Friday, July 15, 2005

More on the Blue Seedeaters at El Valle

Michael Gaston Harvey sent in additional information on the El Valle Blue Seedeaters:

The Blue Seedeaters have been seen only at the trail up Cerro Gaital from La Mesa. From the main road through El Valle, follow signs to Chorro Macho. Pass Chorro Macho and the Canopy Adventure and continue up the road (now dirt) to La Mesa. Pass the first set of chicken farms and take a right at the fork. Follow this road for a bit until the next major fork just before another group of chicken barns. Take a right at this fork and follow it briefly until you see a small building next to a gated trail and sign for Cerro Gaital Natural Monument. Park here and walk up the trail through the gate. At the top of the grassy portion of trail, ascend a small set of stairs. Here you must decide between the right and left trails. Both have good stands of bamboo which attract the seedeaters and both probably should be covered in a search for that species. The left trail has been more productive for the seedeaters recently (in fact there were 4 there just this morning!). Both eventually meet up again just below the mirador. The roads to La Mesa are quite good, no high-clearance or 4wd needed, and the trails are generally fairly flat and easy with a few steeper parts. It takes most of a morning (4-5 hrs) to bird the trails to the mirador and back.

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