9 Mar 2018

9 Mar 18 - Colombia: The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foothills (Part 1)

On the previous evening along the track above the small town of Minca in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta foothills, we had seen parties of Military Macaws heading to roost. It was difficult to keep track of numbers (given the other Bird activity), as some stopped in distant trees, before continuing. The consensus was there were sixty two individuals. The only downside was the nearest individuals were well over a half mile away & many were a lot more distant. It was therefore, slightly surprising that having seen them heading to roost in the distance, that a few flew over us in the early morning.
Military Macaw: Although this Macaw has a large range on paper from Mexico to Bolivia & extreme NW Argentina, it is far too often trapped for the Bird trade & is classified as Vulnerable
Scaled Pigeon: This species has a similar range to the Military Macaws
Again, there was a lot of Bird activity along the track & I only had the opportunity to photograph a few of the species.
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher: Looks like a Flycatcher, looking for the next flying meal
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher: But, it was looking to make sure none of the other Flycatchers would see it eating berries
Dusky-capped Flycatcher: It was looking the other way
Groove-billed Ani: A sure sign that we had dropped significantly in elevation if we were in the Ani zone
White-fringed Antwren: The Antbird family tend to be more of a lowland family given that many are associated with Ants & feed on other forest insects. So, another sign we were a lot lower
Swallow-tanager: Male. The females are a lovely pale green
Thick-billed Euphonia: Male. The vast majority of the Euphonias are variations on a theme. The extent of the yellow & blue around the head, as well as, the habitat & elevation, are generally the features to focus on. The females are generally a variation of even more subtle greens & it's best to look at the males for identification purposes
A flowering & fruiting tree
It will still early morning, but it was getting hot. So, we returned to the road to try another nearby location. More on that in the next Post.