Wonderland Villas - May

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May is warm and humid with temperatures generally between 22ºc to in excess of 32ºc. It is often very wet, particularly towards the end of the month. There are small numbers of May migrants passing through Wonderland Villas.



Each year one or two Chestnut-winged Cuckoos are heard calling in May evenings from the hillside on the north-west side of Wonderland Villas. Resident birds are active with fledged young including Great Tits and Japanese White-eyes in the small trees outside each of the blocks. The first brood of Blue Whistling-thrush usually fledges in the first week of May. Hair-crested Drongos are also very visible in the trees in the gully. In 2012 a Brown Shrike Lanius crsitatus lucionensis was seen briefly in a tree near the graves behind the guava grove. In 2013 Large Hawk Cuckoos were very noisy and prominent around the estate and this video was taken from our balcony. 2014 was a good year for May migrants with a Brown Shrike in the guava grove on 3rd, a Grey-streaked Flycatcher behind block 3 on 6th and 10th and up to 5 Arctic Warblers from 6-11th May behind block 3. In 2015 2-3 Grey Nightjars were heard calling behind block 18 on 14th May.




Other Animals

This should also be an active time for many other animals. Chinese Water Dragon is a good example and was photographed resting over the stream in the gully. On 17 May 2014 a Greater Green Snake was found near Bo Bo's bridge in the gully and videoed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxJFJetiFqY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyGOv4Ed9QE



The most common tree around the estate is the Taiwan Acacia Acacia confusa and in early May the trees are resplendent in gold 'pom-poms' which are, however, a real nuisance for the cleaners. Heavy rain at this time can damage the trees as the flowers soak up water and the wight can snap branches. The Japanese Clerodendron Clerodendron japonicum is flowering throughout the month near the Common Bamboo Bambusa vulgaris grove below Thrush Alley. There is a large White Champak Michelia alba tree in the middle of the gully that flowers from mid-May. In the drier area at the top of the gully across the bridge and beyond the graves Wild Honeysuckle Conicera confusa grows atop other shrubs. Splash-of-White is another common flowering plant in May though is usually found in more shady areas.


Butterflies and Moths

May is usually an excellent month for moths on the wall behind block 17 and 2008 proved to be no exception. One new species for the estate was a small yellow underwing Mimeusemia postica seen on 13th May. During this month Red Helen caterpillars are found regularly on the calamansi shrub on our balcony. In the gully towards the end of the month there is an annual appearance of thousands of very hairy black caterpillars. Although extremely common this has not yet been known to have been bred to adult state (and therefore identified as to species).


Other Insects

In 2008 on 27th May the first Green Clearwing Cicada Chremistica ochracea of the year was on the block 17 wall. On 31 May 2015 a large purple Sagra femorata beetle was found in the new garden.