03 November 2012

La Selva...ECUADOR (28 Oct)

The plan for this day was to try and pick up La Selva's star resident, the rare and local Cocha Antshrike. However, this did not happen; the one territory we tried was silent, and the best area for them (which apparently holds two territories) was currently out of bounds due to a community dispute. However, there was plenty of interest during a hot and sweaty morning in the Amazon. Wire-tailed Manakins seemed to be calling everywhere, and we managed to find several stunning males, with their vermilion red caps, immaculate yellow underparts, beady yellow eye, and protruding fine tail filaments which lend the bird its name. A scarce bird was found hiding in a vine tangle, in the form of a Brown Nunlet which betrayed its inconspicuous presence through its call. At one point we heard the strange bubbling sound of a Striated Antthrush and decided to go in for it. On the way in we disturbed a small rusty bird up onto an open branch, which turned out to be a dapper Chestnut-belted Gnateater.

A short time later we found the antthrush calling from a well-concealed perch a few feet off the ground. Aside from the birds, which are of course, always my primary focus, being a bird junkie, were some other classic Amazonian animals, which included a Technicolor Ecuadorian Poison Dart Frog, a massive tarantula lurking a little too close to my cabin, and a troop of Black-mantle Tamarins.

Just a brief morning in La Selva remained...

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