Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Colombia Day 12, Dec. 18. Beginning the Trip Home

We had one more morning at El Dorado before heading to Santa Marta for our last night in the Caribbean area. It was hard to think of leaving. Usually on these trips I am ready to go home, especially after a two week trip. This time I think I would have preferred making El Dorado home and going to San Antonio to visit. I realized I was really going to miss the birds, the view, the food, everything. The night before we had heard some very interesting news. Montero, the ranger that lived at the lodge, had started feeding the Santa Marta Antpittas worms! This is something that is going on all over the tropics. Angel Paz in Ecuador was the one who started this. Angel has three species of antpittas that come in for worms on a daily basis. (We visited Angel on my first visit to Ecuador.) This was really exciting! We would be able to see this darn Santa Marta Antpitta after all! Montero said to meet him at 7:00AM. We hung around anxiously waiting. Martin and I worried that he had snuck off without us. Finally Montero came out and we walked down the trail to where he puts the worms. He instructed us to wait to the side, so the antpitta would come in. He said she would come down between 7AM and 730AM. He put out the worms, whistled the "Bob-white" like call of the antpitta and went off to do his work. We waited quietly. And we waited. After about 20 minutes Pablo played the call on his iPod. We waited some more. After about 45 minutes we decided she wasn't coming in any time soon. It was extremely disappointing.

We decided to repeat what we had done the day before, going down to the tiende and then back up to the research station, though spending more abbreviated times at each place. The tiende was fairly active. We had a number of hummingbirds, including a nice female Blossomcrown. Santa Marta Woodstar made a good showing. We had brilliant looks at a Masked Trogan. There were several White-lored Warblers. I saw something I had never seen before, a Tennessee Warbler feeding on bananas. The Blue-naped Chlorophonias and Bay-headed Tanagers joined him. While savoring a small cup of the sweet coffee that the tiende served, we heard a familar call, "Quick three beers!" and spotted an Olive-sided Flycatcher. Unfortunately we had to cut our time there short. We hustled up to research station, hoping for one more chance for the antpitta. Pablo said there was a trail where the antpittas were seen regularly, running back and forth across the trail. I was a little worried about the steepness, as my ankle was bothering me quite a bit, but I decided to try. We worked our way down. It was a repeat of our other visits. The antpitta came in close, called like crazy and then moved off with us not seeing a feather. I have absolutely nothing good to say about the Santa Marta Antpitta!

We returned to the lodge for lunch and then packed to head for Santa Marta. We birded along the road, making one last stop at the tiende. Jaime found us a Lined Quail Dove walking along the raod. Moving down hill we came across different species as we lost altitude. A Hook-billed Kite soared overhead. We spotted a Gray Hawk sitting in a dead tree. A Boat-billed Flycatcher was a nice addition to our trip list. We decided to return to the covered bridge at Pozo Azul, near Minca, in hopes of seeing the Santa Marta Saber-wing again. We didn't repeat on that, but we did see a couple of Swallow Tanagers, a favorite bird of mine and another Cinnamon Becard. We heard Rosy-thrush Tanager again, but still didn't see it. We did get another look at Golden-winged Sparrow. I found the only Motmot of the trip, a Blue-crowned shortly before dark. We ended up in Santa Marta after dark. We had a great dinner (Langoastinos for me!) We planned for our last few hours of birding in the morning on the road from Santa Marta to Baranquillo.
Pictures from the day:
Day list:
1 Turkey Vulture
2 Black Vulture
3 Hook-billed Kite
4 Gray Hawk
5 Broad-winged Hawk
6 Band-tailed Guan
7 Black-fronted Woodquail
8 Band-tailed Pigeon
9 Lined Quail-Dove
10 Red-fronted Conure
11 Red-billed Parrot
12 Scaly-naped Amazon
13 Green Violet-ear
14 Sparkling Violetear
15 Violet-crowned Woodnymph
16 Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
17 Blossomcrown
18 White-tailed Starfrontlet
19 Tyrian Metaltail
20 Santa Marta Woodstar
21 White-tipped Quetzal
22 Blue-crowned Motmot
23 Rufous-tailed Jacamar
24 Emerald Toucanet
25 Red-crowned Woodpecker
26 Golden-olive Woodpecker
27 Rusty-headed Spinetail
28 Montane Foliage-gleaner
29 Santa Marta Antpitta
30 Santa Marta Tapaculo
31 Brown-rumped Tapaculo
32 Black-throated Tody-Tyrant
33 Cinnamon Flycatcher
34 Olive-sided Flycatcher
35 Boat-billed Flycatcher
36 Cinnamon Becard
37 Masked Tityra
38 Golden-breasted Fruiteater
39 Rufous-and-white Wren
40 Grey-breasted Wood-Wren
41 Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush
42 Yellow-legged Thrush
43 Black-hooded Thrush
44 Pale-breasted Thrush
45 Black-chested Jay
46 Rufous-collared Sparrow
47 Thick-billed Seed-Finch
48 Golden-winged Sparrow
49 Buff-throated Saltator
50 Rosy Thrush-Tanager
51 Blue-grey Tanager
52 Blue-naped Chlorophonia
53 Bay-headed Tanager
54 Rusty Flowerpiercer
55 White-sided Flowerpiercer
56 Swallow Tanager
57 Tennessee Warbler
58 Blackburnian Warbler
59 American Redstart
60 Slate-throated Redstart
61 Yellow-crowned Whitestart
62 White-lored Warbler
63 Rufous-capped Warbler
64 Brown-capped Vireo
65 Crested Oropendola
66 Russet-backed Oropendola
Sheridan Coffey
San Antonio, Tx

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