Monday, 26 October 2015

Laguna Blanca Paraguay - Kites and Frogs!!

The journey to Laguna Blanca is always a lengthy one but the rewards are obvious once you enter the reserve gates. Victoria and I were lucky enough to hitch a lift from Asuncion with Karina, Joe and Becca. First off was a stop at the Benjamin Franklin Science Corner to watch Becca give a presentation (in Spanish) at a conference. We arrived at Laguna Blanca at around 10pm Friday.

Saturday morning I was awake early and I joined Al and his volunteers to check the pitfall traps at the seasonal pond. A couple of the buckets were alive with frogs. These were collected and taken back to the base in buckets for photographing.

After my induction I noticed a Swallow tailed Kite high above the Atlantic Forest side of the lagoon. The bird disappeared into the cloud and was lost sight. I decided to take a look in that area of the lagoon hoping I would catch another glimpse of the bird.

I was not to be disappointed not one but four birds appeared low over the lagoon and seemed to be hawking over the seasonal pond.

I walked through to the seasonal pond where I saw a couple of new birds for my Laguna Blanca list Common Moorhen and Least Grebe. Both species were particularly weary of my presence moving into the far corner of the flooded area.

This was a good start to my stay. I have only seen Swallow tailed Kite on one previous occasion at LB and this was a fly through over the lagoon.

During the afternoon I assisted Al with photographing the frogs. I was surprised at the level of compliance of these amphibians especially the sitting on a leaf pose.

The Speckled Bellied Frog (Leptodactylus podicipinus) was first for the paparazzi.

I found (Eupemphix attereri) particularly interesting as it changed colour from a brown to a green during its stay. The markings on its back are as unique as a fingerprint.

The most interesting frog which Al aptly named “Kermit” was saved until last and this species (Hypsiboas rubrolineatus) is a rarer find on the reserve.

The day rounded off with a game of volleyball with the housemates and an evening with Becca, Joe and Karina. It feels great to be back!!

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