Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nov 9th - The big day - Yacumama, Affluentes - 150 species!

Today we started at 5:30 AM and headed to Yacumama to bird a fabulous area - tons of birds. It was the best day so far in terms of variety and the number of species. We had 150 species for the day! We were escorted by a very friendly female dog who proceeded to chase every bicycle that passed by us. She also ran ahead of our group to ward off any intruders. There was a noisy group of Speckled Chachalacas, a brief glimpse of a Buckley’s Forest Falcon, Amazonian White tailed Trogan, Black fronted Nunbird, Gilded Barbet, Crimson Crested Woodpecker, and Masked Crimson Tanager to name a few. Then on to Affluentes, where we ran into one flock after another – lots of tanagers, a female Wire-crested Thorntail, Booted Racket-tail, lots of Woodpeckers, Woodcreepers, Spinetails, Xenops, Versicolored Barbet, and a beautiful Scarlet-Breasted Fruiteater that I found, to name a few of the birds! It was amazing, everyone was calling out a different bird and trying to keep up! This was quite a different experience from yesterday when we birded this same area. Today was cooler and cloudier, which may have made a difference. Just before lunch we saw a large group of Brown Capuchin Monkeys. We had lunch across from the restaurant that we ate at yesterday out at our tables that Julio set up in the open lot so that we could watch for birds. We also stopped at the Cock of the Rock place, but only heard them in the distance today, but we did find White-Capped Dippers in the river! Then we went back to Yacumama before dusk where we had a Striped Owl fly over our head! We also had a Capped Heron – beautiful white bird with a plume and 3 Chestnut Eared Aracaris. That is where the vehicle started making noises. We made it back to the hotel (same as last nights), but we will have another temporary vehicle tomorrow. Every day there is some snafu! We got back to the hotel at 7:15 and actually finished dinner (take out Chinese) by 8:45, a new record for the trip. But doing the checklist takes hours…

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