Saturday, September 12, 2009

Colombia Day 6 Aug. 28 Farwell Edwin

We got up early in El Cairo, because we had to pack up everything for our trip up to Bogota that evening. But first we got another shot at the birds of Galapagos Road. Edwin did a great repeat performance on the horrid roads. There had been some rain, so I was a bit nervous about landslides, which are a frequent occurrence in the Andes. We arrived at the bridge where we had heard Beautiful Jays the day before and stopped. Edwin then alerted us to a red and black bird shaped like a football sitting near by in a tree. Andean Cock-of-the-Rock! Pablo had told us they were present in that area, but they are very shy and usually difficult to see. I even managed a very poor photo before it flew down into the creek bed and out of sight. It wasn’t a life bird, but still a bit of a thrill. Unfortunately the Beautiful Jays didn’t respond.

We had limited time to spend because we had to get to Pereira for an evening flight to Bogota. We decided to head over the pass and try for some of the lower elevation birds. We again saw many Purplish-mantled and Gold-ringed Tanagers. One of my favorite birds was a repeat from the day before, Glistening Green Tanager. We also added Rufous-throated Tanager, which is a real looker. The best tanager though was one we had held little hope for, Black-and-Gold. It’s another difficult bird to get. Jhonier had seen one earlier at the spot where we found it a few days earlier. It made the day!

The Munchique Wren serenaded us again. We had two different fruit-eaters, Orange-breasted and Black-and-green. Pablo played the Tanager Finch and Olive Finch tape at the stream crossings. We were on a small bridge and he caught a glimpse of a bird that might have been an Olive Finch, but it never responded further. It was a really good spot for butterflies, though. I think I was driving everyone crazy with my photographing them.

We stopped at the spot where we had the Barred Hawk and Ornate Hawk-eagles the day before. They didn’t show up again, but we did have a large flight of Swallow-tailed Kites. Jhonier knew I was in butterfly mode and he was kind enough to point out a gorgeous clear-winged Satyr. Flycatchers were putting on a good show, with Cinnamon and Ornate being extremely cooperative. We had a long drive to the airport so we reluctantly left.

We made our way back, dropping quite low in the Cauca River valley. We had a little time so we stopped at a fish hatchery. A Gray Seedeater was perched on the chain link fence, very close. A dark raptor was perched on a pole overlooking the ponds. It was a Snail Kite. There were Wattled Jacanas, Purple Gallinules and a Black-necked Stilt working the water. Dan spotted a beautiful male Masked Duck. We walked along the road and found a Common Tody-flycatcher, which I have seen many times, but I just like them! Red-breasted Blackbirds were in the surrounding fields.

We arrived in Pereira with plenty of time to spare for our flight to Bogota, where we were to spend our last day. We bid Edwin a found farewell. He was such a pleasure to be around. I don't think anyone laughed more on the trip than Edwin. I was really sorry that we would not have his company in Bogota.

The airport was rather small, but with modern shops and facilities. What was really odd were the security procedures. There were no x-ray machines before you went into the waiting area. We asked about boarding and got a rather vague answer and were told to listen for our flight. We had some juice and I did some brief souvenir shopping. Finally our flight was called and we looked up to see a huge line at the gate. We jumped up and waited, and waited, and waited. The line was barely moving and it was almost time for the flight to leave. We realized that there was no way that all of these people could be for one flight. When we finally got close enough to see what was going on, they were doing the security check as people entered the gate and it was much slower than any check I had ever been through. Sure enough there were two flights. We got through and got on the plane. Our flight was delayed, but eventually we took off and made the short hop to Bogota.

We had a great dinner at place called Waffles and Crepes. It’s a chain and is not typical Colombian food, but it was so good! One of the things I appreciated about all the food in Colombia is the quality and freshness. This was no exception. Pablo wanted to discuss our last day birding. We had originally planned to go to a lower elevation, but he had visited the spot recently and didn’t think it was worth our time. He suggested another option, the paramo. Sigh.

Bird List:
Speckled Teal
Masked Duck
Andean Guan
Black-crowned Night-heron
Striated Heron
Cattle Egret
Great Egret
Bare-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Snail Kite
Roadside Hawk
Purple Gallinule
Southern Lapwing
Black-necked Stilt
Wattled Jacana
Ruddy Ground-dove
Eared Dove
Spectacled Parrotlet-heard
Blue-headed Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
Cloud-forest Pygmy-owl
White-collared Swift
Gray-rumped Swift
Tawny-bellied Hermit
Violet-tailed Sylph
Greenish Puffleg
Velvet-purple Coronet
Booted Racket-tail
White-tailed Hillstar
Empress Brilliant
Purple-throated Woodstar
Andean Emerald
Ringed Kingfisher
Red-headed Barbet-heard
Emerald Toucanet
Acorn Woodpecker
Azara’s Spinetail
Red-faced Spinetail
Yellow-breasted Antpitta
Choco Tapaculo-heard
Narino Tapaculo-heard
Bronze-olive Pygmy-tyrant
Ornate Flycatcher
Common Tody-flycatcher
Handsome Flycatcher
Cinnamon Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Orange-breasted Fruiteater
Andean Cock-of-the-rock
Golden-winged Manakin
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-and-white Swallow
Grey-breasted Woodwren
Munchique Woodwren
Andean Solitaire
Black-billed Thrush
Great Thrush
Tropical Mockingbird
Blue-grey Tanager
Black-and-gold Tanager
Gold-ringed Tanager
Blue-winged Mountain-tanager
Purplish Mountain-tanager
Glistening Green Tanager
Rufous-throated Tanager
Beryl-spangled Tanager
Lemon-rumped Tanager
Golden Tanager
Silver-throated Tanager
Indigo Flowerpiercer
Bluish Flowerpiercer
Masked Flowerpiercer
Yellow-faced Grassquit
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Saffron Finch
Gray Seedeater
Yellow-bellied Seedeater
Tricolored Brush-finch
Crested Ant-tanager
Dusky Bush-tanager
Slate-throated Whitestart
Red-breasted Blackbird
Orange-bellied Euphonia
Chestnut-bellied Clorophonia

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