Birds of February

February has been a great month for hanging out at the sanctuary. The oppressive heat of summer is still a future concern. The ground is still nice, moist, and yielding. It only took Tonji nine days to dig up Pond Number 5. I was able to clear a big swathe of hagonoy in a new area using just my hori-hori hand knife. Momo and Barkley enjoyed  long morning walks through refreshing dew-covered grass, with stops every so often to admire the birds!

The Agohos are among the fastest growing of the trees we’ve planted. Their height makes them a popular perch of the orioles and crows.

_E7A5827
Collared Kingfisher
_E7A5706
Large-billed Crow

We saw 5 species of doves in February. We had Philippine Cuckoo Dove, Zebra Dove, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Spotted Dove, and Philippine Collared Dove. The Philippine Collared Dove was perched on the wires along our entrance road. We saw it on the same wire on two different weekends.

_E7A6613
Pink-necked Green Pigeon
_E7A6390
Spotted Dove
_E7A5681
Philippine Collared Dove

 

Tali and  Laiya are still around. Will they stay through summer? Or are they migrants?

 

 

 

There are small flocks of Olive-Backed Sunbirds high in the Madre de Cacao flowers, Chestnut Munias in the grassy areas, and jewel toned Bee-eaters on low branches.

_E7A6713
Olive-backed Sunbird
_E7A6426
Chestnut Munia
_E7A6345
Blue-tailed Bee Eater

The Malabulak trees produced buds! Last year we saw only one bud that didn’t even become a flower. Tonji thinks next year will be a great year for the Malabulak.

_E7A6542
Malabulak

The hot days of summer are fast approaching. All to soon it will be time to say goodbye to the cool weather and hello summer and summer projects!

_E7A6696
Philippine Bulbul

 

 

 

Ten Things to Enjoy in October

1. Tali and Laiya

The two Pied Harriers that we spotted in August are still around and appear to be settling in for the winter. They are migrants from Amur Valley in Eastern Russia or NE China. They look so comfortable in our place that we gave them names. We named them after famous beaches in Batangas.

_E7A7550
This is Tali, she has a string tied around her leg. We don’t know how the string got there.

2. Rain

It has been raining more than is usual for this time of the year. It’s good for the plants and it also brings out the dragonflies!

_E7A7441-2

3. Baby birds

We’ve been noticing flocks of munias. Upon closer inspection, they are young Chestnut Munias! I always thought we should have more munias in our grassland areas. Maybe now we will!

_E7A7464

4. Interesting plants

I am still wondering what this is. The yellow ball is soft and looks like a tiny cauliflower.

 

5. Spending time with loved ones

We appreciate it a lot when people make the effort to visit us in our place! It’s a long drive out from the city!

IMG_2871
6. Eating locally and seasonally

It’s nice to see that there’s more than just mango and dragonfruit growing in our area. There’s also lansones, dalandan, mandarin (big dalandan), rambutan, guyabano, banana, and santol.

7. A new bird for the Farm Bird List!

We had new avian visitors on the same day as our human visitors! Tonji and one of my cousins saw two Ruddy Kingfishers!

Our guests also got to see:

  • 1 Philippine Duck flying near pond #1
  • 2 Pied Harriers circling around the pond area
  • 2 Grass Owls flying in front of the house as the sun went down

8. The magical firely tree

Shortly after the sun set, we turned off the lights and brought our guests to the garage to watch the big Albizzia procera tree slowly get lit up by fireflies.

21318923_10154946463830998_5109865859958471063_o
photo by Tonji

9. Catch and release

On our way home from the farm in August, I caught and released a big gecko that suddenly appeared on our windshield.

sketchbook_0001.jpg

Two weeks later,  I caught and released a small snake from our bathroom.

sketchbook.jpg

 

What will we catch and release next?

10. New projects

We never run out of new projects! I think that’s what makes having a farm so fun! This time we are designing a new entrance.

Yey October, my favorite month!