Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mixed Bag, from Euclides Campos

During my last trip to Darién on August 4th to 7th, specifically at El Real, I saw the Large-billed Seed-Finch and the Yellow-hooded Blackbird around the airstrip. Both were singing.
On the way to the airstrip there are a few patches of heliconia where I saw a female Ruby Topaz for three days in a row. The best fieldmark was its tail, bronzy in the middle tail feathers and rufous on the outer tail feathers with a dark subterminal band and white tips. It was kind of grayish underneath and bronzy on top. I noticed during the third day of observation that she raised her crown feathers and spread her tail and was perched around 3 m above ground.
I heard several Gray-breasted Crakes with their peculiar call of 4 notes, te-te-te-te, along the airstrip. Other interesting birds I saw every single day were Spectacled Parrotlet, Agami Heron, immature, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Gray Elaenia, Black Oropendola, Yellow-backed Tanager, Red-billed Scythebill, and a Golden-green Woodpecker was heard.

From August 14th to 15th Laura Reyes and I went birding at Saint Francis Reserve at Tortí where we saw good birds. We arrived around 9 a.m. at the reserve, and we decided to do some birding in open areas. On our way to the first stop we flushed an immature Black-and-white Hawk Eagle. We stopped the car and walked to try to get a better view, but the bird didn't cooperate. After that sighting we started to drive further where we spotted a Large-billed Seed Finch singing on the top of a dead tree. Its pale bill was clearly seen, and I lured it in the afternoon using a playback allowing us excellent views. The next day we did forest edging where I saw a Yellow-green Tyrannulet eating around 4m from the ground. In the same tree Laura found a Sooty-headed Tyrannulet. The views were great. Other birds seen were the Rufous-crested Coquette, Sulphur-rumped Tanager, White-ringed Flycatcher, One-colored Becard, Barred Puffbird and the Sirystes was heard.

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