Saturday, September 28, 2019

Colombia Day 6 - The Mountains (02Aug2019)

Military Macaws are usually difficult to see up close because they tend to hang out in inaccessible areas.  We arrived at our first stop in the mountains on a hillside where the Macaws are often seen leaving their night roosts.  Unfortunately the looks were poor in the early morning light but we did see them in a scope.

I believe this is a female White-vented Plumeleteer.

Pale-bellied Hermit

It was so dark that flash was the only way I could get a decent pic.

Black-backed Antshrike - another specialty bird of northeastern Colombia and far western Venezuela.

A little farther upslope we stopped at Minca to have a coffee and check out the hummer feeders.

Steely-vented Hummingbirds have the cutest white leggings.

White-vented Plumeleteer male.

Whooping Motmot!

Aways keep an eye on the sky when in exotic places.  This Short-tailed Hawk was soaring in the thermals.

Plumeleteer again.

Yet even further upslope we stopped for a resident Black-and-white Owl...

A Rosy Thrush-Tanager was very vocal but never came out of the dense brush.

A Golden-winged Sparrow was another good find.  We saw only one the whole trip.

King Vulture

A couple of Scaled Piculets stayed high in the canopy.

Rufous-capped Warbler.

The next stop we got horrible looks at good quality birds and I was super frustrated as a caravan of birders stopped and proceeded to chat with our group with engines running while I tried to get some decent looks at some endemics that were one-shot deals, meaning we would not see them again.  I wanted to yell at them to take the conversation downslope or something but I held my tongue.  I found out afterwards that one of the cars held some pretty famous birders from the states.

Santa Marta Antbird

Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner

Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush

Another quick stop a little farther on we had yet again horrible looks at another endemic.

Santa Marta Woodstar

We also had fleeting glimpses of a Santa Marta Tapaculo which of course no one photographed.

We arrived early in the afternoon at our destination for a couple days, the famous El Dorado Lodge!  Even though the weather was wet it was soooo nice to be able to go off on my own and bird around the lodge.  Geri-birding at it's finest.  Lifers were coming in fast and furious and it was fun IDing birds on my own and not relying on guides to call them in.

Lesser Violetear - there is three species of Violetear at El Dorado and they are all fairly common.  It did not take long to learn the  differences.

White-sided Flowerpiercer

Sickle-winged Guan - the compost heap was one of the best spots for birds.  Probably more for the insects feeding on the compost than the compost itself.

Brown Violetear

Lazuline Saberwing!

Band-tailed Guan

Lesser Violetear - note the Lesser has no purple on its belly.

Blue-naped Chlorophonia

Crowned Woodnymph - probably my favorite bird of the trip!

Lazuline Saberwing

Crowned Woodnymph female

Mountain Elaenia

Strong-billed Woodcreeper!  This is a big bird..

The problem with the compost heap is the light was horrible.

Santa Marta Brushfinch

Band-tailed Guan

Brown Violetear

Black-chested Jay

Black-capped Tanager

Crowned Woodnymph

Sparkling Violetear!  Note the purple spot on the belly.

Wow!  Love El Dorado....  Don't worry pops, I think I have a couple scenery pics although they are iPhone pics.  One day I will bring my smaller lens on trips so I can take more general scenery pics.