23 Ducks at the Farm!

We saw a record number of Philippine Ducks at the farm! 23 ducks at Pond #1. We were happy and surprised to see them. We thought that the two Pied Harriers that are wintering in our place drove the ducks away from their usual hangout. So nice to see that they’re still there are that there are more of them!

 

We walked to Pond #1 thinking that it was probably not being used by the ducks. We wanted to check the water level. As we approached, the ducks flew into the air. We watched them for a few minutes, Tonji took a video, then we turned to leave the area so the ducks could go back.  They were circling over us and calling out. Barkley however ran towards the pond. He ignored us when we called him back. So Tonji went to get him and was able to quickly look at the pond. The water level was high and the grass around the pond was flat, probably from the ducks sitting on it!

Seeing these birds encourages us to make new projects! When summer comes Tonji will start a new, bigger pond with either a lookout tower or a hide for observing the birds. Or maybe he’ll make a “scrape”,  like a shallow rice paddy to see if it will attract birds that like to forage in shallow water.

 

 

More birds for August

We’ve been seeing a lot of these guys near the house.

This Lesser Coucal seems to have claimed the bamboo fence as his hang-out.

_E7A6795.jpg
Lesser Coucal

 

This week we noticed a string on the Pied Harrier’s leg. I am hoping that the Pied Harrier gets the string off somehow.

_E7A6646.jpg
Pied Harrier and Large-billed Crow in a battle!

 

The Pygmy Flowerpeckers are still on the Aratiles tree. Now that all the ripe fruit are gone, they are eating the green fruit!

_E7A6557.jpg
Pygmy Flowerpecker

 

This Cisticola was a bit further away from the house. It has become one of the easier birds to photograph. It calls out loudly while perched on an exposed branch before diving back into the long grass.

_E7A6748.jpg
Golden-headed Cisticola

Awesome birdy August

We are having an awesome birdy August! We added three more new birds to the farm bird list! That makes SIX new birds for August!

  • Striated heron Butorides striata
  • 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
_E7A6256
Yellow-wattled Bulbul

We’ve now seen three kinds of bulbuls at the farm:

  • Yellow-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus goiavier – One of the most common birds at the farm. It’s a garden bird and is never found in mature forests.
  • Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus – This is a forest bird! It is usually seen in forest edge and advanced second growth. I always keep an eye out for these birds because I think they assist in reforestation by bringing in different seeds from forest trees and plants. I’ve been seeing more of them in our area. 
  • Yellow-wattled Bulbul Pycnonotus urostictus – Another forest bird like the Philippine Bulbul. It is usually seen in lowland early second growth and forest edge. I only saw one bird that perched in front of me for a few seconds. Maybe we’ll be seeing more of them as our area becomes more and more forest-like.

We also had a returning bird. A few years ago, we had two Pied Harriers Circus melanoleucos, a female and an immature, that hung around the farm for three months. This was in November 2013 until January 2014. Then they both disappeared. Later in 2014, we saw a female Pied Harrier. We wondered, was this the same female? Did something happen to the immature? There were no more sightings in 2015 and 2016. Then this month we saw a female Pied Harrier! It’s possible that it’s the same one from 2013!

_E7A6292
Pied Harrier

This month I also had my best views ever of Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea at the farm! I thought that I would be seeing a lot of these birds in our area. In the early days, I even wrote about seeing one when we first toured the farm and how it was a “sign”! But, they weren’t as easy to see as I imagined they would be .. until now!

_E7A6480
Black-naped Monarch, female

This month, they were right near the house and very visible!

_E7A6393
Black-naped Monarch, male

We are only halfway through August! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month!

 

 

 

 

Trail Camera Test

How do you observe wildlife without disturbing them? With a trail camera! A trail camera is motion-activated camera that takes videos or stills. It’s also known as a camera trap. It runs on rechargeable batteries, has a waterproof housing, and can be left outdoors. A crittercam is something else, it’s a camera that you attach to an animal so you can see things like what it looks like to swim underwater like a whale.  A trail camera is positioned in one spot, usually an area where animals are known to congregate. Then the camera takes photos or videos of whatever wildlife is in the field of view of the camera. Continue reading “Trail Camera Test”