26 Feb 2018

26 Feb 18 - Colombia: Some Final Colibri Action

The plan was for a pre-dawn walk from the Hotel Termales del Ruiz looking for Band-winged Nightjar. In the end, it was raining when the alarm went off & I decided to give the walk a miss. I've seen Band-winged Nightjars in Ecuador & Chile before and the prospect of getting wet didn't appeal. Janos didn't expect to see any Owls and fortunately from my viewpoint, he was right. I reset the alarm for dawn so I could return to the Hummingbird feeders. The light was just starting to improve when we had to leave for breakfast & we were due to leave the hotel immediately afterwards. With the poor light, there wasn't any chance of improving on the photos of the Colibri (Hummingbirds), but the light was good enough to enjoy the early morning visitors & take some people photos.
Prijo: With a golden-breasted Puffleg
Me: With a Shining Sunbeam
The late Brian Field: Brian really enjoyed the Hummingbirds here, including this Viridian Metaltail
Brian: With another Shining Sunbeam
Brian: With a Glossy Flower-piercer
The Hotel Termales del Ruiz: Steam rises from one of the hotel's hot pools
We drove back up to the Nevado del Ruiz Paramo which is part of the Los Nevados (snow-capped mountains) National Park. We only spent an hour or so walking along the dirt road. The pre-dawn rain clouds had disappeared & been replaced with largely sunny blue skies. However, we were probably over 3500 metres & it wasn't that warm. The scenery was excellent & made up for the general low numbers of Birds.
The scenery was great
Andean Condor: This is one of the largest South American species. It was flying over the distance hillside in the previous photo & I'm surprised that the photo came out as well as it did
Andean Condor: It was good to see this Andean Condor painting on the side of this local school building
Black-chested Eagle: The distinctive broad wings and short-tailed shape of a Black-chested Eagle
Mountain Wren: This looks like the 'Grumpy Cat' of the Wren world
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager: This species occurs from Colombia & West Venezuela to Peru & Bolivia
I generally only use my photos on my Blog (& will only use other people's photos with their permission), but we decided that it was worth taking a trip photo. I'm not sure who's owns the copyright for the photo which was one of the CD of trip photos circulated by Janos, so apologies for not crediting the photographer.
Team photo: Judy, Rich, Janos, Sally, Doug, Pirjo, Brian, me & Rob (left to right)
The same view without the people
All too soon, we had to leave the Los Nevados area, as we had a long journey to our next location: the Montezuma Rainforest Ecolodge on the West slope of the Western Andes. This lies in the Choco region, which from a trip viewpoint, meant a lot of new species during our three night stay. We arrived at the nearest town & had to transfer to three waiting jeeps, as the final part of the track was too rough for our minibus to get us there. We arrived at the Ecolodge with about an hour & a half of light left to grab a drink whilst photographing another set of Hummingbirds. They will be covered in the next Post.
Green Iguana: The journey was fairly uneventful, save for this roadside Green Iguana