Finally, a photo of a Hooded Pitta at the farm! Good job Tonji! We hear them calling frequently from different areas of the farm but hardly get to see them. They tend to stay inside the tree line walking on the ground and perching on branches.
There is a bamboo fence at the edge the field in front of the house that is very popular with the birds. Tonji thought it would be a good idea to set up the wildlife camera by the fence. He left it in place for more than a week. By the time he got it back, the camera had taken thousands of photos, mostly of grass swaying in the wind!
Note to self on wildlife cameras: Do not position your wildlife camera towards a field of swaying grass. If you do, you will have 17,000 photos of swaying grass.
Tonji very gallantly offered himself up to do the tedious work of sifting through the thousands of photos for the ones that have birds in them. Then I got the bird photos from him so I could post the interesting ones here!
Another note to self on wildlife cameras: If you are positive and optimistic, you will find some interesting shots among the 17,000 photos of swaying grass! Think positive!
Long Tailed Shrike with a frog! That’s a big catch!
Grass Owl. Why is it so overexposed though?
Not so sure what this is, but it looks interesting! Could it be a Philippine Scops Owl?
And the regulars. Striated Grassbird.
Spotted Dove in flight.
Male and female Pied Bushchat.
The Spotted Dove didn’t want to make eye contact with the wildlife camera.
Unlike the Long Tailed Shrike!
What is the allure of that strip of bamboo? I assume that the birds like the elevated vantage point. We probably also just see the birds more easily when they are on the fence because they in plain sight and not covered by leaves. Could there be more to it than that? Why are all those different birds perched on the same spot? This experiment with the wildlife camera has made that bamboo fence look more interesting than ever!
When I get frustrated with drawing birds, there’s always Barkley! You can always count on him to take a nice nap during the day. And look really cute while he’s doing it.
Barkley sleeping and sunbathing
Unlike those birds! When I see a bird perched nicely, I grab my sketching gear! Sometimes, the bird is gone by the time I’ve pulled out my sketchbook and pencil. If the bird stays in the area, then it’s a very intense few minutes of looking through the binoculars or scope and sketching and painting.
At the end, I’m always surprised when I look at my sketchbook and see how few bird sketches I’ve made. It always feels like I drew a lot!
Some things were lost, some things were gained, and much was learned.
We went on overseas trips in March and May, in addition to many local birding trips throughout the rest of the year. As a result, I didn’t get to spend as much time on the farm as the previous year. We did mostly 1-day trips to the farm/sanctuary. My hagonoy eradication project fell by the wayside. On the plus side, I learned how to do less housework type chores during my short visits to the farm and more fun things like walking around with Momo and Barkley.
In July we had two harvests of mangoes! They were absolutely delicious! We offered some of the first harvest for sale and they were gone in a flash. The next harvest, we gave away to family and friends. People were eager to eat our all natural, un-sprayed, pesticide-free mangoes! Our mangoes stayed greenish on the outside but became very sweet and orange on the inside. People told us the fragrance and sweetness of our mangoes reminded them of the mangoes of their childhood.
We treated ourselves to some very cool tools and gadgets in 2016! We got a scope for birdwatching from the veranda, a digger for making more wildlife ponds, and a wildlife camera for observing the wildlife as unobtrusively as possible.
March 2016, when Tonji was figuring out how the little digger works! This is Pond No. 4 under construction.
This next video is from November 2016. The ponds are full of rainwater and the ducks Continue reading “Looking Back at 2016”