28 Feb 2018

28 Feb 18 - Colombia: Solitaire Birding On The Montezuma Track

It was another pre-dawn start back up to the lower sections of the Montezuma track in the hope of seeing some of the other Choco specialities, that we didn't see on the first day. We had hoped for some Owls, but only succeeded in hearing a Rufescent Screech-owl & a Cloud Forest Pygmy-owl. The only Bird seen before dawn, was briefly views of my second Barred Forest Falcon. After some initial Birding, we stopped for some breakfast in the forest.
The late Brian Field: Always happy to enjoy some food
It's not unusual to see some odd food & drink branding abroad: This nutty paste seems to have a Squirrel with a pair of bins with just one eyepiece
Breakfast over, it was time to get back to the Birding. One of the first specialities was a couple of near endemic Rufous-throated Tanagers.
Rufous-throated Tanager: This is a species I've seen in Ecuador & which only occurs in the Western side of both countries
Another highlight was when Janos managed to get an Alto Pisones Tapaculo to briefly appear near to the track. In typical Tapaculo fashion, it didn't show for long. But it was long enough to get a grainy photo of this endemic that was only described in 2017 as Tatama Tapaculo. It is named after the Tatama National Park which the Montezuma track is in. It has been known since the early 1990s & had been the unofficial named as Alto Pisones Tapaculo based upon the nearby site it was first seen at. I've stuck to the name that most Birders who have visited Colombia in recent years will have been familiar with that name.
Alto Pisones Tapaculo: It has a distinctive song that sounds like a Tree Frog to my ears
As we walked down the track, an Andean Solitaire started to sing. We finally saw it singing from high up in one of the trees where it happily remained for some time.
Andean Solitaire: Another species that occurs in Western Colombia & Ecuador
As we were watching the Andean Solitaire, Janos said he could hear a Black Solitaire singing. It took some looking for, but eventually we saw it sitting high in some backlit trees. It wasn't particularly close, but it was good to see this near endemic Solitaire.
Black Solitaire: This near endemic also occurs just over the border in NW Ecuador
We had a brief change from looking high up in the trees, when Janos found this Western Antvireo, which was typically skulking deep in cover.
Western Antvireo: Male. This is also known as Bicoloured Antvireo
Western Antvireo: A Family Photo Tick
Toucan Barbet: A species I've seen before in Ecuador, but good to get some photos as this is another Family Photo Tick
We saw this Barred Hawk fly over the forest as there was a gap in the canopy.
Barred Hawk: The distinctive broad white wings & black tail with a white band & grey head makes this Hawk fairly easy to identify. Only a Black-chested Eagle looks superficially similar
Butterfly sp.
I will cover the final afternoon on the Montezuma track in the next Post.