10 August 2011

Exploring the Choco...PART II ECUADOR (31 July)

What a day this turned out to be. After being thrilled with this super-tame pair of Tufted Flycatchers we slowly worked our way through the thick mud of the road and surveyed the forest for flocks. Various flocks came our way with double figures of the super-bright, super-gaudy Scarlet-and-white Tanager. A loud double wrap drew us to a spectacular Crimson-bellied Woodpecker hugging the trunk of a large rainforest tree, and a later loose flock brought me another lifer-the rare and endemic Choco Woodpecker that called and led Andrew to get only the second ever recordings of this scarce forest bird (to add to the first ones that he had got only last year). A singing Gray-mantled Wren was another highlight, which was pulled out of a flock that also held a striking Lita Woodpecker. These various flocks also frequently held Golden-chested Tanagers and were welcomed every time, often picked up by their regularly given, high-pitched, calls. In between the flocks we tried for some understorey birds, such as this male Stub-tailed Antbird, (the spot-breasted female was also seen closeby), and chatted to a large battalion of the Ecuadorian army who came by, and clearly had experienced as much mud as we had judging by their attire!

More from the Choco of Ecuador to come...including some further "firsts"

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