07 September 2011

Hints of Colombia...ECUADOR (2 September)



The following day Andrew Spencer and I were dismayed to find yet more clouds and yet more rain dogging our day's birding again. However, with just a little time to explore the exciting "new" La Sofia Road (in Succumbios province) we were not going to be put off by a little (actually quite a lot of) moisture. We arrived shortly after dawn at "the spot" for the newly discovered Yellow-throated Brush-Finch. This bird was only recently discovered in Ecuador and we could not resist to try to add it on our own personal Ecuador lists. Despite the gloom and the damp the birds were in full song and pretty soon the dawn chorus revealed an unfamiliar brush-finch song. We quickly recorded it, played it back, and were soon admiring a fine Yellow-throated Brush-Finch! We were keen though to see what else this road had to offer, and it turned out quite a lot. Soon after the excitement of a new Ecuador bird for us, we were eyeballing an "old", familiar one...Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia a gorgeous green-and-yellow tanager-like bird that posed well for us and sang continually from a low canopy, (which pleased sound recordist Andrew no end!) In between heavy downpours we found a deep purple-blue Black-collared Jay (another new Ecuador bird for us both), an Olive Finch tucked in by a noisy Andean river (as is their way), and best of all a fantastic flock of 7 White-capped Tanagers. These large, boisterous tanagers behave and sound more like jays (indeed their affinities with them have been the subject of debate over the years). A noisy flock of them was perched in a roadside palm as we were trying to leave the site, and were stopped in our tracks by their piercing Turquoise Jay like calls, and we paused to enjoy my best ever views of the species.

Reluctantly, with the tanagers taking flight with a flurry of noisy calls, we pointed the car towards Quito and headed home...

2 comments:

euthymic said...

What beautiful shots, how wonderful that you didn't let the rain discourage you. The bird looks lovely with its masked face:)

Sam Woods said...

Some of the best birding in the tropics can be in damp conditions. In the Andes birds seem to hate the days humans like: dry and sunny. So it is always best to get out in wet weather!