We arrived at Los Flamencos and immediately went in search for one of our targets which was the Carib Hornero (which is split from the Pale Legged) in an incredibly dry scrubby and almost baron landscape. Its been months since the last rain.
Jeff and Jose watch the Chestnut Piculet
We soon picked up the Hornero but it stayed in the thorny patches of gorse bushes not allowing any photographs, but we got crippling views this time around of a Chestnut Piculet. This near endemic species is limited to this very northern part of Colombia.
Out of the blue we heard Jose shout out, it startled us for a second then we suddenly realised as out of the tangled scrub bushes came running a Crab Eating Racoon. It was being chased by one of the goat herders dogs......Waving one arm frantically at the dog white trying to take picture of the Racoon isnt easy... The Racoon got away! and I got a ropey image of the Racoon.
the herd come to drink
We went in search of another target bird, this time it was the Buffy Hummingbird. We found the dry scrubby area but immediately Jose realised that the birds favoured plants were not in flower, he wasn't hopeful and his fear was right. Gutted about this as it would have been a super bird to see. We picked up some lovely shots of a very handsome Venezuelan Flycatcher, another species that I didnt see in Venezuela.
while Cattle Tyrants adorned the trees and the lakeside water margins.
Smooth Billed Ani, White Tipped Doves, Pale Tipped Tyranulets, Rufous Tailed Jacamar, Black Crested Antshrike, Great Kiskadee, Straight Billed Woodcreper, Buff Breasted Wren and a Short Tailed Hawk were all seen as we made our way back to the car but this large flock of Green Rumped Parrotlets was certainly a highlight and in some way made up for missing the Hummingbird.
Green Rumped Parrotlets fly in for a drink
then perch for some incredible views
We headed into the park proper at Los Flamencos
Not surprisingly the American Flamingo are in good numbers in Los Flamencos as we parked the car they were in large numbers, but mainly in the distance but a small population were on the water directly in front of us. A Harris Hawk sat on the sand pretty much minding its own business, well as much as a Hawk can before it was mobbed by a Smooth Billed Ani, it took off straight at us....
There wasn't masses of water in the lagoons as it has been a very dry season with no rain since December but what little water there was held a few Least Sandpipers, Reddish Egrets, including a juvenile and mostly Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets ..... its a shame about the rubbish strewn across the lagoon.
and a juvenile Reddish Egret
on bended knee..... Snowy Egrets and a Common Tern
A single American Oystercatcher caught was new for the trip list and a lifer for myself
Neotropic Cormorants, Yellow Billed Tern, 3 Royal Tern, a few Common Tern and a single Magnificant Frigatbird were the only Seafaring birds
Then this happened
out of nowhere a Black Skimmer came to the lagoon, just a single Black Skimmer came in close and ended up sat just opposite us on a Sandbank.... what a bird.
Gabo, Jose and a wind wept Jeff at Los Flamencos
and of course the American Flamingos.....
This was our last stop in northern Colombia, This afternoon we travel back to Santa Marta for an afternoon flight back to Bogota where we stay another night and then fly to Amazonian Colombia....
Gabo dropped us off at the airport, it had been a pleasure birding with him for the past 5 days, we will meet up again with Jose Luna Solarte this evening and fly out to the Amazon with him in the morning..... Mitu here we come.
Beach at Los Flamencos