Monday, July 27, 2020


Big shorebirds tend to show up following fronts and this morning was no different.  With clouds and west winds breaking the muggy heat we weren't terribly surprised to see an avocet land in front of the overlook.  I realized at that point I'd managed to leave the camera in the car, whoops.

I went back for it and about an hour later a flock of avocets appeared.

It was a mix of adults of both sexes (the males have straighter bills), just starting to get some wintry gray in their crowns.

 I don't know of a better visual representation of the whoof-whoof-whoof sound that a falcon's wings make when they bank close to you on a still day than the black and white secondary patterns of the avocets.

Finally a little yellow butterfly that caught my eye as the group departed. 
I looked it up, turns out it's called Little Yellow.  Go figure.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Up the canopy tower

During the late winter and early spring South America posts I covered the first half of our trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon, first at Shiripuno, a small lodge along a small river.  We then went to Sani, a lodge set back in the lagoons off a huge river.  Sani had a canopy tower, and it was there that we spent our first morning at Sani.

Walking around on the floor of the jungle is pretty dark and you know there's a huge amount of leaves and branches where birds can hide.  So it was pretty amazing to get up to them.  A Great Potoo was roosting in the tree as it turned out.

 It spent the entire morning there, though its eyes got shut more and more as the light rose.

Nothing like being eye-level with a couple Double-toothed Kites!

 We spied a pair of Pied Puffbirds (and enjoyed saying that 3 times fast) far out while scanning, but eventually they turned up in our tree as well.

As did a Rufous Attila.  It's Bright-rumped cousin is widely distributed in the tropics, but this was my first new Attila after Bright-rumped

Canopy birds and canopy birds.  We looked down on Spangled Cotingas
 and up at a Turquoise Tanager (one of my best spots of the trip)

This morning was one of the more memorable ones of the trip, and I'll have more photos from the tower as I get back in the groove of editing them.

One view of the forest floor view of the catwalk up to the platform...

Friday, July 17, 2020


I've gone out a few times to photograph the first comet (Neowise) that has a visible tail in recent memory.  This was at Tiscornia this morning.

A good sized storm front passed through about 36 hours ago.  I missed a flock of about 50 willets the evening it went through, and then a small flock of marbled godwits yesterday morning due to work, but there was at least one straggler willet this morning

Sanderlings are just starting to filter through.  Today was the first day with multiple.  One is still in pretty solid breeding plumage.