Monday, November 29, 2010

Sharp-shinned Hawk at Achiote, a report by Michael Froude

In the early afternoon if Sunday 21 November 2010 on the Achiote road, I saw a Sharp-Shinned Hawk perched high in a moderately-foliaged roadside tree near the first bridge on the approach to the village. It did not move for at least half an hour, providing prolonged clear sightings from front and rear. Its plumage matched perfectly the illustration in Ridgely, except that the relative widths of the grey and white tail bands were reversed. From behind, the tail showed three narrow white bands and a narrow white tip. The iris at first appeared more yellow than the illustration but later, when it turned its head towards the hazy sun, it showed redder. The similar species mentioned by Ridgely, Tiny Hawk and Double-Toothed Kite, could confidently be ruled out. It twice uttered screechy two-tone calls.
Amongst other sightings on or near the Achiote Road were Royal Flycatcher (crest folded but still unmistakable), Black-Breasted Puffbird, Bay Wren (with their buzzy chatter) and a flock of Red-Breasted Blackbird, dazzling in the sunshine.

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