Harrier. We wondered, was this the same female? Did something happen to the immature? There were no more sightings in 2015 and 2016. Then this month we saw a female Pied Harrier! It’s possible that it’s the same one from 2013!

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Pied Harrier

This month I also had my best views ever of Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea at the farm! I thought that I would be seeing a lot of these birds in our area. In the early days, I even wrote about seeing one when we first toured the farm and how it was a “sign”! But, they weren’t as easy to see as I imagined they would be .. until now!

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Black-naped Monarch, female

This month, they were right near the house and very visible!

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Black-naped Monarch, male

We are only halfway through August! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month!

 

 

 

 

Mystery Plant with Yellow Fruit

Maybe it’s some kind of spondias?

It looks like a tree with many long branches.

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The clues:

  • winged rachis
  • I was told to look at Sapindales, Meliaceae, Sapindaceae, Anacardiaceae, Pleiogynium
  • the branches are reddish brown with beige spots
  • Tonji thinks he’s seen it growing in other parts of the farm and that we didn’t plant it

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I picked up the fruit from the ground. They’re still this color!  The seeds in the front of the photo are from the dried up fruit.

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What is it?

Perseids and Pompadours

We’ve now seen 89 birds at the farm! We had three new birds this weekend:

  • White-bellied Munia Lonchura locugastra 
  • Ruddy-breasted Crake Ponzana fusca
  • Philippine Green Pigeon (formerly known as Pompadour Green Pigeon) Treron axillaris

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I happened to bring a camera that weekend to take bird pictures. When I looked at my photos, I was surprised to see a Philippine Green Pigeon mixed in with the flock of Pink-necked Green Pigeons!

It was also the weekend of the Perseids meteor shower. The peak of the meteor shower, when you could view up to 50 meteors an hour, was supposed to be late evening up to early morning.

We set up early knowing that farm nights usually end very early for us! We had cold drinks, snacks, and a mat for Momo and Barkley. Bats danced overhead. Soon there were firelies around us and owls calling.

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When it was dark a Grass Owl perched on the bamboo fence in front of us. I peered up at the sky through binoculars. The stars were beautiful and endless! Then one star would start moving and I would follow it with the binoculars! There was only a short window of time when the skies were clear. Later that evening, the skies in the north eastern part of the sky were covered in clouds.

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photo by Tonji

Behind us there were still clear skies and even more stars. If you look closely at the photo, you can see a firefly coming in to land beside the lamp near the house.