20 Feb 2018

20 Feb 18 - Colombia: Payande

We arrived at our final destination of the day, Payande, near Ibaque, with a couple of hours of light left. We had dropped significantly in altitude & were now on the lower Eastern slopes of the Central Andes. It was noticeably warmer than it had been and a lot drier & dustier.
It was dry scrubby country, with a couple of small pools
The local cement works dominated the view
But it was good to stretch the legs after a few hours in the minibus. One of highlights was our first Colombian Chachalacas heading off to roost in the trees.
Colombian Chachalaca: This was one of only two sightings I had on the trip of this endemic Cracid
A couple of Apical Flycatchers were another Colombian endemic at this site. Like the Colombian Chachalaca, they are Central Andean species.
Apical Flycatcher: This was an underwhelming species, despite being an endemic. It is separated from the similar looking Pale-edged Flycatcher, by the lower elevation and the diagnostic pale tips to the tail
Rusty-margined Flycatcher: This was another underwhelming & commoner Tyrant-flycatcher. The rusty margins are not always as apparent as the name suggests. It can also have a golden crown stripe, but this was worn on this individual, with just a few pale tips to the crown feathers
Rusty-margined Flycatcher: Superficially, it looks like a small Great Kiskadee, but has a noticeably smaller & finer bill
Great Kiskadee: Note, the much heavier bill & the wings would look a lot rustier (if visible)
Black-striped Sparrow: This is a species I've seen before in Costa Rica & Ecuador. It occurs as far North as Honduras & also to Venezuela and the Northern edge of Brazil
The dry scrub wasn't the most exciting of sites, but I also saw my first White-bellied Antbird & Black-chested Jay. I was glad we had made an afternoon visit to the site, rather than use up a morning, as the mornings generally seemed to have more Bird activity. It was getting dark & time to head on to the uninspiring Hotel Ambala in Ibague for the night, which was less than an hour's journey.