Friday, July 15, 2011: We started the day birding the San Isidro lodge grounds. We found a number of species there. New ones included a bunch of noisy Inca Jays, a few Pale-edged Flycatchers, Subtropical (Scarlet-rumped) Cacique, Barred Becard, White-crested Elaenia, Russet-backed Oropendola (one building a new nest), Black-billed Peppershrike, Handsome Flycatcher (aka Guapo Flycatcher), and Glossy-black Thrush.
We then walked over to the area where they have been feeding a antpitta, and ended up seeing 3 White-bellied Antpittas. Then we started walking the road to San Isidro. Birding here was a combination of walking and driving down the road. The first set included the eastern race of Black-eared Hemispingus (potential split), White-capped (Speckle-faced) Parrot, Yellow-breasted (Common) Bush-Tanager, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Plain-tailed Wren, Bluish Flower-piercer, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, and the large and handsome White-capped Tanager. Farther down the road we encountered White-rumped Hawk, Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet, Long-tailed (Equatorial Rufous-vented) Tapaculo, Rufous Spinetail (seen by some, only heard by me), Lemon-browed Flycatcher, and Olivaceous Siskin. We got some great looks at Chestnut-collared Swifts, with the chesnut catching the sunlight. We also saw Golden-faced Tyrannulet, Ash-browed Spinetail, Gray-mantled Wren, Streaked Xenops, and a couple of Mountain Wrens.
|Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher||White-bellied Antpitta|
There were also numerous butterflies puddling and on the flowers. Unfortunately, I don't have an Ecuador or South America butterfly book, so they remain unidentified.
|Butterfly #1||Butterfly #2|
|Butterfly #3||Butterfly #4, Heliconius sp.|
We were passed by a trunk with a Neotropical River Otter in a cage in the back. When they saw us staring, they backed up to give us a better look. Apparently it had been dining at a local fish farm, and was being relocated by the authorities. We later saw them on the way back after having dropped off the otter in a new location.
We also saw an Amazon Red Squirrel today, I think during lunch. There are two virtually identical red-tailed squirrels on this side of the Andes, Sciurus igniventris and Sciurus spadiceus. I don't know which it was, but range maps suggest igniventris is the only one at this elevation.
After lunch, a drive through an agricultural area added Smooth-billed Ani, Southern Lapwing, Black-billed Thrush, Yellow-browed Sparrow, Red-breasted Blackbird, and Vermilion Flycatcher. Given the location, I have to wonder whether the Vermilion was an Austral migrant.
We also stopped for a short walk, adding Andean (Highland) Motmot to the triplist.
Our last stop of the day was at the Guacamayos Ridge Trailhead in order to look for nightjars. Unfortunately, it started raining, sometimes heavily. Nonetheless, we stood out in the rain in order to catch several glimpses of the Swallow-tailed Nightjar as they flew by. We had hoped to look for Andean Potoo, but that hope was washed away. We then returned to San Isidro for dinner.
My bird total for the day was 64 species, including 16 lifers. My trip total increased by 36 to 275 species, with 91 lifers.
Cabañas San Isidro