Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ecuador day 3 and 4, the Tandayapa Valley and Rio Silanche and species #1000 for me

Plate billed Mountain Toucan, upper Tandayapa Valley, Ecuador, Nov 18, 2015
Beautiful Jay, Tandayapa Lodge, Ecuador, Nov 18, 2015 (life bird #1000)
Red headed Barbet, Tandayapa Lodge, Ecuador, Nov 18, 2015
Fawn breasted Brilliant, Tandayapa Lodge, Ecuador, Nov 18, 2015
Purple throated Woodstar, Tandayapa Lodge, Ecuador, Nov 18, 2015
On Wednesday the 18th we spent the entire day in the Tandayapa Valley which started with a predawn visit to the forest blind. A few lights are left on all night to attract insects and in the morning various species come in to feed. We didn't have anything too unusual but getting decent looks at any ant thrush is always nice. When the activity slackened off at the blind we started the short walk back were quickly stopped by a few Beautiful Jays moving past...I had put my camera away and by the time I got it back out I could only get a few marginal shots...oh well!  The Beautiful Jays became species #1000 for me so I was happy to get any shot of it.  We then had breakfast at the lodge and enjoyed the comings and goings at the hummingbird feeders as well as the fruit feeders. Once breakfast was done we made our way to the upper Tandayapa Valley and had a host of new species to keep us busy including a number of tanagers and hummingbirds. We spent a lot of time trying to attract and get looks at a Plate billed Mountain Toucan and eventually we got a great look. Overall the morning was cloudy which made viewing tough at times. The fog rolled in late morning and it started to rain by midday. We worked our way back down to the lodge for lunch and then spent an hour or so at the hummingbird feeders which attracted at least fifteen species...amazing! By mid afternoon we headed back out around the lodge and then back up the valley a bit. The light rain eventually turned to heavy rain and we then sat in the truck waiting for the weather to clear and it to get to be dusk so we could go try to find a Lyre tailed Nightjar. No luck for us with finding that nightjar but we did have a couple flyby Rufous breasted Nighthawks.

Full lists:
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant with nest material, Rio Silanche, Ecuador, Nov 19, 2015
Laughing Falcon, Rio Silanche, Ecuador, Nov 19, 2015
Collared Aracari (pale mandibled), Rio Silanche, Ecuador, Nov 19, 2015
On Thursday we made the long drive down to the lowlands at Rio Silanche where we spent the morning walking the road to Rio Silanche and the afternoon in the reserve itself before working another part of the road before making our way back to the lodge. The birds came fast and furious in the morning along the road with lots of new species (plus a number I had seen before in Costa Rica). The habitat is quite fragmented and the constant flow of trucks in the early morning heading to the quarry made it less than ideal but the birds did not seem to mind and most showed quite well. Once we got past the quarry the road traffic died right down and it was even more enjoyable. The afternoon walk through the reserves trails were a bit more quiet but what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. Many highlights from the afternoon including a few trogon with one being a Choco Trogon, a pair of Black crested Pgymy Tyrants building a nest and many others. It was a very long, but rewarding day and we did not arrive back at the lodge until just before dinner.

Full lists:  

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