Sunday, 1 November 2015

Laguna Blanca Paraguay - Skimming around the Lagoon

The last couple of days have been spent catching up on some of the regular species around the reserve and checking the pitfall traps for frogs on the seasonal pond. There has been a suggestion that a storm is heading its way towards the reserve but today was perfect in all ways.

I decided on a lagoon watch which was to prove to be a good choice. A group of Swallow tailed Kite were the first species to focus my attention. The group of seven birds were gracefully swooping to drink from the lagoon and turning as they gained altitude showing the contrast in the plumage detail.

I had settled down in my chair scanning the lagoon at regular intervals when a group of small wader like birds were observed flying quickly just above the water level. The birds were in a tight formation and only twisted in flight to change direction. The small flock would then drop out of sight into the reeds. This was repeated before the birds dropped out of sight again. Becca and Stephan reported the flock moving at the beach end of the lagoon.

I continued scanning the lagoon and noted a Black Skimmer resting on an area of the beach where there were no tourists. I had only seen this species at Laguna Blanca once before and quickly called Stephan over to view this amazing bird.

My next task was to photograph the bird and after a bit of scurrying around I had made it to the beach and took some shots of the bird. Stephan, Victoria (Can) and I made a plan to go out on the boat and search for the waders. The Skimmer had re-located itself further along the lagoon and another photo opportunity was taken.

The Skimmer seemed un-phased by the three people in a boat allowing close views and even a fly past the boat. This bird was in no hurry to depart the lagoon. Sadly the waders were not found after a search of all the margins of the lagoon and the three explorers returned to base at dusk!!

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