Podocarpus National Park: Bombuscaro

Sunday, July 20, 2008: After breakfast, and a look at some birds around Copalinga, including Wire-crested Thorntail, we headed a short distance down the road to the Bombuscaro section of Podocarpus National Park. From the road we could see David Wolf's property across the valley. Rain was an issue at times today, which meant the camera spent a lot of time in its waterproof bag rather than pointed at birds.

From the entrance, you walk up though the forest to get to the visitor's center. It's a beautiful walk though the rainforest. The character of this upland rainforest is quite different from the lowland rainforest at Napo Wildlife Center. One obvious difference in the vegetation is the presence of many treeferns at Bombuscaro.

We hit the jackpot near the visitor's center. A tanager flock came through. There were so many birds that it was hard to look them. You'd start to look at a Turquoise Tanager, and before you have a really good look, a nearby Paradise Tanager is demanding your attention. Eventually, the flock moved off into the forest.

I lost track of what areas I saw the various birds in, but lifers on the lower trail and in the first tanager flock included Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Golden-crowned Flycatcher. White-necked Thrush, Blue-necked Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Golden-eared Tanager, Golden Tanager, and Orange-eared Tanager. Some Inca (Green) Jays put in an appearance while we were still near the visitor's center, and someone spotted a Black-streaked Puffbird in the woods.

Inca (Green) Jay Black-streaked Puffbird
Inca (Green) Jay Black-streaked Puffbird

Eventually we headed further up the trail to a high viewpoint. Along the way we added more birds. We returned to the visitor's center, and waited for the tanager flock to return. It did, and action was again fast and furious. Lifers on the upper trail and at the visitor's center included Ornate Flycatcher, Bronze-green Euphonia, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, and Plain Antvireo, and Guira Tanager. Of course, other birds, such as Green-and-gold Tanager, Black-faced Dacnis, and Roadside Hawk, were also present.

We stopped along the road on the way back to Copalinga. Highlights included Long-tailed Tyrant and a couple of Amazonian Umbrellabirds flying above the Rio Bombuscaro.

Copalinga Feeders

We returned to Copalinga in time to watch the feeders for a while. Lifers included Magpie Tanager, Lined Antshrike, Olivaceous Greenlet, Black-billed Thrush, and Yellow-cheeked Becard. Not everything at the feeders was a lifer. Some were old friends such as Bananaquit. In fact, none of the birds I photographed at Copalinga today were lifers. But I can't complain. How can one get tired of Silver-beaked Tanagers, with their velvet burgandy coats?

Buff-throated Saltator Silver-beaked Tanagers
Buff-throated Saltator Silver-beaked Tanager
Thick-billed Euphonia Blue-gray Tanager
Thick-billed Euphonia Blue-gray Tanager

Today's totals were 59 species including 25 lifers, making a grand total of 297 bird species with 200 lifers.

Finca Copalinga, Zamora