Sunday, 3 March 2013

Nightjar land!

 I was up and out early with Helen checking the mammal traps. Two Pale-breasted thrush were seen along the path by the lagoon. We checked all 70+ traps and there were no takers in the night. All there was left to do was to add fresh bait to the traps and then wait until tomorrow to see if anything had been tempted by such a sweet smelling snack.

After returning to camp I decided to go out on a Toco Toucan hunt in the Atlantic forest. I did not see the Toucan but came across a Roadside Hawk who flew into a tree in a small clearing. Perfect for pictures I thought to myself.
(Roadside Hawk)
At the end of the trail I stepped out onto the road to hear two hummingbirds busily working away at flowers on trees opposite the entrance to the trail. During the walk back to camp I heard a Toco Toucan but once again could not locate it.

This evening Joe, Mark and I went out to what is now known as “Nightjar Land”. The aim was to see and photograph this critically endangered species. I drove the truck for the first time which was a bit bumpy at first but I soon got the hang of it. The evening was cloudless with half moonlight which revealed the amazing patchwork of stars that you can only see in the Southern Hemisphere!

There are firebreaks between the areas which hold this bird so it was a case of patrolling up and down using the flashlight to locate them. Then there is the tricky part of getting to the bird before it flies off. The first attempt failed miserably but later on after Mark had snuck up to a Potoo confidence was high and there was no way this female was going to escape. 
(White-winged Nightjar)
During our time out on “Nightjar land” and the drive back through the Cerrado we collectively logged the following:- White-winged Nightjar c15, Potoo  c6, Burrowing owl c10, and a Tropical Screech Owl which posed very nicely indeed allowing me to get within feet of it to get my shots!
(Tropical Screech owl)
We got back to base at around midnight but I felt a sense of satisfaction at seeing this beautiful bird again. In the weeks to come I will be spending more time studying them. Fantastic!

No comments:

Post a Comment