Wednesday, 20 March 2013

1st Record for Laguna Blanca!

MARCH 19th
The morning was mixed with clear and cloudy skies but the weather looked as though it was going to completely cloud over and maybe rain. The plan this morning was going to be a simple one as I didn’t want to get caught out in a storm. Check the Lagoon and then walk the Arroyito trail. Then stake out the Lagoon and be within running distance of the base.

I checked the back of the house and heard a black and white woodpecker drumming. The bird was chased of but looked like a Checkered Woodpecker. I will have to re-find the bird as this would be a first record for Laguna Blanca! I took my scope to the lagoon and scanned but there was nothing unusual on it.

The Arroyito trail ends at the back of the base so I walked the trail in reverse. The Flavescent Warbler was as chirpy as ever just inside the trail. I made my way into the dried up river basin. This is where most bird activity has been in the past and today was no different!

By this point I had been joined by my birding friend “Lobo” who was surprisingly well behaved staying close or sitting down when I was stationary whew!

The most notable find was a small Tyrannulet which I succeeded in taking pictures of. I sent the shots to Paul Smith (Fauna Paraguay/Zoologist) who has been very helpful in identifying some of my other pictures. Paul was our guide when Keith and I took a birding trip to Paraguay last year.
(Straneck's Tyrannulet)
The bird has been identified as a Straneck's Tyrannulet (Serpophaga griseicapilla) which is recently new to science and was believed to visit Paraguay during the winter months. This species is a first for Laguna Blanca Woo hoo!.Good job I took some pictures!

Once I completed the 500m trail I set up shop at the Lagoon and observed a Snowy Egret fishing along the beach. At around 2pm I heard a commotion coming from the Southern Lapwing and saw a group of White-backed Stilt flying low over the Lagoon. They were also calling and I nearly missed them as I had my camera on the wrong settings. One of the few downsides of the Nikkon D90...No presets!!
(White-backed Stilt)
The birds stayed low and were clearly looking to set down again and when they did I was off into the base a quick change sign out and off I went down the Lagoon where I took some shots of the thirteen birds. 
(White-backed Stilt)
My reaction must have looked a bit crazy to the other residents but they must be used to it by now!

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