Our last afternoon of Ecuador birding saw us upstream of the claylicks birding around a Sani village (can you say Roasted Palm Grubs for lunch? Ok, plural is an exaggeration. But I did eat one. It tasted like a really rubbery shrimp). Anyway, we walked a trail among widely dispersed houses and came upon a White-eared Jacamar.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Can you get tired of Scarlet Macaws? The answer should be no, but as long as the macaws were about there wouldn't be any other birds. And since after a while you either have the pic or you don't, I honestly didn't mind when they started filtering away. Now the problem was that they had to go ALL the way away for the smaller species to appear and it felt like we stared at the muddy rocks for about an hour after they departed before activity recommenced.
Cobalt-winged Parakeets are on the opposite side of the size spectrum, probably smaller than the macaws' heads.
Friday, January 22, 2021
The parrot licks along the river were just the beginning of gorgeous birds eating dirt. After the amazons departed for the forest we continued upriver a little farther to where a large blind had been built at another site that parrots used to lick clay, this one fairly deep in the forest.
It was dark, which added another layer of incredulity that we were going to see one of the gaudiest birds in the Western Hemisphere, Scarlet Macaws. It took at least an hour for the birds to start filtering in, but filter in they did.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Parrots weren't the only thing we saw from the river, the Amazon river basin has interesting water birds too!
Pied Plovers were new for about half the group, myself among them.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Or green on orange, either one.
Our second to last morning in Ecuador found us initially jockeying for position amidst a flotilla of tourist boats along the Sani River. The target? A bare stretch of clay along the river that would attract parrots from probably miles around as they attempted to detoxify some of the chemicals from the pits or seeds of jungle fruit.
They're mostly Mealy Parrots, a large Amazon that's spread pretty widely through the tropics.
Close study produced another Amazon, this one a Yellow-crowned.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
It's been a few years since I've seen an Iceland Gull so I was pretty excited to see that the 1st winter whitewing on the south pier had a dark bill. It played hide and seek for a while as it rested offshore, but eventually headed in to the beach.
Where he displayed some manners that, well, I'm not sure I want to go to Iceland...
Monday, January 4, 2021
A lot of times on birding trips the evenings can be somewhat of a struggle. A person is hot, tired, likely borderline dehydrated, and quite possibly a bit overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds of the day. That being said, the Sani Lodge evenings were some of the most enjoyable evenings of any of the birding trips I've been on.
Because all we did was paddle! And by we, I mean our guides. The rest of us just sat in dugout style canoes and watched exotic birds appear along the edges of the blackwater lagoons.
Who wouldn't enjoy some (not so aptly named) Red-bellied Macaws screeching about their day?
Waterbirds were of course plentiful. These are Capped Herons.
Friday, January 1, 2021
It's been a few years since I've had a chance to really bird January 1. But I had the chance this year (at least until a sputtering ice storm sent me home midday).
Tiscornia was pretty quiet, though there were a lot of Red-throated Loons. A kestrel at the nearby Paw Paw canoe launch was the first raptor of the year.