New Bird Records, #s 99 and 100!

August was a great month to be at the refuge. We hired people to remove the aroma growing near the cottage. We planted Amugis trees and Leea shrubs. Tonji used the grass cutter to clear the hagonoy that took over the picnic lot after my failed Hagonoy Eradication Project No. 1. We saw lots of butterflies. We started construction on a new and improved horse bathing area and we are converting the old bathing area into storage areas. I’m going to have a super cute garden shed! And most exciting of all, we had two new birds for our Bird List!

Bird # 99

Sarcops calvus


Tonji was on the phone when he saw two Coletos fly into the clump of trees in front of the cottage. They stayed for a minute, flew to the Aratiles next to the round pen, then disappeared.

Coletos are forest birds. Their habitat is described as forest, forest edge, and clearings. The pink around their eyes is bare skin! It is a Philippine endemic. We see them most frequently up north in Subic, Zambales.

Bird # 100

Ruddy-breasted Crake
Porzana fusca

a sketch of the illustration in the Kennedy guide

No picture! Just a sketch and a story! Tonji was driving the car through the mango farm when he saw two adults and a chick crossing in front of him. They would go into the sides of the path and then emerge closer to him! We looked for them on our way home, but they didn’t show up. The next week we returned for a day trip so we could spend time looking for these birds. I think I saw the head of one pop out from the corner of the path as we were about to drive to a new spot. So, maybe I saw our 100th bird.

This bird is described in the Kennedy guide as uncommon. Ok, it really isn’t that common. In 2011, we drove to more than a hundred kilometers just to see this bird. The Kennedy guide also says it is crepuscular and solitary. Perhaps it behaves differently during breeding season.

We welcomed the arrival of the fast-flying migrants that eat up all the flies that multiplied during the rainy season.

Asian Palm Swift
Barn Swallow

We had breeding birds. We saw this family while we were waiting for the Ruddy-breasted Crake.

Spotted Buttonquail

The male takes care of the babies!

cute chicks

It’s always nice to get good views of these guys.

Buff Banded Rail
Black-naped Monarch

And to end the day with an owl on the fence.

Grass Owl


Good night!

Farm Bird List as of March 2018

These are all the species we have seen at the sanctuary over the years, with notes on recent sightings.


Common Name Scientific Name Notes on recent sightings
1 Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata
2 Philippine Duck Anas luzonica had our highest count in January, 23 birds at one time
3 King Quail Excalfactoria chinensis
4 Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
5 Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus was common in 2017
6 Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax not common, first seen in August 2017
7 Striated Heron Butorides striata
8 Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
9 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
10 Purple Heron Ardea purpurea there’s one individual in the picnic area
11 Great Egret Ardea alba
12 Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia there was one very close to the cottage in March, might have gotten blown in with the strong wind
13 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
14 Philippine Serpent Eagle Spilornis holospilus
15 Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis
16 Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos  Tali and Laiya!
17 Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus  seen frequently
18 Barred Rail Gallirallus torquatus
19 Buff-banded Rail Gallirallus philippensis moved to picnic area, no longer near cottage
20 Plain Bush-hen Amaurornis olivacea  hear them a lot
21 White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
22 Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca not common, first seen in August 2017
23 Spotted Buttonquail Turnix ocellatus
24 Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator
25 Swinhoe’s Snipe Gallinago megala
26 Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum
27 Rock Dove Columba livia
28 Island Collared Dove Streptopelia bitorquata good views of them perched on a wire on our access road
29 Red Turtle Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
30 Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis  seen frequently
31 Philippine Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia tenuirostris  February, 2 birds
32 Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica  still haven’t taken a photo
33 Zebra Dove Geopelia striata
34 Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vernans they seem to be more common now
35 Philippine Green Pigeon Treron axillaris first seen in August 2017
36 Philippine Coucal Centropus viridis at the mango farm, on top of the trees
37 Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis at the picnic area and F.A.
38 Rough-crested Malkoha Dasylophus superciliosus February at the sampaloc tree when it was fruiting
39 Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus heard only
40 Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx pectoralis
41 Eastern Grass Owl Tyto longimembris  seen frequently
42 Philippine Scops Owl Otus megalotis  heard only
43 Philippine Nightjar Caprimulgus manillensis  they used to be on the access road only, now near cottage also
44 Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
45 Grey-rumped Swiftlet Collocalia marginata
46 Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
47 Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda first seen in September 2017 when we had my cousins over! I didn’t see it!
48 White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
49 Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris seen frequently
50 Indigo-banded Kingfisher Ceyx cyanopectus
51 Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus seen frequently
52 Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
53 Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos maculatus
54 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
55 Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
56 Philippine Hanging Parrot/Colasisi Loriculus philippensis
57 Philippine Pitta Erythropitta erythrogaster  haven’t been hearing them
58 Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida   haven’t been hearing them
59 Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea  seen frequently
60 White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus seen frequently
61 Pied Triller Lalage nigra  not near the cottage
62 Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus  seen frequently
63 Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach  seen frequently
64 Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis  seen frequently
65 Philippine Pied Fantail Rhipidura nigritorquis   seen frequently
66 Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea  takes effort to see
67 Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos  seen frequently
68 Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
69 Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urostictus
70 Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier seen frequently
71 Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus seen more frequently and closer to the cottage than before, I think there are more of them now
72 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
73 Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
74 Striated Swallow Cecropis striolata
75 Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus
76 Japanese Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus xanthodryas
77 Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus not common, first seen in August 2017
78 Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris  seen frequently
79 Tawny Grassbird Megalurus timoriensis
80 Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis
81 Grey-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus derbianus
82 Lowland White-eye Zosterops meyeni
83 Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis
84 Stripe-headed Rhabdornis Rhabdornis mystacalis
85 Philippine Magpie-Robin Copsychus mindanensis  
86 White-browed Shama Copsychus luzoniensis heard at cement bridge
87 Mangrove Blue Flycatcher Cyornis rufigastra
88 Siberian Rubythroat Calliope calliope
89 Pied Bush Chat Saxicola caprata  seen frequently
90 Red-keeled Flowerpecker Dicaeum australe
91 Pygmy Flowerpecker Dicaeum pygmaeum
92 Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis seen frequently in groups in the flowering madre de cacao
93 Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus  seen frequently
94 Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
95 White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra not common, first seen in August 2017
96 Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla  seen frequently
97 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
98 Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus

Bird List for the Farm

This is the most current list of the birds we have seen at the farm.


February 2019

  • Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus

August 2018

  • Coleto Sarcops calvus
  • Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca

September 2017

  • Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda

    August 2017
  • Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  • 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
  • added Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus that was seen previously by Tonji but we forgot to add to the list
  • changed snipe sp. to Swinhoe’s Snipe after Tonji saw one and was able to identify it from the call
Yellow-wattled Bulbul
Philippine Green Pigeon and Pink-necked Green Pigeon

These are some photos taken on site of the birds at the farm. Most of the photos were taken by Tonji.  More bird photos on  Tonji and Sylvia’s Bird List.

  1. Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata
  2. Philippine Duck  Anas luzonica
  3. King Quail (Blue-breasted Quail) Excalfactoria chinensis
  4. Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
  5. Cinnamon Bittern  Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
  6. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  7. Eastern Cattle Egret (Cattle Egret) Bubulcus coromandus
  8. Striated Heron Butorides striata
  9. Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea
  10. Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea
  11. Great Egret  Ardea alba
  12. Intermediate Egret  Egretta intermedia
  13. Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
  14. Philippine Serpent Eagle (Crested Serpent-Eagle) Spilornis holospilus HO
  15. Japanese Sparrowhawk  Accipiter gularis
  16. Pied Harrier  Circus melanoleucos
  17. Brahminy Kite  Haliastur indus
  18. Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus
  19. Barred Rail  Gallirallus torquatus
  20. Buff-banded Rail  Gallirallus philippensis
  21. Plain Bush-hen  Amaurornis olivacea
  22. White-breasted Waterhen  Amaurornis phoenicurus   
  23. Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca
  24. Spotted Buttonquail  Turnix ocellatus
  25. Barred Buttonquail  Turnix suscitator
  26. Oriental Pratincole  Glareola maldivarum
  27. Swinhoe’s Snipe Gallinago megala
  28. Rock Dove  Columba livia
  29. Island Collared Dove Streptopelia bitorquata
  30. Red Turtle Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
  31. Spotted Dove  Spilopelia chinensis
  32. Philippine Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia tenuirostris
  33. Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
  34. Zebra Dove  Geopelia striata
  35. White-eared Brown Dove Phapitreron leucotis
  36. Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vernans
  37. Philippine Green Pigeon Treron axillaris
  38. Philippine Coucal  Centropus viridis
  39. Lesser Coucal  Centropus bengalensis
  40. Rough-crested Malkoha Dasylophus superciliosus
  41. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
  42. Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx pectoralis
  43. Eastern Grass Owl Tyto longimembris
  44. Philippine Scops Owl Otus megalotis
  45. Philippine Nightjar  Caprimulgus manillensis
  46. Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
  47. Grey-rumped Swiftlet  Collocalia marginata
  48. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
  49. Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda
  50. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
  51. Collared Kingfisher (White-collared Kingfisher) Todiramphus chloris
  52. Indigo-banded Kingfisher  Ceyx cyanopectus
  53. Blue-tailed Bee-eater  Merops philippinus
  54. Coppersmith Barbet  Megalaima haemacephala
  55. Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos maculatus
  56. Common Kestrel (Eurasian Kestrel) Falco tinnunculus
  57. Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus
  58. Philippine Hanging Parrot/Colasisi Loriculus philippensis 
  59. Philippine Pitta  Erythropitta erythrogaster
  60. Hooded Pitta  Pitta sordida
  61. Golden-bellied Gerygone  Gerygone sulphurea
  62. White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus
  63. Pied Triller  Lalage nigra
  64. Brown Shrike  Lanius cristatus
  65. Long-tailed Shrike  Lanius schach
  66. Black-naped Oriole  Oriolus chinensis
  67. Philippine Pied Fantail Rhipidura nigritorquis
  68. Black-naped Monarch  Hypothymis azurea
  69. Large-billed Crow  Corvus macrorhynchos
  70. Oriental Skylark  Alauda gulgula
  71. Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urostictus
  72. Yellow-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus goiavier
  73. Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus
  74. Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica
  75. Pacific Swallow  Hirundo tahitica
  76. Striated Swallow (Red-rumped Swallow) Cecropis striolata
  77. Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus
  78. Japanese Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus xanthodryas
  79. Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus (possible Oriental Reed Warbler or maybe Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler but we’re calling it Clamorous)
  80. Striated Grassbird  Megalurus palustris
  81. Tawny Grassbird  Megalurus timoriensis
  82. Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis
  83. Grey-backed Tailorbird  Orthotomus derbianus
  84. Lowland White-eye  Zosterops meyeni
  85. Asian Glossy Starling  Aplonis panayensis
  86. Coleto Sarcops calvus
  87. Stripe-headed Rhabdornis  Rhabdornis mystacalis
  88. Philippine Magpie-Robin Copsychus mindanensis
  89. White-browed Shama  Copsychus luzoniensis
  90. Mangrove Blue Flycatcher  Cyornis rufigastra
  91. Siberian Rubythroat  Calliope calliope
  92. Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
  93. Red-keeled Flowerpecker Dicaeum australe
  94. Pygmy Flowerpecker Dicaeum pygmaeum
  95. Olive-backed Sunbird  Cinnyris jugularis
  96. Eurasian Tree Sparrow  Passer montanus
  97. Scaly-breasted Munia  Lonchura punctulata
  98. White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra
  99. Chestnut Munia  Lonchura atricapilla
  100. Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea
  101. Paddyfield Pipit (Richard’s Pipit) Anthus rufulus