Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Laguna Blanca Paraguay Night Bonanza!

Sunday was spent looking around the lagoon and its environs. The most notable movement of birds were eleven Swallow tailed Kite that were hawking insects at the SE corner of the lagoon and Atlantic Forest.

Monday started with rain and a sighting of a small flock of Egret sp on the seasonal pond by the Frog Squad (Caroline and Rachel).

The rain cleared by lunch therefore I took to the Arroyito trail (which is at the back of the base) with Stephan Rachel and Caroline. The birds were particularly active as a result of the drop in temperature and humidity. A Pearl Kite carrying prey and a Black throated Mango were the hi-lights of this walk.
Later on in the afternoon Victoria (UK) informed me that she had seen a Fork tailed Flycatcher near the tourist area. Stephan and I decided to investigate. We did not find the Flycatcher but continued our walk to the seasonal pond which was alive with birds.

I noticed a group of birds squabbling at the far side of the pond a Greater Ani then emerged at the front of the small tree parading itself as if it had been the victor in battle!

A careful search along the margins of the pond produced a pair of Brazilian Teal along with a Wattled Jacana. The Ringed Kingfisher made infrequent visits to the pond.

The Least Grebe and their chicks were busy feeding amonst the reeds and sunken branches. There was a continuous chatter amongst the chicks but all was gather and head for cover at the call of a parent.

A pair of Common Moorhen emerged from dense cover later on into the afternoon. One strayed too close to our position and quickly turned scuttling back towards cover.

Stephan and I completed our circuit around the pond stopping to admire Social Flycatchers as they hawked insects from regular perches.

After dinner I joined Jorge Victoria (Can) and Caroline on a journey into Nightjar land. Jorge has been monitoring the radio tagged birds as a part of the White winged Nightjar project. This was to be a productive night under a full moon.

We had not ventured too far out into the area when I caught the red eye of a Potoo. A fix on this amazing bird was maintained as we cautiously made our way closer to the bird. A few pictures later and the bird was left to continue its statuesque pose.

Several White winged Nightjar were located and each birds position was noted on the GPS. We had just settled down to observe the courtship dance when a deep barking noise was heard. Jorge reacted stating the call was from a Maned Wolf. This was heard four times in the distance and the decision was made to go and try to find the wolves.

The search was in vein so we made our way to our next stop to monitor more White winged Nightjar.

As we passed through the disused airfield two Nacunda Nighthawk was busy hawking insects. Both birds landed on the red soil near the truck and another photo opportunity was taken.

The journey back to the base produced Burrowing Owl, Potoo, Pauraque and a very obliging Little Nightjar.

A fantastic day in the field..!!

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