Monday, 14 December 2009

A Day Trying for the Skulkers

Rancho Grande Logo

The Henri Pittier National Park is only 20 minutes or so from the center of Maracay, where we arrived at 05-00 this morning. The first designated NP in Venezuela is now about 60years old, covers some 200,000 hectres and holds more than 500 species of birds. Named after the Swiss born agriculturalist who move to Costa Rica in 20's, he was later hired to improve crop production in this country. Its highest peak stands at just 2200 meters and there is an arterial road running through its middle, connecting the town with the regions most popular beach. It was this that in the end beat me, suggesting we should move on. Despite the earliness of the hour transport of all kinds were heading for the seaside, almost bumper to bumper, and not content with choking us with volumes of carbon monoxide, ech and every one pressed down hard on his hooter when passing by. It may sound ungracious having had 3 'lifers' in the first hour, but the morning had been otherwise birdless so we moved on to Rancho Grande. A purpose built research establishment, the Art Deco building had seen better days and is now only used by the likes of Scouts on adventure holidays and a dedicated Warden. It was here that we were to search for some of the 'skulkers' and in the instance of a Southern Nightingale Wren in took a full 90 minutes to get even a first glimps. All in all it was a successful morning, and after a light lunch at the center we headed for the 'flatlands' to the east catching up with the likes of Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Flavescent Warbler and Faciated Tiger-Heron.

Day Total - 73 Lifers - 13

Just look at that root-stock and vine

For the record, Mario took a look at my camera and lens today and thinks there is a problem with the former. He kindly lent me his Canon 40D with which most of these images were taken, using my lens.

Rufous-throated Puffbird. David now informs me that the bird of the same name that we found in the desert region of Colombia is now 'split' from the above and known as Two-banded Puffbird? Please enlighten if you know otherwise, until such time they stay on my list as separated species.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Faciated Tiger-Heron

Bat Falcon (female)

Green Kingfisher (it's taken me some time and some distance to catch up with this one)

Today's List Additions

FACIATED TIGER-HERON*
GREY-NECKED WOODRAIL
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY OWL
GREEN KINGFISHER*
GUTTULATED FOLIAGE GLEANER*
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER*
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER*
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER*
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL*
BLACK-FACED ANT-THRUSH*
SHORT-TAILED ANT-THRUSH*
MARBLED-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT*
TROPICAL PEWEE
VENEZUELAN FLYCATCHER* (E)
SOUTHERN NIGHTINGALE WREN*
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH*
FLAVESCENT WARBLER*
RUFOUS-CHEEKED TANAGER* (E)

Videos kindly donated by David Ascanio

video
Scaled Piculet

video
Scarlet Ibis colony

video
White-necked Thrush