Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

August 16, 2018

Ayampe Birding Ecuador

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:31 pm

Coastal Ecuador Two

This is part two of my morning at Ayampe Estuary. After wandering around the estuary for a while, I headed inland on a road south of the bridge until it got too muddy to continue.

Pale-legged Hornero
Pale-legged Hornero (Furnarius leucopus)

I went for a Pacific Hornero at first but it seems there is some discussion about taxonomy.

Crane Hawk
Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens)

Seen on the other side of the coastal highway. My thoughts were as follows –
Hook-billed Kite ?, Gray-lined Hawk?, Plumbeous Kite ?, Gray-backed Hawk, then finally Crane hawk.

Cocoi heron
Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi)

Hanging out in the sketchy river with a bunch of Black Vultures.

pied-billed grebe
pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

Last seen in Nicaragua. “Small, brown, ducklike birds, pied-billed grebes have thick bills with a dark ring in summer; the ring fades in winter.”

black-crowned night heron
black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

These are seen all over the world just about. Very huge range.

vermilion flycatcher
vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus obscurus)

Last seen ten years ago in Mancora, Peru.

Masked Water tyrant
Masked Water tyrant (Fluvicola nengeta) Tirano de Aqua Enmascarado

Seen at the estuary where they are quite common and sit right in front of you. Muy amable.

Ayampe bird list

Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi)
Yellow-tailed Oriole (Icterus mesomelas)
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
Masked Water tyrant (Fluvicola nengeta) Tirano de Aqua Enmascarado
Pale-legged Hornero (Furnarius leucopus)
pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens)
masked yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Black Vulture
American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) juvenile
Shiny Cowbird
black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Neotropic Cormorant
Magnificent Frigatebird
vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus obscurus)
Lemon-rumped Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager

Coastal Ecuador One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:40 pm

Ayampe Estuary – Coastal Ecuador

I have been staying at Puerto Lopez on the coast of Ecuador. This morning I got the bus to Ayampe, about twenty kilometers north. I had no idea where I was going, so I headed towards the beach along this river. Actually it was the Rio Ayampe. Not much of a river, more like a trickle. Then I got to the estuary and things picked up quite considerably. There were birds everywhere and I got clicking away frantically. I think I got about six new birds. Not bad.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

I have been wanting a photo of a Yellow-crowned Night-heron for ages. First time I have seen one. Woopee!

Cocoi heron
Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi)

“The Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi) is a species of long-legged wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae found across South America. It has predominantly pale grey plumage with a darker grey crest. A carnivore, it hunts fish and crustaceans in shallow water.” (wiki)

Yellow-tailed Oriole
Yellow-tailed Oriole (Icterus mesomelas)

This is a really bad photo but the only one that is semi-usable. It is a record shot. Tick.

Masked Water tyrant
Masked Water tyrant (Fluvicola nengeta) Tirano de Aqua Enmascarado

Again, I have been looking for these for ages. Finally found one. And they just sit there waiting for you to take their photo. Awesome.

black-necked stilt
black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)

masked yellowthroat
masked yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis) ?

It might be a female Masked Yellowthroat. Thanks to Brisco for the guidance. Black-lored Yellowthroat (Geothlypis auricularis auricularis) is also a possibility – immature male. Thanks Tim.

American white ibis - juvenile
American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) juvenile

 Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

ID resource: http://www.world-birds.com/birds/a/ecuador

August 14, 2018

Quevedo – Ecuador

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Quevedo – Ecuador

This morning I caught the bus from Latacunga at 8:30am. It took me nearly five hours to get to Quevedo. At the end it was getting a bit much. When I got here I had lunch and then headed off to my hotel. It is really old and a bit like Bates Motel.

Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani) Carpintero Carinegro

About 4pm I went for a walk around the hotel, which was on a hill above the river. There were a few birds around including this Black-cheeked Woodpecker. I thought it was a new one, but I think I have seen it before in Costa Rica. doh!

Ruddy Ground-dove maybe
Ruddy Ground-dove maybe

I am totally lost. No internet and really crappy books. So I am struggling indentifying even the most common birds.

Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Not sure.

hummingbirds fight
hummingbirds

A couple of what looks like Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds having a bit of an altercation.

Quevedo bird list

Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani) Carpintero Carinegro
Hummingbird
Blue-grey Tanager
Great Kiskadee
Ruddy Ground-dove
Shiny Cowbird
4817 Pigeon red eye, ruddy sidess.
Black Vulture

Baeza Birds Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:49 pm

El Nido del Condor – Baeza

These are the photos from last night and this morning at the hostel out in the mulga past Baeza in Ecuador. It started pouring rain last night and continued most of the night. This morning it was still drizzling on and off a bit. Waiting for a bus out in the drizzle was not much fun.

Inca Jay
Inca Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) Urraca Inca

More photos of Inca Jays. They are really spectacular looking birds.

Inca Jay
Inca Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) Urraca Inca

And another one showing the green back and tail.

Tanager maybe
Tanager maybe

I thought this might be a Beryl-spangled Tanager at first but it is not. I do not have it in my book so I am a bit lost.

Scarlet-rumped Cacique
Scarlet-rumped Cacique (Cacicus uropygialis )

Is this a Black cacique or an orependola. It has blue eyes, yellow bill and a bright red rump. Could it be a Yellow-billed Cacique.

Scarlet-rumped Cacique
Scarlet-rumped Cacique (Cacicus uropygialis )

Here is a shot of the fiery red rump. You can only see it when it is flying.

Baeza bird list

Inca Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) Urraca Inca
Russet-backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) Oropendola Dorsirrojiza
Beryl-spangled Tanager no ????
Scarlet-rumped Cacique (Cacicus uropygialis )
Black Phoebe

Baeza Birds One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:35 pm

El Nido del Condor – Baeza

After a few days in Quito, I wandered down a few streets to catch a bus to Baeza. When I got to Baeza, I walked down the road, thinking the hostel was at the edge of town. But the map was wrong. It was more than five kilometers out of town, in the middle of nowhere. I had to catch a taxi there, which cost me a whole $2.50! I got a nice room and in the afternoon, I went for a wander along the track at the back of the hostel. Nothing around, except a few Black Phoebe.

Inca Jay
Inca Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) Urraca Inca

I saw an Inca Jay over the other side of the road in a tree. It flew around making horrible noises, then was joined by a couple more. They came back a few times just outside while I was editing the photos, so I took a few more photos. Hopefully, they are better.

Russet-backed Oropendola
Russet-backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) Oropendola Dorsirrojiza

I cannot find this in the books I have, which are not very good by the way. I am thinking this might be a Russet-backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) Oropendola Dorsirrojiza or a Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) or some type of Cacique. I do not know. Russet-crowned Oropendola? Crested Oropendola? I am going for Russet-backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) Oropendola Dorsirrojiza.

Russet-backed Oropendola
Russet-backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons)

Same bird as above, but on another tree on the other side of the hill.

Flycatcher
Flycatcher

I am not sure about this one at all. It has a yellow eyebrow, and yellow throat and chest.

Another flycatcher
Another flycatcher

Another flycatcher I do not know. It looks something like a dusky-capped.

speckled hummingbird
speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) ?

I can see a white stripe above the eye and one below. Cannot work this one out. Maybe a Esmeralda Occidental (Chloristilbon melanorhynchus) or Chloristilbon mellisugus? I am going with speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys).

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

Finally a bird I can identify. A Band-tailed Pigeon.

Baeza Bird List

Inca Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) Urraca Inca
3944 flycatcher with yellow eyebrow. yellow throat and chest.
Russet-backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) Oropendola Dorsirrojiza
4097 flycatcher ????
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) Paloma Collareja
Black Phoebe
Blue-gray Tanager

Mindo Birding Part Four

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:44 pm

San Lorenzo Road – Mindo

This morning I went for a walk along the Rio Mindo. I think it is called the San Lorenzo Road. Famous in birding circles. That is what they tell me. I only walked a kilometer or so. There were a lot of lodges along the way. Expensive ones. Not for me.

Guira Tanager  - male
Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira) – male

My thought process for identifying the Guira Tanager went as follows. Is is a tyrannulet with yellow back, throat and white tummy? It had an orange lower bill. Was it an Olive-crowned Yellowthroat or a black-lored Yellowthroat? An Olivaceous Siskin??? Finally I found a photo on a world birds site that matched what I had – male and female Guira Tanager.

Guira Tanager  - female
Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira) – female

I think it might be a female Guira Tanager. It could even be juvenile. I am not real sure.

Torrent Tyrannulet
Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)

This little fella popped onto a fence on the way home. I was just lucky.

White-lined Tanager  - male
White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus) – male

I have been seeing a lot of female White-lined Tanagers around town but the males are a bit harder to identify.

Tropical Parula
Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi)

Blue-necked Tanager
Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis) Tangara Capuchiazul

Mindo bird list

White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus)
Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira)
Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)
Blue-gray Tanager
Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis) Tangara Capuchiazul
Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi)
Black Vulture
Black Phoebe
Cattle Egret
Bananaquit
house wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Black-and-white Seedeater (Sporophila luctuosa) Espiguero Negriblanco
Lemon-rumped Tanager
Shiny Cowbird

Resource for ID: http://www.pbase.com/ahlman/birds_of_ecuador

Mindo Birding Part Three

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The Yellow House Part Two

Carrying on from the last folder. At the Yellow House I had a cup of coffee and photographed the hummingbirds around the feeders out the back.

Sparkling Violetear
Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscansa) Orejivioleta Ventriazul

The Sparkling Violetear is quite common around the Mindo area.

Brown Violetear
Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae) Orejivioleta Parda

The Brown Violetear is seen in many gardens around the area.

Andean Emerald
Andean Emerald (Amazilia franciae) Amazilia Andina

Rufous Motmot
Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) Momoto rufo

I was very lucky to see this Rufous Motmot on the way out of the yellow house.

Mindo bird list

Andean Emerald (Amazilia franciae) Amazilia Andina
Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscansa) Orejivioleta Ventriazul
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae) Orejivioleta Parda
Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) Momoto rufo
tropical parula (Setophaga pitiayumi)
white-tipped dove (Leptotila verreauxi)
Saffron Finch

August 2, 2018

Mindo Birding Day Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:47 pm

The Yellow House

Up before 7am in the morning. It is dark and overcast. I head down the road on the way to the Yellow House, which has a few bird trails and some bird feeders. But it starts drizzling and just a little bit too hard to continue. So I stop and have breakfast at a local tienda. Coffee and scrambled eggs. Yumm. By the time I have finished my breakfast the rain has stopped so I carry on up to the Yellow House. It costs $6 for entrance.

hook-billed kite
hook-billed kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus)

This Hook-billed Kite had me going for a while. I thought it was a Roadside Hawk with a weird head.

common black hawk
common black hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

The main reason for this identification is the length of the legs in relation to the tail. But I am not real confident about it. It coudld have been a Great Black Hawk – Buteogallus urubitinga but the white stripe on top of the tail did not fit.

FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota)

The Fawn-breasted Tanager has a purple top of head, black mask, red eye and white tummy. I think it is a juvenile because of the white tummy. They are very similar to the masked flowerpiercer.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) Tucanete Lomirrojo

Slaty-capped Flycatcher
Slaty-capped Flycatcher (Leptopogon superciliaris) Mosquerito Gorripizarro

Choco Tyrannulet
Choco Tyrannulet (Zimmerius albigularis)

Strong-billed Woodcreeper
Strong-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) Tepatroncos Piquifuerte

This might be a Montane Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger).

Swallow Tanager - female
Swallow Tanager(Tersina viridis) Azulejo Tersina – female

Mindo Bird List

Slaty-capped Flycatcher (Leptopogon superciliaris) Mosquerito Gorripizarro ????
Swallow Tanager(Tersina viridis) Azulejo Tersina – female – green ????
Choco Tyrannulet (Zimmerius albigularis)
Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) Tucanete Lomirrojo
Strong-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) Tepatroncos Piquifuerte
hook-billed kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus)
common black hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota)
Buff-throated Saltator
Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris) Gavilan Campestre
Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icteronotus) Tangara Lomilimon
Palm Tanager
Bananquit
Shiny Cowbird
Bronze-winged Parrot
Cattle Egret

August 1, 2018

Ecuador Birding One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:12 pm

Mindo Cloud Forest

It has been a while since I have posted a blog. I have come all the way from Cali in Colombia without taking a photograph. I crossed the border into Ecuador with thousands of Venezualan refugees. It was quite chaotic. I stayed a few days in Otavalo and Quito, the capital. This morning I caught the bus to Mindo. I am staying in a nice lodge and this afternoon I went for a walk to buy a local Mindo Field Guide.

Lemon-rumped Tanager  - male
Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icteronotus) – male

The Lemon-rumped Tanager is most frequently found below 1500 meters. They are found in pairs or small groups.

Lemon-rumped Tanager  - female
Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icteronotus) Tangara Lomilimon – female

The Spanish name for the Lemon-rumped Tanager is Tangara Lomilimon.

White-lined Tanager   - female
White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus) – female

The White-lined Tanager feeds on fruits and are often seen close to roads. The Spanish name is Tangara Filiblanca.

Bananaquit
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)

Bananaquits are often found with tanagers and hummingbirds in fruit trees and flowering plants. They drink the nectar of flowers by puncturing the side of the flower.

Rusty-margined Flycatcher
Rusty-margined Flycatcher (Myiozetes cayanensis)

The Rusty-margined Flycatcher feeds on insects and some fruits. Its Spanish name is Mosquero Alicastano.

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

This is a close-up of a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird piercing the side of a flower to suck out the nectar. I did not know they did this. The Spanish name is Amazilia Colirufa.

Black Phoebe
Black Phoebe

Black-and-white Seedeater   - male
Black-and-white Seedeater (Sporophila luctuosa) – male

The Spanish name for the Black-and-white Seedeater is Espiguero Negriblanco.

Black-and-white Seedeater  - female
Black-and-white Seedeater (Sporophila luctuosa) – female

Unknown seedeater
Unknown seedeater

I have no idea what this is.

Mindo bird list

Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icteronotus) Tangara Lomilimon
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) Mielero Flavo
White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus) Tangara Filiblanca – female
Rusty-margined Flycatcher (Myiozetes cayanensis) Mosquero Alicastano
Black-and-white Seedeater (Sporophila luctuosa) Espiguero Negriblanco
Black Phoebe
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) Amazilia Colirufa
Blue-Grey Tanager
Feral Pigeon
Cattle Egret
Shiny Cowbird
Tropical Kingbird

Source: Birds of Mindo by William Patino.

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