Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

July 13, 2018

Boyaca Colombia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:25 pm

Villa de Leyva – Boyaca

I got the bus from San Gil to Tunja, which took more than six hours. The scenery was quite spectacular with lots of big mountains and narrow ravines. The bus from Tunja to Villa de Leyva was much more relaxed. I arrived at my hostel and settled in. Then assembled the camera and set off up the road to some random bit of scrub on the edge of the village.

Scrub Tanager
Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina)

It did not take my long to identify this one. Just had a quick look at the Tanagers in the book and bang there it was. Easy Peasy.

Yellow-backed Oriole
Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater)

This Yellow-backed Oriole was quite a distance away high up in a tree. I was lucky I saw him and took the photos.

Black-billed Thrush
Black-billed Thrush (Turdus ignobilis)

I have seen quite a few Turdus thrush in my travels and here is another one to add to the list.

Golden-rumped Euphonia
Golden-rumped Euphonia (Euphonia cyanocephala)

I cannot find this one. I will wait for someone who knows what is what. Edit: Thanks to Dave McLain for the id. Muchly appreciated.

female Yellow-bellied Seedeater or Variable Seedeater
Seedeater

I have a suspicion this is a female Yellow-bellied Seedeater or Variable Seedeater (Sporophila corvina). But not really sure. Female seedeaters all look the same to me.

Tropical Mockingbird
Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)

Lovely singing bird is the Tropical Mockingbird.

Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)

I have only seen the Band-tailed Pigeon once before. I forget where. doh!

Eared Dove
Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)

There were lots of different doves and pigeons around the place.

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Rufous-collared Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow

The Rufous-collared Sparrow gets more and more common the further south you go in South America.

Villa de Leyva bird list

Black-billed Thrush (Turdus ignobilis)
white hawk (Pseudastur albicollis)
Golden-rumped Euphonia (Euphonia cyanocephala)
Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater)
0464 seedeater Yellow-bellied Seedeater or Variable Seedeater (Sporophila corvina)
Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina)
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)
Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)
Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi)
Southern rough-winged swallow ? Blue-and-white Swallow ???
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) or Grassland Yellow-Finch ??
black phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)
Rufous-collared Sparrow

July 11, 2018

San Gil Colombia Continued

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:51 am

Parque Gallineral part two

This is the second folder of the photos I took today. It has taken ages to sort them out. I am all disorganized today due to having wasted the afternoon waiting for a bus for three hours. I got a lift down the hill to the Parque Gallineral and went for a wander around the huge grounds.

Blue-and-yellow Macaw
Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara Ararauna)

The first thing I came across was this screeching Blue-and-Yellow Macaw. She was doing her best to stay behind branches and jump out of frame but I persisted and finally got a few shots that were half-decent. The Spanish name is Guacamayo azuliamarillo.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) Amazilia de Cara Rufa

I found a little spot with heaps of colourful flowers and the Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds were having a feast.

Squirrel Cuckoo
Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) Cuco ardilla común.

Squirrel Cuckoos are a nightmare to try and photograph. They just love hiding in the foliage and jumping around all over the place, just when you have got a shot lined up. They are so frustrating. Still have not got a clear shot of these pests. 🙂

Saffron Finch
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)

This Saffron Finch was hanging around the swimming pool. Why?

Thick-billed Euphonia
Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia laniirostris) Eufonia Gorgiamarilla

Mystery bird
Mystery bird

I have no idea what this is. Any clues?

waxy  flower
waxy flower

This flower was so glossy. Amazing.

San Gil bird list

Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara Ararauna)
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) Amazilia de Cara Rufa
Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) Cuco ardilla común.
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)
Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia laniirostris) Eufonia Gorgiamarilla

San Gil Colombia Day Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Parque Natural El Gallineral

This morning I went up the hill from the hostel on the road to Mogotes and got some photos of the Colombian Chachalaca. And a few other birds.

Colombian Chachalaca
Colombian Chachalaca (Ortalis colombiana) Chachalaca Colombiana

They are really noisy in the morning and and are very hard to photograph because they are always hiding inside the foliage.

Streaked Saltator
Streaked Saltator (Saltator striatipectus) Guayabero Rayado.

Camillo took me on a walk up the hill a bit on a muddy track and we saw this Streaked Saltator munching away on what looks like a butterfly or mariposa in spanish.

Tropical Parula
Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi)

Another bird near the hostel. I thought it was a Lesser Goldfinch at first but the two while stripes on the wings made me have another look. Lucky I did.

Green Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)

I nearly made another mistake with this Green Kingfisher. I thought it was an Amazon Kingfisher but they have not been seen around here so it must be the Green Kingfisher.

Pale-breasted thrush
Pale-breasted thrush

There are lots of Pale-breasted Thrush around. They seem to have replaced the Clay-colored Thrush much of the time.

Yellow-crowned Parrot
Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona Ochrocephala)

San Gil bird list

Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara Ararauna)
Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi)
Colombian Chachalaca (Ortalis colombiana) Chachalaca Colombiana
Streaked Saltator (Saltator striatipectus) Guayabero Rayado.
Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona Ochrocephala)
Pale-breasted thrush or Black-billed Thrush
Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)
Saffron Finch
Blue-gray Tananger
Squirrel Cuckoo
Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia lanilrostris) Eufonia Gorgiamarilla

July 10, 2018

The Road to Mogotes

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:09 am

San Gil, Santander, Colombia

It was a mammoth effort getting from Bucaramanga to San Gil. I had to catch five buses before I got to my hostel on the road to Mogotes, Hostel Villa Isabela. After I settled in for a while and did all my social media thingies, I walked up the hill for a little way with five dogs for company. It was really nice having the dogs with me.

Blue-necked Tanager
Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanocollis)

At first I thought this was a Swallow Tanager before I looked at a photo of one, then I realised it was not. doh! Now I am waiting for a decent internet connection so I can find out what it is. Edit: It is a Blue-necked Tanager, a species of bird in the family Thraupidae. It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Blue-necked Tanager
Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanocollis)

A head on shot. I did not see much else so I chucked a couple of photos in of this species. The Spanish name for the Blue-necked Tanager is Tangara Cabeciazul.

flycatcher
flycatcher

The flycatchers were sitting at the top of a tree and darting out to catch the late evening bugs.

teddy the toad
Teddy the Toad

This toad’s real name is Edward but I called him teddy. He lives in a hole in the back yard of the hostel.

San Gil bird list

Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanocollis)
Tropical Kingbird
Blue-grey Tanager
Colombian Chachalaca
Black Vulture

July 8, 2018

Santander Colombia Birds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:51 pm

Bosconia – Bucaramanga – Colombia

This morning I woke up early but did not get away until nearly 8am. I walked up to the bridge and had a look around the river, then walked up the hill and along the river for a ways. There were quite a lot of seedeaters in the grasses at the side of the road. And nearly a hundred Black Vultures circling overhead.

Blue-black Grassquit - male
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) Semillero Pechinegro

The Blue-black Grassquits were just jumping out in front of me wanting their photos taken. The females are very difficult to pick as they all look the same – brown.

Black-faced Grassquit
Black-faced Grassquit (Tiaris bicolor)

I think this ID is correct. I will check later if my internet holds out. I think it is an immature male Black-faced Grassquit.

Grey Hawk
Grey Hawk (Buteo nitidus) Gavilan Saraviado

I saw this magnificent bird just on the way home.

Buff-throated Saltator
Buff-throated Saltator (Saltator maximus) Guayabero Ajicero

I was thinking the saltators around here looked a bit different. Not the grayish version.

spectacled parrotlet
spectacled parrotlet (Forpus conspicillatus)

Not sure of the name but I have seen this one somewhere recently. ID coming.

Pale-breasted Thrush
Pale-breasted Thrush (Turdus leucomelas) – Mirla Buchiblanca

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) Amazilia Colirrufa

Smooth-billed Ani
Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)

I am very stoked to get some more photos of this beauty.

Black Vulture
Black Vulture

I cannot resist this beautiful bird.

Bucaramanga bird list

Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) Semillero Pechinegro
spectacled parrotlet (Forpus conspicillatus
Buff-throated Saltator (Saltator maximus) Guayabero Ajicero
Black-faced Grassquit
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) Amazilia Colirrufa
Grey Hawk (Buteo nitidus) Gavilan Saraviado
Ruddy Ground-dove (Columbina talpacoti) Tortolita Rojiza
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater (Sporophila minuta) Espiguero Ladrillo
Pale-breasted Thrush (Turdus leucomelas) – Mirla Buchiblanca
Tropical Kingbird
Saffron Finch
Bicolored Wren
Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)
Black Vulture

Santander Colombia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:02 am

Bucaramanga Birding

I caught the all night bus from Santa Marta last night. I surprised myself by sleeping most of the way, but I was not comfortable. I got into Bucaramanga at 5:30am and had an omelette and a cup of hot chocolate. I still have not had a decent cup of coffee today. No wonder I feel so tired. Anyhoo, after brekky I found a bus, hopped off, caught another one to Bosconia and found my hostel. It is a nice spot by the Surata River.

Ruddy-breasted Seedeater
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater (Sporophila minuta)

After unpacking the camera, I went for a walk up the road and found a few new birds.

Lesser Elaenia
Lesser Elaenia (Elaenia chiriquensis)

Thick-billed Euphonia
Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia laniirostris)

9261 Unknown seedeater
9261 Unknown seedeater

9328 Unknown Seedeater
9328 Unknown Seedeater

9132 Unknown flycatcher
9132 Unknown flycatcher

Black Phoebe
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

Bucaramanga bird list

Lesser Elaenia (Elaenia chiriquensis)
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater (Sporophila minuta)
Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia laniirostris)
Saffron Finch
Black Vulture
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

July 6, 2018

Minca Colombia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:23 am

Minca in the Morning

I got up at 6am and went for a walk up the hill. Then I came back down again to look for the Hotel Minca, which I found but not much there. I found a road just next to the hotel, so I wandered up there for a while. I came back to my hostel, had breakfast and wandered up the other road. I kept running into a group with a birding guide so I guess I must have been on the right tracks. I was stoked to find a little birding field guide booklet at the coffee shop.

Crested Orpendola
Crested Orpendola (Psarocollus decumanus) – Oropendola crestada

I found a tree with a heap of Orpendola nests.

Black-chested Jay
Black-chested Jay (Cyanocorax affinis) – Carraqui Pechinegro

The Black-chested Jays had nests in there too, I think.

 Pale-breasted Thrush
Pale-breasted Thrush (Turdus leucomelas) – Mirla Buchiblanca

I think this is correct. It was a bit dark when I took the photos, so the quality is not good.

Swallow Tanager  - male and female
Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis) – Azulejo tersina – male and female

I got both male and female by accident. I saw a flash of blue while eating breakfast so I took a shot. I thought it might have been a Blue-gray Tanager. doh!

 Shiny Cowbird  - male
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus banariensis) – Chamon Comun – male

Both male and female were hanging on the wires. They must have been linesmen of the county. 😉

Shiny Cowbird  - female
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus banariensis) – Chamon Comun – female

flycatcher
flycatcher ?

Not sure at all what this is. These flycatchers are hard to identify sometimes. I am going with Acadian Flycatcher.

Bicolored Wren
Bicolored Wren (Campylorhynchus griseus)

Rufous-capped Warbler
Rufous-capped Warbler (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Aranero Cabecirrufo

It was really dark in a gully where this Rufous-capped Warbler was. I tried the flash but it blew out his eyes.

Grayish Saltator
Grayish Saltator (Saltator coerulescens) – Guayabero gris

These have weird bent tongues just like the grackles.

leaping squirrel
Squirrel

Acadian Flycatcher ???
Pale-breasted Thrush (Turdus leucomelas) – Mirla Buchiblanca
Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis) – Azulejo tersina – male and female
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus banariensis) – Chamon Comun
Black-chested Jay (Cyanocorax affinis) – Carraqui Pechinegro
Rufous-capped Warbler (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Aranero Cabecirrufo
Crested Orpendola (Psarocollus decumanus) – Oropendola crestada
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Bicolored Wren (Campylorhynchus griseus)
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)
Black Vulture
Tropical Kingbird
Grayish Saltator (Saltator coerulescens) – Guayabero gris
Social Flycatcher

July 5, 2018

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:12 am

Minca – Sierra Nevada Mountains

Getting up the mountains to Minca was pretty easy. The colectivo called at our hostel, they chucked the bags on top and away we went. Got off at the depot and walked a little way up the hill to the hostel. Done.

Squirrel Cuckoo
Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)

In the afternoon, I took a walk up the mountain towards Mundo Nuevo. To say it was disappointing would be an understatement. There were very few birds. And only two new ones. This Squirrel Cuckoo was a nightmare to photograph. He kept hiding behind leaves and hopping about like a hyperactive honeyeater.

Lesser Goldfinch  - male
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) – male

There were lots in a dead tree along the track.

Lesser Goldfinch  - female
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) – female

The female is a lot plainer.

 Palm Tanager
Palm Tanager

Orange-chinned Parakeet
Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)

Carib Grackle
Carib Grackle

Minca bird list

Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)
Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Carib Grackle
Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)

July 4, 2018

Nicaragua Costa Rica Panama Colombia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:29 am

Nicaragua to Colombia

It has been ages since I sorted out my tourist photos. So here we go.

San Juan del Sur - Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua

Things were getting pretty bad in Nicaragua. Most of the roads were blocked and food and petrol was running out. So I got a shuttle to Liberia in Costa Rica and headed up to the hills after that.

Monteverde - Costa Rica
Monteverde – Costa Rica

Looking towards the coast from the mountains. It was nice and cool up there.

Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio

After the mountains I hit the coast of Costa Rica.

Me in Panama
Birdwatcher in Panama

This is me at Gualaca, east of David in Panama.

Panama City
Panama City

This is looking out to the head of the Panama Canal on the Pacific Ocean side. There were lots of ships waiting out there.

Cartagena - Colombia
Cartagena – Colombia

I flew from Panama City to Cartagena in Northern Colombia. It does not rain as much down here.

July 3, 2018

Northern Colombia Part Three

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:44 pm

Bolivariano Museum Santa Marta

This morning I went late to the museum just up the road. I found out that the odd looking grackles were Carib Grackles.

Carib Grackle
Carib Grackle (Quiscalus lugubris)

“The Carib grackle is a New World tropical blackbird, a resident breeder in the Lesser Antilles and northern South America east of the Andes, from Colombia east to Venezuela and north-eastern Brazil.” (Wikipedia).

Scaled Dove
Scaled Dove (Columbina squammata)

Plain-breasted Ground-Dove
Plain-breasted Ground-Dove (Columbina minuta)

White-winged Dove
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

According to the bird lists, these are not supposed to be here. But here it is.

yellow-headed caracara
yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima)

The local name for the Yellow-headed Caracara is Pigua or Gavilan Pio-pio.

Bicolored Wren
Bicolored Wren (Campylorhynchus griseus)

butterfly
Butterfly

A lot of these very pretty butterflies were hanging out near a mosquito-infested swamp. I got out of there as soon as I could.

Santa Marta bird list
Carib Grackle (Quiscalus lugubris)
Scaled Dove (Columbina squammata)
Plain-breasted Ground-Dove (Columbina minuta)
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
orange-chinned parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)
Bicolored Wren (Campylorhynchus griseus)
Yellow Oriole
Russet-throated Puffbird (Hypnelus ruficollis)
Blue-gray Tanager
Turkey Vulture
yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima) Pigua or Gavilan Pio-pio

https://ebird.org/vt/hotspot/L3491234?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec – bird list for the area.

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