Sunday, September 23, 2007
“whee WHEEE-OOO” or “pee EEEEE aaaaa”
If you’ve been to the Amazon or watched documentaries on the Amazon you’ll have heard the ear-splitting song of the Screaming Piha, The song is sometimes dubbed into movies and even sampled into music tracks, presumably to give it that tropical sounding vibe. Screaming Pihas form leks, though males and females look alike, and if you’re close in on the vocal contests of several males (where you’ll see them throwing their heads back before and during), it can get quite uncomfortable on the ears. These birds seemingly have something to prove to the females as they are otherwise an uninspiring dull-coloured bird of the mid-level forest.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Approximately 800 metres from Puente Colombia on the Shapaja track I stopped and entered a short trail which ended in dense scrub. This proved to be productive area with a male Haullaga Slaty-Antshrike, White-browed Antbird (pr), Stripe-chested Antwren (m), Long-billed Gnatwren, Barred Antshrike (f), Buff-breasted Wren, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher (1-2), and Great Antshrike (pr).
A walk along the track above the Río Mayo provided Ashy-headed Greenlet, Hoatzin, White-necked Thrush, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Red-eyed Vireo, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Buff-throated Saltator, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Drab Water-Tyrant, Gray-breasted Martin, White-banded Swallow and Buff-breasted Wren alongside more some common species typical of open/degraded areas including Ruddy-Ground Dove, Great Kiskadee, Smooth-billed Ani, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Blue-gray Tanager and Palm Tanager. Above a visible cleared hillside with the usual American Black and Turkey Vultures were Hook-billed Kite and Short-tailed Hawk.
A forest patch about 700 metres from the bridge included an actively feeding Bluish-fronted Jacamar, a pair of White-lined Tanagers, a pair of exceptionally approachable White-browed Antbirds, a pair of Yellow-breasted Flycatchers and a Rufous Casiornis.
About 1km from the bridge there is obvious trail on the left which follows a steep, dry ravine. This site allowed great views of two pairs of Huallaga Slaty-Antshrikes, a couple of Mishana Tyrannulets, a nervous Tataupa Tinamou, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Little Cuckoo, White-tailed Trogon, some noisy Black-fronted Nunbirds, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Speckled Chachalaca, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Buff-rumped Warbler, Buff-breasted Wren, Red-eyed Vireo, Drab Water-Tyrant, Squirrel Cuckoo, Magpie Tanager, and Silver-beaked Tanager.
Noted along the road back to Tarapoto in the rice fields and agricultural area: Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, Greater Ani, Eared Dove, Turkey Vulture, American Black Vulture, Tropical Kingbird, Ruddy Ground Dove, Common Thornbird, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Blue-and-white Swallow, Rufous-collared Sparrow and Smooth-billed Ani.
Thanks to Armando for the lift by motorbike!
Monday, September 10, 2007
Around 50 species noted: Reddish Hermit, Little Woodpecker, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-headed Caracara, Blue-crowned Motmot, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Moustached Wren, White-tipped Dove, Black Phoebe, Buff-breasted Wren, White-necked Thrush, Pale-legged Hornero, Short-crested Flycatcher, Canary-winged Parakeet (70+), Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Turkey Vulture, American Black Vulture, Fork-tailed Palm-Swift, Gray-rumped Swift, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Buff-rumped Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Tropical Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, Grayish Saltator, Saffron Finch, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Black-billed Thrush, Blue-gray Tanager, Palm Tanager, Eared Dove, Dull-coloured Grassquit, Cattle Egret, Giant Cowbird, Social Flycatcher, Short-tailed Swift, Southern House Wren, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Blue-and-white Swallow, Silver-beaked Tanager, Magpie Tanager, Streaked Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch, Shiny Cowbird, Smooth-billed Ani and several more hummer species zipping past and feeding high in flowering trees.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
I was already pretty pleased as I headed back to the village as some new species today took me over 600 species on my Peru list. All have been more or less self-found on four trips with work along with the occasional diversions to places like Paracas/Islas Ballestas, Machu Picchu and Lomas de Lachay. Ok, so I wasn’t meant to be watching birds today but those cloud forest tanager flocks are hard to ignore. We were actually after the soon to be described Heliconius timareta and upland Ithomiines for molecular work and I managed to get some specimens of Greta alphesiboea – my favourite Ithomiine butterfly and its larger co-mimic Godyris duillia.
The biggest mixed feeding flock contained Golden Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Vermillion Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager and Blue-necked Tanager. Also active in the surrounding forest were Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Black-streak Puffbird, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Three-striped Warber, Green Jays (including a flock of 10), Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Streaked Xenops, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Montane Woodcreeper, Yellow-throated Tanager, Streak-necked Flycatcher, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Masked Trogon, Red-billed Parrot, and Barred Fruiteater.
My highlights from the following sites:
Breakfast stop at Pacayzapa
Common Thornbird, Yellow-billed Cacique, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Troupial, Amazon Kingfisher, and Green Kingfisher.
Mishquiyacu, Moyobamba 1050-1250m
White-crowned Tapaculo, 30+ Russet-backed Oropendola, Red-rumped Cacique, Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Yellow-backed Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Bay-headed Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Rufous Motmot, Buff-fronted Foliage Gleaner, and Ornate Flycatcher.
Best here was a pair of the endemic Speckle-chested Piculets (9cm woodpeckers!), Beryl-spangled Tanager, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Yellow-throated Tanager, Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Brown-capped Vireo, Hepatic Tanager, and Golden-faced Tyrannulet as well as some nice tanagers.
Caserío Alto Nieva 1940m
An endemic hummingbird, the Royal Sunangel, Rufous-tailed Tyrant, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, White-tipped Swift, Rusty Flowerpiercer, Cinnamon Flycatcher and Greater Yellow-headed Vulture.
Trail to Cerro Patricia from the house of Pepe Espinar Gomez 1800-1700m
White-capped Tanager, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, Olivaceous Piha, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, White-backed Fire-eye, Royal Sunangel, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, Smoke-coloured Pewee, Barred Becard, White-eared Solitaire, Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet, Spotted Tanager, Vermillion Tanager, and Barred Antshrike.
Hand-sized moth from our eatery in Aguas Clares