Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Leucistic Herring Gull (I think)

Tim and I had this odd gull at Tiscornia while checking the flock for Mew Gulls yesterday.  At first glance I thought it was the first Glaucous of the year, but it was actually too white ... but had some dark primaries.  Ultimately we settled on it likely being a Herring Gull missing some pigment

It has an adult bill, and an adult Glaucous (or Iceland) would have a light gray mantle.  It also has the triangular head of a Herring rather than the heavy-jawed rounder head of a Glaucous.  The eyering is orange.

As it takes off it looks like the secondaries are fairly normal, but the primaries have markedly reduced both gray and black pigment, and there's some rows of secondary coverts that are basically white

A view of the underwing shows it's molting its primaries; P10 probably isn't visible from above.

P9, P8, and P7 look therefore to have dark pigmentation.  I'm assuming the piebald mantle and wing coverts argue for a pigmentation rather than a hybridization cause, though the markedly reduced number of primaries with dark ends might be a point in the hybrid column.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Moss-backed Tanager

After spending a few hours at the large feeder set-up in Mashpi we took in a much smaller one that was tucked into the woods for a few other species, first among them Moss-backed Tanager.  But before the Moss-backed's came in there were other birds to look at.

My best Flame-faced Tanager of the trip up to this point

There were certainly other birds about, White-throated Quail-dove here.

As well as Crimson-rumped Toucanet

Black-winged Saltator (one of the individuals in the header pic)

As well as Thick-billed (I think) Euphonia.

Finally, a Moss-backed Tanager
These were small chunky tanagers with fairly unique blue faces.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

baby Lyre-tailed Nightjar

As we left the main site at Mashpi, Jose took us to the entrance of a very expensive rainforest resort (whose name escapes me but apparently has appeared in National Geographic).  Amazingly, atop one of the buttresses of the main gate (and they definitely weren't going to let us inside) was a nesting female Lyre-tailed Nightjar.

A female Lyre-tailed Nightjar with a baby no less.   The chick snuggled back out of sight underneath the parent's feathers fairly quickly though.

We continued on to another smaller feeder set-up that was tucked more into the forest and actually had a nice little flock of insectivores work its way through.

I don't think I've seen a Red-faced Spinetail without rain.

Same for Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner (though maybe that doesn't really count since I've only seen that species on this trip).

Here's a Wedge-billed Woodcreeper disappearing up a tree.
 This was a bird that was quite common on our very first trip to Costa Rica several years ago but that I've seen only infrequently since.

Finally a Black-and-white Becard.  I'd seen the (not black-and-white) female in Costa Rica; the namesake plumage was a first for me.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Franklin's Gull

A straight west to east jet stream didn't help the waterbird flight today as it pushed a long front a county or two to the north that walled off any southbound birds.  It probably did contribute to an influx of Franklin's Gulls with multiple birds seen in the last day or so in the county.  Before today it'd been 3 years since I'd seen Franklin's in the county.

 The brown wing coverts would indicate this is a first fall bird.

Here's a montage of it taking flight.

We actually had 6 species of gull on the St Joe lakefront with flyby Bonaparte's at Tiscornia, the Franklin's at Jean Klock, and both species of Black-backed gull at Silver...



Sunday, September 30, 2018

Mashpi hummers - the rest

While Velvet-purple Coronet and Empress Brilliant were the rarest hummingbirds at Mashpi, they certainly weren't the only birds of interest.

Violet-tailed Sylph was a bird I worked most of the trip trying to get a shot that does the bird justice.  This one is good, but comes up short of really capturing the bird.

We only saw a couple White-whiskered Hermits, this was my best pic of this species

This is Purple-throated Woodstar, clearly appropriately named.

I'm not sure what this orange flower is, I photographed a Little Hermit at one in Costa Rica several years ago, but it's a nice contrast to the plainer Brown Inca.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Empress Brilliant

Another of the Choco endemics, Empress Brilliant was a fairly dramatic and unique species.

We didn't see a ton of males in decent light, but the glossy dark dark green upperparts, long heavy tail, and lime underparts made for an impressive bird.

Here's one with a Violet-purple Coronet.

It's easy to forget how long hummingbirds' tongues are...

Both the brilliants that I've encountered have a rufous wash to the malar in young males (Green-crowned Brilliant does as well).

This next bird is a female brilliant (note the whitish malar mark) and the speckled throat.  I'm pretty sure this bird's tail is long enough to be an Empress, though it might just be a Green-crowned perched at an odd angle.

Here's a for-sure Green-crowned female for comparison.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

my best avocet pic yet

Some time last week I didn't get to the count until the very end and Tim spotted an Avocet landing on Jean Klock.  I wasn't initially going to try for a closer view but did ultimately, I'm glad I did.

I was surprised it still had some rustiness to the head as I figured it'd be all gray at this point.

A couple days ago a relatively slow morning became a little more exciting when a young Parasitic Jaeger flew past low, gained elevation, then busted into the gull flock on Silver before continuing on south

Finally a young Piping Plover pic from a month ago that I never got around to posting