Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunbittern Canyon

In the afternoon of our full day in the Rancho area Vernon took us out in the bus stopping at various points picking up different target birds, White-throated Flycatcher in a grassy drainage, and a walk down a dirt road paralleling a small canyon.

A Masked Tityra teed up quickly.

We'd walked about halfway down the road when Vernon stopped abruptly and set the scope up.  A sunbittern was standing on a large branch.  It had a baby that disappeared quickly and invisibly into the parent's breast feathers.
The bird settled down providing beautiful walkaway scope views.  Sunbittern was easily in my top 5 most wanted for the trip.  Unfortunately another bird possible here that we'd missed at Tapanti also in that category, Lancebill hummingbird, proved to be a no-show.

We walked further down encountering a Blue morpho
I didn't wait to try to photograph the blue wingflash of this enormous butterfly to catch back up with Vernon who soon spotted another Sunbittern, this one foraging slowly at stream's edge for tiny aquatic life.

A couple of us lagged behind the group and were rewarded by the bird taking flight.
Unfortunately in the dark of the canyon I was shooting probably 1/100th or 160th of second or so, way too slow to freeze a bird in flight.

A couple of Bay Wrens played hide and seek in the thick brush that was undeterred by the rocky edges of the canyon

A last look at the very picturesque start of the trail

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