Sunday, 21 August 2016

Laguna Blanca - After the storm!

I was just settling down to catch up with the Premier League Football on MoTD and the power went out. This happens less frequently these days but it is always good to have a plan B especially on a Sunday. I walked over to the base and had a short conversation with Sarah (UK) who incidentally is a bit of a bird watcher when she is not studying the moths and butterflies. Plan B sprung into action bird walk it was not that I needed any persuading!

A scan of the Lagoon at the beach saw a Snowy Egret which stood proudly amongst a group of Brazilian Teal. Not a bad start so to avoid disturbing them we walked up to the top of the road by the Atlantic Forest and checked a small pond opposite the entrance to Urukurea trail.

The pond which has benefitted from the amount of rain had Least Grebe and Common Gallinule on it. A mixed flock was moving towards us so it was binos to the tree tops as the flock made their way across the tree tops.

White-barred Piculet, Guira Tanager, Hooded Tanager, Rufous Cariornis, Tropical Parula, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Variable Oriole, Little Woodpecker, and Grey Elaenia made up the flock with a Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant and Sooty Fronted Spinetail shadowing their movements from lower down in the trees and scrub. Not a bad collection of species at all!

We made our way towards the Seasonal Pond via the Urukurea trail. The trail and Lagoon front seemed very quiet with only the odd butterfly to hold our interest. Once we have reached the Seasonal Pond the bird action livened up very quickly with an Osprey taking flight which had the Picazuro Pigeons scattering for cover!

The Ospreys movement caused squabbling amongst a group of Black-crowned Night Heron that had positioned themselves on the Atlantic Forest side of the pond. A juvenile bird was observed amongst this group.

The pond itself still had a Masked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe along with the usual suspects Least Grebe, Common Gallinule, Brazilian Teal, Cattle Tyrant and the fairly regular Yellow-browed Tyrant. As we  walk back to the Lagoon a moulting Vermilion Flycatcher took up a position where he could observe us and even took a flypast to check our credentials!

There was a butterfly which Sarah found which I cannot remember having seen before. We will be checking the butterfly book later for its scientific name. A good couple of hours spent thank goodness the power went out!