Whos keeping an eye on me....

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Venezuela - Part 4 Yacambu Park

A two day excursion to Yacambu park was eagerly anticipated, Hey we even hired a guide for both days, this would be good birding.... wouldnt it?

It started off with a quick stop to pick up our guide just outside Sanare. His garden birding was pretty special, we soon picked up an endemic in the guise of a

Green -tailed Emerald

The short drive to the edge of the national park brought with it forest cloud. However not to be disheartened we left the transport and set off on foot where we quickly got onto a pair of Crested Quetzel, we were rewarded with descent views however the forest mist made photography very hit and miss..... it certainly tested my skills and unfortunatly the weather won most of the time.

Further up the road and we had this Emerald Toucanet


and a little later we also had the Yellow-billed Toucanet
Pretty good start!

Then we had the signs of what was to follow for the next day and a half. Our guide stopped us suddenly as we listened to the loud calls of another endemic bird. This time it was the call of the Scytalopus meridanus (Rhinocryptidae) Merida Tapaculo. Yes the bird moved but it was never more than a few feet away.... listen, there a movement, even from a few feet, with binoculars and a rustling of dense foilage it took a mere 45 minutes to locate the noisy bugger.... dont even ask where the picture is!!! this was typical skulking bird birding.

Some more good birds were bagged even before we reached our base, species such as Common Bush-tanager and Dusky-capped Flycather amongst a host of others. At base we off-load the bags in the room just before the light rains come but it didnt stop us getting another endemic bird outside the restraurant, this time a
Violet-Chested Hummingbird


and within a few minutes this wonderful
Orange-crowned Oriole


We tried for some Owls and desperatly wanted the Mottled Owl but no luck even though our guide heard it at 2am....he thought about waking us but decided aginst it due to the un-earthly hour....
 a very unlikley story eh!

We woke for breakfast with thick forest mist as far as the eye could see which unfortunatly wasnt very far.... visability was down to 50 feet or so. nonetheless some very fine birds were seen even if they didnt make it onto the cameras CF card. Golden Winged Manakin, Green Jay, Fulvous headed Tanager, Slaty Antwren, the stunning Red billed sythbill (oh how I wish I got a photo.....), Plain Antvireo and Booted Rackettail to name some.

The weather didnt have all its own way though......
This fella let us know where he was with a series of loud calls, look at those eyes!
White Rumped Hawk


and another endemic even if they were a little distant
Blood-eared Parrot



It was hard work, the weather was against us (even descending the mountain to the lower lying lake we found it shrouded in mist) and many species were heard and not seen however what we did see was this stunning male
Masked Trogan


some other species seen were Golden-rumped Euphonia, Brown-capped Vireo, Grey-breasted Woodwren, Golden faced Tyrannulet and this Long tailed Sylth


Broad Winged Hawk


Blackburnian Warbler


Brown-capped Vireo


of couse we had to drop off our guide Gustavo so managed another hours birding around his feeders
Highland hepatic Tanager


and managed to get some of the more common species, and a welcome return to some better weather for images
Lesser Goldfinch - female


Lesser Goldfinch - male


Beryl-spangled Tanager


Tropical Mockingbird


the wonderful Burnished-buff Tanager


I wonder if we had some Bananas in the forest we could have tempted some more out.

It was hard work, we missed alot of species that we would have had a chance of without the constant drizzle and cloud however the only real regret was missing the Mottled Owl and not getting the shot of the Red Billed Sythbill.

Yacumbu park in the mist


7 comments:

Gary said...

Beautiful series Dave!! Boom And Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

mick said...

A great series of photos. It sounds like a fantastic place to visit.

Hanne Bente said...

Great pictures you show.
Wishing you a good day.
Hanne Bente / hbt.finus.dk

HansHB said...

Lovely to see this post!
Great shots!
Happy WBW!

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a great outing, loved all the great birds and photos. Wonderful sightings!

Pat said...

Wonderful captures of these beautiful birds! The Masked Trogon is a stunning bird.

Springman said...

So many birds and so little time!
You must have had bird acquisition anxiety!