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Sunny Skies at Poza Honda

I consider myself to have been the bridge between the
shotgun and the binoculars in bird watching.
Before I came along, the primary way to observe birds
was to shoot them and stuff them.
– Roger Tory Peterson

May 5/2018 Global Big Day – Manabi Province/Ecuador

Wow – Shazam! A wonderful queue of delightful comments welcomed me back to cyberspace! Thank you all!  The camera is a Panasonic/Lumix DMC-FZ200, which works well most of the time, though is frustrating when it thinks it should focus on a branch in the foreground, when I’m trying to photograph the difficult-to-see bird in the background!  Ah, there is joy in having the ‘delete’ function, and not a worry about wasted film!  There are lots of missed shots, but for the price, I’m very pleased with this ‘mirrorless’ camera.

What Bird? There seems to be a bit of white on its neck, and some light splotches on its breast.  It stayed long enough for a fair image, which is better than none!

How many birds can one see in one day?  How many can one county/province or state or nation see in one day?

How many species?

The eBird stats,  top four countries – as of today:
Colombia 1,548
Peru 1,491
Ecuador 1,156
Brazil 1,038
The USA, reporting 716 species, submitted 43,010 checklists! Congratulations, and #2 w/checklists was Canada with 6,985. (Colombia submitted almost 5,000 checklists! Wow!   Peru submitted a little over 1,500, and Ecuador submitted 419 checklists.)

(The eBird summary page is HERE/ebird.)

La Segua/Chone

After a full day of birding in the Segua, we looked forward to a change in scenery.
We reached the Poza Honda reservoir around 4:30 pm, and almost immediately they started seeing new species for the day!

Look down – just past the shadows of our heads!

Collared Plover?

Peter’s trying to figure out which Swallow was beneath the little bridge.

Can you guess which swallow this is?

Chestnut-breasted Swallow

Noting the time, I nudged them back to the truck, “Um, Amigos, if you want to see the Brown Wood Rail, we’d best keep going. They’re not going to wait on you!” The Brown Wood Rails usually slink through the yard between 5 and 6 PM, their final feeding spot of the day.
We drove less than five minutes before Peter caught a fleeting glimpse of a bird!

They motioned for me to come look!

I think that Peter can spot an ant on a twig! What could be out there – and where?

Is it a Pygmy Owl? Hmmm..

No! It’s not a Peruvian Pygmy Owl, but for me, it was even better – a new bird for me!

Barred Puffbird

“Good work, Peter!”
Grinning, we reluctantly returned to the truck, as those Wood Rails were not going to wait on us!
But wait – “Stop!”
Nothing new for us, but they were important to add to the Global Big Day list.

Through the windshield – no luck for photos.

I didn’t get a photo, but here’s a photo from February:

Pale-mandibled Aracari

Parting from these amazing Aracaris was sweet sorrow, and I hoped that the Wood Rails would honor us with a great finale….
Hurriedly we unloaded the truck, walked to the house and opened the windows… “Shhhhhhh – your voices might spook them.”

Will the Wood Rails make their end-of-day appearance?

At 6:05, the first Wood Rail entered the private stage!

Brown Wood Rail

For 15 or 20 minutes, two adults and five ‘juveniles’ captivated our attention!  Peter and Luis were grinning like well-gifted children on Christmas morning!

We saw 74 species at the Chone La-Segua, and over 40 in those two short hours at Poza Honda. Not bad for a day with the birds!

Bird-friendly Landscape

The next morning we walked from the house to the lake, and Peter spotted another great bird!

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

What could we be looking for?

Oh! A Common Potoo is always a lovely find!  Thanks Peter!

Knowing that our early morning was waxing into mid morning – and a coffee date with the owner, I smirked and said, “There’s one bird that’s pretty predictable; would you like to meet the resident White-necked Puffbird?”

How appropriate that the Peruvian Pygmy Owl decided to escort us along the road!

Saying “Goodbye” to the Puffbird, we hurriedly returned for that much-anticipated GOOD CUP OF CAFE! with Jorge.  (There is also one house for tourism rental.)

We had a few detours – to admire the Whooping Motmot, and to check a bird-friendly Cecropria tree, which rewarded us with Orange-fronted Barbets.

Whooping Motmot

Barbets overhead!

Jorge invited us for a walk through the coffee farm, site of the Pale-browed Tinamou nest…

Neighbor Melissa joined us! (Melissa is an amazing ‘natural’ guide!)

Over the bamboo foot bridge, and past the corn – that’s the old nesting site….


Tucked between the natural setting, patches of coffee and cacao trees share space with bananas, plantains, yucca and papaya.   I think they might need help with the coffee harvest; anyone interested in a coffee-picking vacation can contact Jorge!!!!

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Before departing, I asked Luis and Peter what was their favorite bird;  An instant later, Luis replied, “The Brown Wood Rail!”   Here is the eBird checklist that Luis submitted for la Segua May 5/2018 which will provide a link to the Poza Honda list as well.

After a weekend of viewing birds, I continued to see them when I closed my eyes! Or was that real – the Brown Wood Rail that jumped into the bananas — and was joined by a juvenile?!

Parent Brown Wood Rail (with yellow bill) teaches the juvenile how to select the perfect banana!

(The internet is extremely slow right now, and I’m about to publish without being able to see most of the images! All mistakes are mine!)

I hope that you enjoyed the post, and thanks again for your amazing feedback!

 

 

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