20 January 2010

Napo: Amazon Day 7...Ecuador: January 1, 2010

The New Year literally began with the usual dawn chorus of hissing Hoatzins. Not musical maybe, but a classic Amazon sound. As mist rose up off the lake and we paddled our way to the trailhead we flushed up an Azure Gallinule that posed on the tops of the reeds for some time (top photo). Before we reached the Tiputini Trail, our mornings destination, we put up another flashy bird from beside the creek: another mean, smart looking Agami Heron staring down at us angrily from its creekside perch. Once on the trail we were soon trying to track down another striking celeus woodpecker for our trip, this one the rare Ringed Woodpecker, that some time later was found glowing in the sunlight perched up on a dead snag. Other trail highlights included a creeping Southern Antpipit, striking Warbling Antbird, and a dapper Green Oropendola. An angry Woolly Monkey was also encountered, that had us ducking for cover when it started chucking who knows what down at us (bottom photo)! We finished up with a quick walk on another forest trail, finding a pair of brilliant Banded Antbirds (third photo), a cute Brown Nunlet (second photo), and an incredibly confiding Rufous-capped Antthrush that paced around us repeatedly at just a fast enough pace for me to completely fail in getting a photo as it strutted, chicken-like around us!

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