Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Laguna Blanca Favourite!!

Wednesday 4th May
I started my second round of surveys this morning. The daily temperature has been rising at Laguna Blanca which has resulted in fog / heavy mist over the reserve early morning. This soon clears once the sun rises to promote a hive of bird activity.

The Cerrado (Savannah) has been turned on its head since my last visit in Oct/Nov 2015 due to the high level amount of rain that has fallen over the country. The Campo limpio (grassland) is now flooded with hundreds of small fish taking advantage of the deep pools that have been formed within.

It is always worth checking the area closest to the airfield early on as Egrets and herons have been seen feeding on the fish on previous visits. As I started negotiating the tall grass I heard a loud frog like call...This could only be one bird but would it show itself enough to finally get some pictures of it.

The bird a Toco Toucan was quickly located but was in the Cerradon (tall tree and shrubs) on the other side of the Campo limpio. I fired off a couple of shots and attempted to wade across the almost swamp like grass to get a better angle for the camera. Thank goodness for my new wellies!!

The bird moved from view without any further action from the camera but at least I had some kind of record of this magnificent bird. This species is present on the reserve but is rarely seen preferring to sit high in the canopy as it moves between roosting and feeding grounds.

The remainder of the survey ticked on with the usual Cerrado specials Shrike-like Tanager, White-rumped Tanager, Black-throated Saltator and Curl-crested Jay giving them up for the list. A few more House Wren was seen today along with Grassland Sparrow. Surprisingly enough no Red-crested Finch made it into the survey book.

As I made my way along the track that leads to the Sand dunes I came across a couple of Whistling Heron and a Striated Heron feeding in a flooded and recently scorched area. But these two species were not to top the list of surprises as I heard Ash-throated Crake calling in another area of flooded grassland. I wonder what will be next for the Cerrado!!

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