Harriers and Ducks

It’s so good to be back at the refuge after a long absence and see that things have gotten bigger, greener, lusher! And we had had a big surprise. There were two Pied Harriers! It’s a different pair of Pied Harriers from the ones we had last year. These ones last year were a male and female. These ones are both brown, so maybe a female and an immature? Two females. One of them perched on the bamboo fence, just like old times! Makes us think it’s the same female from last year.

Pied Harrier perched on a bamboo fence
Is that you Laiya?

We also saw 4 Philippine Ducks. Tonji saw them swimming in the big pond when he was cutting the paths in that area. The dogs and I saw them on the path beside the smallest pond. The path was newly cut and they were on the short grass.

two Philippine Ducks in flight

This was short visit inspect things and make plans. We planted 20 more Narra seedlings and 20 Duhat seedlings that we grew from seeds. This year we are boosting our seedlings with vermicast made at home from horse poop compost. We’re hoping this makes our trees even bigger, greener, and lusher this year!

Tali the Pied Harrier grows up!

We had the opportunity to watch a Pied Harrier grow up and acquire his adult plumage in our refuge. We spotted two Pied Harriers in our place, often perched on the bamboo fence. One of them had a string on its leg. We called it Tali, for the famous beach in Batangas and because Tali means string. Because of the string, we could easily identify it each time it showed up. Tali stayed in the refuge for almost a year.

Please disregard the date on the first three photos!

This is Tali when we first saw him in August 2017. He’s having a scuffle with a crow.

1 august 26 2017
August 2017

This is in September  2017. He is brown all over.

2 Sept 22 2017
September 2017

The string is clearly visible.

3 Oct 13 2017
October 2017

No photos from November and December 2017.

Then surprise! When we saw him again in January 2018, he had a lot of black markings on his face and back!

4 Jan 27 2018
January 2018

He’s definitely a male Pied Harrier! This is in February 2018.

5 feb 2 2018
February 2018

6 feb 16 2018
February 2018

This is Tali in March 2018. The photo has an orange cast from the sunset.

7 march 14 2018
March 2018

This is July 2018, the last month we saw him. His head looks completely black.

8 July 5 2018
July 2018

Still in July 2018, with the black extending further down his chest.

9 July 27 2018 - last
July 2018

He looks like a different bird! But because of the string, we know it’s still him. It’s Tali!

The Magic Fence

This bamboo fence is very popular among the birds. We can see it from the veranda of the cottage and we always check to see what’s perched on it.

One day it was Tali, the Pied Harrier. We watched him and admired his full adult male plumage. Earlier in the year he was brown, then in March we saw his black adult feathers coming in. In April, we thought he had migrated and that we wouldn’t see him in full adult plumage. Here he is in July in full male adult plumage!

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After giving us good views Tali flew off. We thought that was the end of the show. Thirty minutes later a Grass Owl flew in and landed on the same spot! Maybe the Grass Owl wanted to see what Tali was looking at.¬†There’s a path of short grass in front of the fence. It’s a good place to nab a meal.

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The following week the fence was host to these Spotted Doves that decided that bamboo fence was a good spot for sex!

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