Something was out there.
My breathing paused while my eyes switched from the well-thumbed Birds of Northwest Ecuador to the reflective waters of the pond. Subtle ripples confirmed that something was there, though there were many possibilities.
The masked water tyrants were nesting again, and they often patrol that section of the pond. I did not think that those birds were responsible for those ripples.
The white-ringed flycatchers were absent this week; their nesting cycle ended when the small bush holding their life’s work toppled into the pond during heavy rains. Hopefully the fledglings had fled before the nest’s baptism. Maybe they relocated to a favorite perch, the red ginger at the edge of the pond.
A striated heron stops in every so often, though it usually perches on dead limbs and waits in stealth mode. I quickly dismissed the heron from my list of suspects. Cute little swallows gather insects while practicing touch and gos during the last few hours of each day, but this was a sunny morning. Swallows were also quickly ruled out.
Ah! The blue-winged teal! They stopped by for a visit in December. Maybe they were back? Their presence added a touch of grace to the landscape.
The neotropical cormorant had been absent for a few days, thank goodness, as it gorges on tilapia throughout the day. I checked its usual spot – empty – and shifted my eyes to the mirror-like waters. Most likely the cormorant had returned. If so, it would surface soon.
My eyes darted to new ripples along the grasses, and the swift movement jolted me into action.