Saturday, December 26, 2020

eye of newt, tooth of ... chameleon??

 These pics are from a night walk we took about 2/3 of the way through our January Ecuador trip, in the Amazon basin around Sani Lodge.  We had a lot of success at Shiripuno (see Nocturnal Curassow!) so we were excited to try here as well.  The jungle was pretty active.

I tried googling this frog without a lot of success, but it looks cool.

I assume this is an anole of some sort.

This newt doesn't look like much, but check out that side wound tail!  I wonder if some are Right-tailed and others Left-tailed.

How many different snail species are found in the Amazon?

Finally a chameleon! (I think)...

Saturday, December 19, 2020

peregrine vs eagle

Hopefully it hasn't been Peregrine vs Purple Sandpiper; I've never had Purple Sand on a CBC and there's been one (or more) around.  Unfortunately, possibly my first December Peregrine also showed up at Tiscornia yesterday and was actively hunting along the pier.  It forced a few RB Mergs under water, played merry hell with the gull flock, and made a long tail chase after some buffleheads, one of which was forced to bail into the water from about 3 feet up.  A scaup repeated the same Drop-Like-A-Rock evasive maneuver.  

I don't know if the Peregrine succeeded in capturing breakfast or lunch, but it wasn't playing favorites. If it flew, it was chased.  Even if it was a Bald Eagle.

It made a few passes at the eagle.

Eventually the Eagle pulled a barrel roll to offer its talons at the falcon as they continued to the horizon

Monday, December 14, 2020

Last yearbirds?

 We'll see if the CBC's have anything to say about that!

Earlier in the week both Purple Sandpiper and Snowy Owl (along with a continuing kittiwake) were at Tiscornia.  The morning I was there the Purple was walking along the edge of the pier.  The owl flew out from where it was probably hunkered down from behind the lighthouse and flushed it.

The owl eventually grew bored of the pier and flew in to the shoreline.  It might be the first Snowy I've had flying low over the lake so I figured a montage was in order

It teed up on the gazebo a little north of the overlook

Finally a look at the Purple Sandpiper in pretty dim light.
The next morning SW winds scoured the algae off the pier and not surprisingly I don't believe the bird was seen again

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dot-backed Antbird

 I honestly hoped that we would see more antbirds in Amazonian Ecuador.  Dot-backed Antbird was a nice exception.  We heard it making an alien little buzz and I asked the guide what it was...  

The bird popped up with a little bit of playback.  It was SUPER dark (and backlit), so these pics are lightened a bunch, but turned out well all things considered.  The bird's a mouse, super tiny, no tail, and really like just about nothing else I've ever encountered.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Feast for a manakin

Back to content from the winter trip to Ecaudor.

After descending from a pretty amazing morning on the canopy tower our guide led us to a blind where Wire-tailed Manakin would (usually) come into some flower fruits.  We probably waited 20 minutes or so, but the bird did not disappoint, practically glowing in really really low light on the forest floor.

I've been fortunate enough to see several species of manakins, ranging from red to orange to yellow to green and blue, but this bird might have been the most striking of any of them.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Hawk errrr Finch watches

 With a decent amount of East to the wind I spent about 90 minutes on the dune today hoping for some hawks.  A number of people have had Rough-legged Hawks in the county this fall and roughies were the main hawk that was moving.

Dark morph buteos are always fun.

I have had crossbills atop the dune in November in the past and there were finches moving today.  They were mostly goldfinches, though I did have a small group of redpolls.  Evening grosbeaks were moving around (as were some robin and starling flocks).  The first finch I managed a pic of however was a singleton bird that moved through at medium distance, far enough away that hand focus was required.
It's a Red Crossbill, my first self-found in the county, and 260 for the year.

Eventually enough grosbeaks went by that I managed a few pics of them too.

Finally a sharpie that whipped past.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Shrikes are black and white (Chen geese too)

 Other birds are too, but first this bird from yesterday.  Northern Shrike is a bird I've found by surprise maybe only two other times in the LP.  The silhouette was a fun adrenaline rush when it popped up (just imagine if it's been April or May).  It moved around a lot and must have been attacking the local birds since the robins and chickadees were making a lot of alarm noises.  For a bird I would imagine that they'd never seen before they must have learned fast.

Haven't made a montage effort in a while...

Today's bird of the day was a Chen goose.  It was certainly mostly Snow, but when it landed had a bit of blue wartiness to the base of the bill.

The gulls chasing it are Herrings, so based on size it's at least mostly a Snow.

I have to admit I was kinda wondering how dramatic the pics would be if one of the local eagles had wandered by a little sooner than this one did, but the gulls flushed it first...

Monday, November 2, 2020

Redpoll in the green

 I can safely say I've never watched a redpoll with a green background before.  This one was incredibly tame, and not even seen until it was practically underfoot!  I think it must have assumed I was a caribou.

What finch will arrive next???

Saturday, October 31, 2020

B birds for the BBC

 Some cold winds didn't dissuade our BBC outing to Tiscornia this morning.  I think I've had Bonaparte's Gulls, Black-bellied Plover, and Bald Eagle on each of the beachfront BBC outings and today was no different with a couple Black-bellieds waiting for us amidst the gulls

Bonaparte's Gulls have been hanging out.  Today they were mostly pretty distant but a few flocks came in pretty close.

Loons were probably the birds of the day.  We saw a couple small flocks of Commons go over the pier.

Returning to the B theme snow Buntings have also been flying about, and today were landing on the beach.

This is one of the larger flocks of Black Ducks (with a few gadwall) that I've seen at Tiscornia

Finally the requisite BBC Bald Eagle.  I think this is probably a 3 year old bird based on limited white in the underparts and the white starting to come into the head but leaving a brown earstripe

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Grosbeaks by Lisa

 Evening Grosbeaks are apparently irrupting this fall, and Lisa has had some coming sporadically to her feeders.  I think I can count on my hands the number of times I've come across this Northern species, and the first time I've gotten even close to decent pics...

Fortunately for me the feeder they were coming in to had a nice weathered wood look to it.  

Maybe they should be called Autumn Grosbeaks...

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sani Canopy Tower, part II

 Picking up where I left off here (after a ridiculously long period) with probably my favorite morning of the Ecaudor trip, a morning in a canopy tower in Ecaudor's amazonian lowlands

The Great Potoo was pretty asleep at this point.

I'm treating this Golden-bellied Euphonia as my 1500th life bird.  The exact order of birds was a little hazy, and the eBird lists didn't get done until the trip was done so we'll just go with this one.

And it's possible that the above bird is a female Rufous-bellied (like the male below).  Clearly I need to go back and see these birds again.

No ID issues with Gilded Barbet, and my best view of this species.

Treetop tanagers are always nice to have at eye level.  These are Opal-rumped Tanagers

And the other end of the showy little bird spectrum, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, I would assume a close cousin of Central America's Mistletoe Ty (which has since been re-named)

Similarly this Purple Honeycreeper is likely Shining Honeycreepers analog

Finally one of the white-throated toucans.  We saw a few Ivory-billed Aracaris (the only ones of the trip, but they were super uncooperative for a photo so we'll roll with the big ol toucan)