Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The King of all Vultures!!

10th – 11th March 2014

Yesterday was a complete washout. Laguna Blanca had the mother of all storms into the early hours of Monday. I decided to dash to the small boat type house and pitch the scope for a Lagoon watch. The rain was so heavy at one point I could not see beyond the beach. A Streamer tailed Tyrant was the only bird to make an appearance in the reeds.

Following more rain overnight this morning I decided to carry out another survey around the lagoon. Then at least if the heavens opened up I could run for cover. This turned out to be a great decision. James a volunteer from Wimbledon joined me for the first part of the process.

 A small flock of Yellow rumped Marshbird had sought refuge in the reeds at the beach end of the lagoon. A lot of regular species were recorded at the South end of the lagoon. James went to join Becca for his induction and I walked the sandy path to the North end of the lagoon.

There was good cloud cover so I began scanning the sky with my binoculars. I saw a couple of Turkey Vulture circling beyond the lagoon. I could see a third bird lower down but still a fair distance away beyond the NE corner of the Transitional forest. I put the scope on it and I could not believe my eyes a King Vulture.
This was a life tick for me and naturally a tick for everywhere else. The only snag was the bird at this time was not within camera range but the bird was using the thermals to navigate its way towards the lagoon. The Turkey Vultures departed before reaching the lagoon.
(King Vulture)
The King Vulture crossed the lagoon and went out of sight. No! The next five minutes seemed like hours would the bird have another look at the lagoon! I have driven the residents of PLT crazy about seeing this bird and I had seen one but had no pictures to show anyone!! I put the word out via text messages and waited.
(King Vulture)
A few minutes later the King Vulture re appeared from above the Transitional Forest and I rattled off some shots on the camera. The moment had been captured. Thank goodness for that!! I had a bit of a celebration as I do and then continued watching the skies.
(Roadside Hawk)

About fifteen minutes later another raptor appeared from over the transitional Forest. This has been identified as a Roadside Hawk.
(Large Elaenia)
During the afternoon a lagoon watch produced another lifer a Large Elaenia which has been identified from photos.Thanks Paul.

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