Monday, December 4, 2000

Tody Motmot, Eye-ringed Flatbill et al. at El Valle

His formerfieldeditorshipness himself Dodge Engleman (kinda) sent us the following report:

Lorna and I went to El Valle as a guest of Raúl [Arias] on December 3d --4th. Rain prevented much birding but during a spell in the weather on the AM of the 4th, we did get the Tody Motmot and Eye-ringed Flatbill.
Raúl and his birding manager, Danilo, say the Motmot is fairly regular along the trail below the Chorro Macho falls. On the AM in question, while I was awaiting Lorna and Raúl at the trail head, Danilo went in and heard it calling. He came to fetch us and we heard and saw it against the banks of the creek side ravine. Of interest to me, while it perched quietly on an arching horizontal branch about three feet above the ground, it would twitch its tail slowly back and forth as is the wont of its larger relatives that have a raquet-tail! I managed a shitty recording and it showed little interest in playback. Perhaps because the recording was shitty.
Eye-ringed Flatbill. I report this because the S & D in Ridgely doesn't have it for Pacific slope in Coclé. Raúl, Lorna, and I were descending the trail from his upper site to the Canopy Adventure locale and had a small mixed flock of tanagers etc. we got several crippling views of a singleton working at eye level (as the trees it was working were on the down-hill side of the trail) from as close as thirty feet. In shape, activity, and bill structure it was just like its olivaceous congener. The overall color was a darker olive and the bright white, but narrow, eyering was conspicious. we did not hear a vocalization. Danilo was not with us but on telling him what we saw he said he had seen what he thought was that previously a few times but had not called it because he was not sure that's what it was since it was not known to be in the area.
Also had a pair of Dull-mantled Antbirds working close to a pair of Chestnut-backed; so close that at times one of the first species would actually be closer to the congener than to its own mate and vice versa! This sp is a definite regular up there and I love its Spanish name of "Guardarrivera". The Sunbittern is also a regular and was seen twice in different sections of the stream that morning, but unfortunately not by this observer.

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