Whos keeping an eye on me....

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Colombia 2015 - Pt 7 San Lorenzo & El Dorado

Day 10:

Another very early start as we had a drive to a higher elevation of the San Lorenzo ridge to try for the remaining endemics (hopefully most of them anyway).

Although we reached the top at dawn and at what should have been a good time to try for the Santa Marta Antpitta we unfortunately didn't get to see it, we even tried on numerous other occasions over the course of two days without success. All was not lost as the rest of the morning turned out to be a bit of a  bonanza as we quickly picked up a Common Pauraque and then the lovely Santa Marta Warbler, a very smart bird.
 and then followed by Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Santa Marta Foilage Gleaner, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager and Santa Marta Toucanet, and Three flocks of Santa Marta Parakeets totalling over 20 birds.
Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant
Santa Marta Toucanet

Santa Marta Mountain Tanager

 add the wonderful Flamulated Treerunner, Mountain Velvetbreast, Tyrian Metaltail (Santa Marta species), the Endemic Rusty Headed Spinetail, Streak Capped Spinetails, Scarlet Fronted Parakeets, a pair of the common but this pair being very showy Slate Throated Whitestarts it certainly had the feeling of another good day.
Scarlet Fronted Parakeet

Tyrian Metaltail (Santa Marta ssp)

Slate Throated Whitestarts

even this endemic Yellow Crowned Whitestart made things easy for us as it flew down to a puddle on the track just in front of us and proceeded to have a bath. Brilliant to see things like this at anytime but when a sought after endemic species does this you know your in the zone..... or the right place.

It was another very warm day and predictably the birding slowed down, however Gabo stopped suddenly and pointed immediately in front of us on the ground. All I could see was movement in a bush where I was expecting something like a Tapaculo, no such thing, we were fortunate to see a Nine-banded Armadillo scurry off into the thicker undergrowth.

Green Violetears, Cinnamon Flycatchers, a Yellow Bellied Chat-Tyrant, White-Throated Tyranulet, Barn Swallows, Blue and White Swallows and a dozen or so Blackburnian Warblers showed in the midday heat, we also possibly had a small flock of Andean Siskins that Gabo heard but we couldn't catch up with them.

White-throated Tyranulet.

and the most stunning scenery you could imagine
Sierra Nevada Mountains

The mountain cloud moved in, the birding slowed and the camera came out for some butterflies and flora.

Unknown Butterfly species

Bromeliad species

and another Bromeliad Species

Mountain flora at San Lorenzo ridge

and of course while your in a cloud forest expect cloud to roll in

and out.......

Back to the birds!
Other birds followed as we dropped to slightly lower elevations, White-throated and Black-capped Tyranulets and brilliant close views of a pair of White Tipped Quetzal.

Some more of the commoner birds made up the rest of the walk back down to the lodge, a Montane Woodcreeper was seen leaving a nest hole, Swallow Tanagers, Black Hooded Thrush, Brown capped Vireo, Band Tailed Guan, White Sided Flowerpiecer.

Montane Woodcreeper

White Sided Flowerpiecer female

male Swallow Tanager

swallow Tanager pair

 Late afternoon and we birded around the grounds of the lodge, we found a Slate Throated Whitestart nest with 2 chicks then soon after Gabo got sight of a Grey Tinamou right in the middle of the track,  bast@rd! (Sorry Gabo only kidding!) we were ten paces behind and missed it.... Stick closer to the guide eh. However all was not lost as we all picked up a Black & Chestnut Eagle soaring over Eldorado lodge,  a few minutes around the amazing feeders just before the sun started to set which made a very happy ending to a great day of finding most of the Endemic species.. ..

The last birds of the day in the gardens and around the feeders were Golden Crowned Flycatchers, Masked Trogon,  Crested Oropendolas, Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear, White Tailed Starfrontlet, the pair of Black Fronted Wood-Quail and a pair of Red Billed Parrots that flew over as the light faded.

Golden Crowned Flycatcher

Tyrian Metaltail (Santa Marta ssp with violet-blue Tail)

Crowned Woodnymph male

Crowned Woodnymph female

White Tailed Starfrontlet

We did miss a few targets, Brown Tapaculo and Santa Marta Antpitta, and we only heard the Santa Marta Screech Owl, but tomorrow we try once more for the Santa Marta Woodstar.

The night passed uneventfully for me as I slept through a 3.5 earthquake which we were fairly close to the epicentre....but it woke Gabo. Myexcuse was that It had been a tiring day or maybe I had too many beers celebrating the Black & Chestnut Eagle over the lodge!

it had been an epic day, we head for Tyrona NP tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

This looks like a crazy good place to go birding!

Stewart M said...

Wow! What a great place - if only work would send me to places like this!!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne (for a couple of days!)

Dave said...

Cheers Steve and Stewart, indeed what a place. Sat here in the UK with a beer reminiscing.....

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous scenery, flora and fauna. I like that little Yellow-crowned Whitestart.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

A magnificent birding spots with fabulous scenery as well. Fantastic brd images adn your unknown butterfly is a Painted Lady.

A Colorful World said...

Amazing sightings on this trip! So many wonderful birds! Love the mountains and the foliage too. Wow!

Adam Jones said...

Dave, I don't even know where to start. Just so many fantastic birds, views, butterflies and flowers. Seems like your Columbia trip was a complete disaster. ;) Great stuff.