Birding for one day – and it was great! (August 17, 2012).

18 - 08 - 2012

August 17th (2012) we did a one-day birding trip to Rio Blanco & El Recinto del Pensamiento with Jean Rosenberg and daughter Nathalie from Massachusetts. The day began with a sighting of Rusty-faced Parrots feeding on mistletoes in Rio Blanco, a good breakfast and a short walk to the first of three Antpitta feeding stations. Here, we enjoyed the Brown-banded (endemic), Chestnut-naped & Chestnut-crowned Antpittas.  In the second feeding station the Bicolored Antpitta (near-endemic) showed briefly but was well seen. And in the third station we had a close encounter with the Slate-crowned Antpitta, feeding on earthworms just 5 feet away from us!

A pleasurable hike through the forest yielded long views of a family of four Long-tailed Antbirds, feeding along bamboo thickets with the tiny Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant. Some of the birds that showed up really well: Andean Guan, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Black-capped and Superciliaried Hemispingus, Blue-and-black Tanager, Pearled Treerunner, Golden-fronted Whitestart (near-endemic), Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Mountain Elaenia, Masked Trogon, Green-and-black Fruiteater and Azara’s Spinetail. Before leaving Rio Blanco we had great views of the Golden-plumed Parakeet (a group of 30 flying over, plus 5 birds perched in front of the lodge baranda) and the White-capped Tanager (a group of 5, perched).

Late afternoon we visited the hummingbird feeders at El Recinto del Pensamiento. Hummingbirds seen here plus those seen in Rio Blanco made a total of 16 species for the day!  The species seen were: Tourmaline Sunangel, Buff-tailed Coronet, Long-tailed Sylph, Tyrian Metaltail, Speckled Hummingbird, Collared Inca, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, White-bellied Woodstar, Green-fronted Lancebill, Bronzy Inca, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Andean Emerald, Green Violetear, Sparkling Violetear and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird . Before the day ended, we had a close encounter with the Sickle-winged Guan, Golden-crowned Flycatcher and Pale-edged Flycatcher.


Birding Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary for some bird images with Juan Jose Arango and Anabel Vanin (August 3 – 5, 2012).

06 - 08 - 2012

Birded Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary on August 3, 4 & 5 (2012) with Juan José Arango and wife Anabel Vanin, searching for some photo opportunities. Four months before, Juan José & Anabel birded Río Blanco with Daniel Uribe, managing to take nice photos of all five species of Antpittas.  ¿Could a similar success be repeated in Otún-Quimbaya?

Not easily: first morning at Otún was rainy, non-stop! Thus, we decided to evacuate the area moving into the outskirts of Pereira city, visiting two sites with nice hummingbird feeders, one at William Peña’s house, and the other at Villa Martha Coffee Farm. Here, we had good photo opportunities, not only for hummingbirds (White-necked Jacobin, Black-throated Mango, Steely-vented HB, Rufous-tailed HB), but for the very nice Bar-crested Antshrike, Spectacled Parrrotlet, Golden-faced Tyrannulet and Bay-headed Tanager, among others.

In the afternoon, we drove back to Otún-Quimbaya and in spite of intermittent showers, we enjoyed greatly stopping at a wooden bridge for photos of both male & female Torrent Ducks. Then, in the forest near the lodge we took good images of the endemic Grayish Piculet, Azara’s Spinetail, Slate-throated Whitestart, Blue-and White Swallow, Montane Woodcreeper, Black Phoebe and others. In the morning of our last day, we took good photos of the beautiful Tropical Parula, Fawn-breasted Tanager, near-endemic Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Common Bush-Tanager and Yellow-bellied Seedeater. We also had fair views of the Cauca Guan and splendorous Ref-ruffed Fruitcrow (but no good photo opportunity) and a blind encounter with the endemic Stiles’s Tapaculo that never showed himself to our cameras!