Sunday, May 27, 2007

3. Up With the Birds (5/27/07)

Sunday, May 27, 2007
How appropriate that the birds woke us up, so that we were ready for the 5:30 AM birding walk around the hotel grounds which included a 15-acre private reserve. But we didn't get farther than the building with our rooms. We had to go downhill to our rooms, but behind our building the ground dropped yet further with a view across the treetops.
Our hotel building
Kept hearing a clunk sound of the Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata), until Linda spotted him on a tree branch on a ridge beyond the treetops! It would have been great to see more than a silhouette of this bird with three wattles hanging down like stray bangs on his head! 
Good view of the Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota) and the ubiquitous Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris) who sounded like a mourning dove.
Blue-crowned Motmot
If a bird sat still long enough, Jerry and Jimmy set up the scopes and focused on the subject, so that each of us could have a turn for a close-up view, close enough to see the identifying features. More often than not, the bird flew off, so not everyone was able to see every bird. But even if we only heard the bird call, we could count it on our bird list!
Jerry and Jimmy set up scopes
(Photo by Linda)
Other birds we saw this morning: Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus), Chestnut-collared Swift (Streptoprocne rutila), Blue-throated or Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus caeruleogularis), Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), Hoffman's Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii), Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata), Black-faced Solitaire (Myadestes melanops), and Brown Jay (Cyanocorax morio). There were many Blue-and-white Swallows (Notiochelidon cyanoleuca) catching bugs in mid-air and Great-tailed Grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) flying from treetop to treetop nearby. Confusing to us new birders were the many yellow-fronted birds with black-striped heads: Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua), Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis), and Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus).
We went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant, again all seated at one long table. We saw a Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) through the picture window. Omelets were made to order, and there were cornflakes with a pitcher of milk and a pitcher of yogurt. The yogurt was thin and meant to be a drink. Gallo pinto (fried red beans and rice) was to be found for breakfast every day and everywhere! Also on the buffet: fried platanos (plantains), a warm mixture of corn and perhaps chayote, and pancakes and syrup.
(Photo by Brynne)
See the Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis) on the railing outside our room?
Next: Monteverde's Hummingbird Gallery.

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