Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Velvet-purple Coronet

Another Choco endemic, this bird was our guide Jose's favorite hummingbird.  It was crazy-iridescent.

Some more views from different angles

I think the body iridescence is rivaled only by the Fiery-throateds in Costa Rica amongst hummingbirds I've encountered.

I think it's doing a trogon impersonation in this one.

I watched Chestnut-breasted Coronets perform a similar behavior on the other side of the Andes in the trip's first days.  It was no less cool to see a second time.  The first shot is one of my favorite of the trip.

With sexes similar in this genus hard to know whether this was courtship or more general squabbling.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

feeders at Mashpi

At last!  I thought I was going to go the whole trip without really having decent tanagers coming into feeders, but they'd saved one of the more exciting places for the 2nd to last day.  We visited Amalgusa Reserve in the Mashpi area and these feeders were crawling with birds.  It was mostly raining lightly, sometimes raining steadily, but at times not raining at all.  There was a covered awning though, and while it did pack a lot of people into pretty tight quarters the birds made it worth it.  I'm just going with tanagers in this post.

We start with Black-chinned Mountain-tanager, a specialty bird of a narrow elevation band of the West slope of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia.

Next up is Flame-faced Tanager.  This bird had been teasing me the whole trip, we'd had difficult brief views of it at a couple places, each time well hidden by foliage and rain, but here it was coming close.

While Flame-faced can be found on both slopes through much of the Andes mid-elevations, Glistening-green Tanager has basically the same range map as the Black-chinned that led off the post.

I've put up a few pics of Golden Tanager, but the looks were much better here.

Like Flame-faced, we saw Golden-naped Tanager a few times, but here we had good views.

Finally a couple shots of Lemon-rumped Tanager.  Most places in the tropics have a black tanager with a very contrastingly bright rump, it was yellow here.

Clearly a bunch of the tanagers were completing their breeding cycles during our February trip.

Monday, July 16, 2018

but they're tropical LBJ's

We hung out at the hummingbird feeders for a while hoping the rain would clear.  It didn't.  We headed into the forest anyway.  It'd be nice to have some nice portraits of Spotted Nightengale-thrush to lead of with (picture a juvenile robin but with an orange bill and lemon base colors to the underparts).  It sang but didn't come in for a visual.  We did track down a Club-winged Manakin.

After being left frustrated by another very high tanager flock mostly obscured by rain, mist, leaves, and narrow windows we did find some mid-story flocks which were a lot more satisfying.  And even if the birds weren't super colorful, you won't find them in Michigan!

This is an Ochre-breasted ... Tanager.  Sexes are alike

Yellow-throated Bush-tanager is another not exactly flame faced bird.
I worked pretty hard just to get bad pics of those dull tanagers that were pretty fast moving.

There were woodcreepers, first Spotted
 Then Brown-billed Scythebill

followed by Wedge-billed
I wonder how many grad students have studied the bill differences in the woodcreepers.

Foliage-gleaners are another bird we don't find in Michigan.  They move FAST, definitely birds to study hard before confronted with them.  I'm (pretty sure) this first one is Streak-throated

and this one (a personal favorite) Buff-fronted.

Finally a pip of color with Purplish Honeycreeper

Friday, July 13, 2018

full breeding Piping Plover

We don't usually get to see Piping Plovers in full breeding plumage, but this bird found by Mike Bourdon, would seem to qualify.  It's got as full a breast band as I can remember seeing.  Pics are in reverse order as the bird worked towards and ultimately past me.

I was a little surprised that the orange flag band didn't have a number on it, the only numbers I saw were on the silver Fish and Wildlife (?) band.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Milpe hummingbirds

After a nearly rain-free day at Rio Silanche our next day visited a reserve at Milpe.  It was raining.  That didn't slow down the hummingbirds though.  They teed up nicely for some fun portraits despite pretty borderline lighting.

This is female Green Thorntail

And male (Green) Crowned Wood-nymph.  The Central American form has a purple crown.

Most emeralds are entirely green.  Not so with Andean Emerald.

This Purple-bibbed Whitetip is one of my favorite photos of the trip.

After a while we started seeing how many different species we could see on the feeders at once.

This one has 4 species.
 Female and male Jacobin on the left, Crowned Wood-nymph behind the glass, White-whiskered Hermit in flight and female or immature Green-crowned Brilliant on the right.

This is 4 species again
Same species as above except a Green Thorntail is mostly hidden on the far left in place of the hermit.  The bird in the back on the right with the gray throat is a female wood-nymph.

And 5 species...
Far left (and right) are female Jacobin with male Green-crowned Brilliant second from left.  Next is Green Thorntail with the white malar, everyone's favorite Rufous-tailed Hummingbird with the pink bill, and a female wood-nymph in lousy focus in front.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Glasswings and more

After a couple of productive hours atop the canopy tower we looped through a trail at Rio Silanche.  This was as low in elevation as we got and some see-through butterflies were my first.

I assume they were some kind of glasswing, but that could be way off.

There were birds though.  Choco Toucan is one of the black/chesnut-mandibled family.

Similarly Choco Trogon looks to be a member of the Black/Slaty-tailed group.

Two years ago we heard Schiffornis in Panama.  Watching this otherwise nondescript bird repeatedly uttering their fairly unearthly hissing scream in the dark humid undergrowth was actually one of the highlights of the trip for me.

We found a few mixed flocks.  This is a canopy specialty, Rufous-winged Tanager.

A crappy pic of Scarlet-browed Tanager, another bird I was really looking forward to seeing.

Finally a Lineated Woodpecker that was searching for food in sight of the bus.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Willet be fall in July?

Actually there's been fall migration for the last week of June.  Mid-summer means big shorebirds start moving back south, especially following fronts.  Sadly I didn't have my camera with me when a Marbled Godwit appeared on the beach last week, but I had it today for a daybreak check.  Willets were flying about, trying to avoid the beach groomer.

It's always hard to get a decent composure of groups of birds.  They're even harder than kids to get all posed at once.

Laughing Gull sometimes summers on the beach, this is the most breeding plumage of the 3 birds that have been around.  This one was at Jean Klock, though 2 were at Tiscornia this afternoon.