Birds Having a Picnic

What a relief! One of the fields that I messed up before has been restored! In 2015 I removed the big clumps of hagonoy that were growing in the picnic lot. The next year the lot was completely covered in small hagonoy plants. They came back with a vengeance!

I was very sad to see the picnic lot in such bad shape. It looked worse than before I did my weed removal efforts. Good thing we have another hagonoy removal weapon in our arsenal! The tractor! I noticed that when Tonji makes a path through a field of hagonoy, the path itself stays remarkably free of hagonoy! Grass and other things sprout on the path, but not hagonoy!

In 2018 Tonji cleared the picnic lot using the tractor. Immediately after, it looked so much better. There was grass and a nice variety of legumes and other plants that sprouted. And best of all, the Philippine Collared Doves seem to like it! They used to hang out on the other side of the field, near the bamboo fence. This time I saw them foraging on the restored area of the picnic lot!

6 Philippine Collared Doves and 1 Red Turtle Dove
Here they are looking more relaxed

They really seem to like the area. Momo, Barkley, and I watched them from across the picnic lot. Then we went on our morning walk. On our way back, they were still there! When I decided to double back and take more pictures, they simply flew up into a nearby tree. It looked like they had plans to do more foraging.

One Philippine Collared Dove perched on a Madre de Cacao. The rest are concealed in the native alibangbang tree on the right.

Now I know what to do and what not to do when trying to removing hagonoy. It’s so nice to be able to create habitat that the birds can use.

And here is a Purple Heron that was also in the area!

Birds of July near the ground, on the trees, in the sky

Near the ground

The new stalks of amor seco are too fine to support even a small bird like this Scaly-breasted Munia. So it grabbed onto 3 stalks of the grass with one foot so it can feast on the seeds! This red grass is the source of those sharp seeds that stick on pants, fur, and paws. The Chestnut Munias we so fun to watch that I thought I might be ok with some amor seco weeds near the house just so I could watch the munias some more. Tonji had other ideas. A few hours after I took this photo, he brought out the tractor and mowed down all the amor seco growing in front of the cottage!

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Scaly-breasted Munia

On the trees

These were some of the regulars in the trees near the cottage. Two Yellow-vented Bulbuls sharing a tree with two Pink-necked Green Pigeons.

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Black-naped Orioles are all over the place, even in the rain. It was a very rainy July.

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Island Collared Dove. We keep our eyes out for these guys. They are becoming scarce in other areas of the country due to hunting. The ones in our place are favoring the mango trees now even if we didn’t have much of a mango season this year. Tonji has plans to make the mango area even more attractive for wildlife.

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In the sky

Black-crowned Night Herons are common birds that roost in colonies. We usually just see one bird flying by.

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The migratory season has begun! This is a flock of egrets, most likely Intermediate Egrets. This group did not stop over. They are probably looking for a nice fishpond or rice field.

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I have this fantasy of seeing a rare migrant on the grass in front of the cottage! That would be something!