Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 25, 2011

Birds of Central Otago and Mackenzie

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Mackenzie and Central Otago Birds.

Before I left for the Mackenzie region of New Zealand I filmed a few Canada Geese and New Zealand Scaups in the pond at the camping ground at Ashburton. Then I headed up the hills past Geraldine and stopped at a bridge going over the Opuha River. There was a New Zealand Kingfisher (Halycon sancta vagans) on the wires and a Welcome Swallow and Chaffinch sitting on some rocks in the river. At the Pioneer Park, a few kilometers down the road, I went for a short walk up the hill and saw lots of song birds that I could not identify and a a New Zealand Pigeon.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose ( Branta canadensis )

After that, I headed to Fairlie, past the gorgeously coloured Lake Tekapo to Twizel, where I had hoped to visit the Black Stilt hide. Black Stilts are an endemic wading bird with completely black plumage in their adult form and long red legs. They had neared extinction due to destruction of habitat and the introduction of feral predators. But chicks reared in captivity are released into the wild. Now Black Stilts numbers are increasing and extinction has been averted. I did not eventually go to the hide because of car trouble but I did see one fly past at the Ahuriri River.

Mackenzie and Central Otago Birds video

I camped that night on the banks of the Ahuriri River 3 kms north of Omarama. I managed to films some Canada Geese, and saw some terns in the distance fishing in the river. A Pied Oystercatcher was flipping the rocks on the river banks. Just before Cromwell, in Central Otago, I spotted a pair of California Quail (Lophortyx californica) at Bendigo on the banks of the lake formed by the Clyde dam. The male has a distinctive plume on top of his head.

I went for a day trip to Queenstown and there were quite a few Mallards who were being quite aggressive at times towards the endemic New Zealand Scaup, of which there were only two. New Zealand Scaup (Aytha novaeseelandiae) are found in mountain lakes and coastal ponds. The male has a bright yellow eye and a dark greenish head. The female is without the yellow eye and has a white face patch during breeding season.

There were also some Black-billed Gulls waiting for the tourists to throw them scraps of food and fighting amongst themselves for the tidbits. The Black-billed Gull (Larus bulleri) is usually seen inland and is common on the South Island of New Zealand. Immature birds have pink bills and legs so are difficult to distinguish from the Red-billed Gull. They nest in colonies, mainly on shingle river beds.

Mackenzie and central Otago bird list

New Zealand Scaup
Black-billed Gull
New Zealand Pigeon
Australian Magpie
New Zealand Fantail
Welcome Swallow
Black Stilt
New Zealand Kingfisher
Pied Oystercatcher
California Quail

October 13, 2011

Ashburton Birds

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Birds along the Ashburton River.

13th October 2011.

This morning I went to the Ashburton River just below the bridge that goes over the river at the town of Ashburton in the South Island of New Zealand. On a soccer oval next to the river, I found a few Song Thrush who were hopping around feeding on some worms. There were also some Blackbirds, Greenfinch and House Sparrows around as well.

Ashburton Birds video

When I went down to the river I saw a pair of Paradise Shelduck feeding amongst the rocks on the river bed. Not far away from them were a pair of Banded Dotterel and later on I saw lots more. I even saw an immature Banded Dotterel and I am sure I saw both male and females. The male has quite a brighter reddish chest band which stands out very strongly. There were a pair of Pied Oystercatchers behaving quite strangely and I got the impression that they were trying to lead me away from their nest but I could not be sure. There were also quite a few Pied Stilt on the river as well as a couple of Masked Lapwing and a solitary White-faced Heron.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) is a common species introduced from Europe. This one was pecking around on the oval next to the river. They feed mostly on the ground, where it hops rather than walks. They are of the same family (Turdidae) as the Blackbird.

Banded Dotterel
Banded Dotterel

Banded Dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus) is called the Double-banded Plover in Australia (Is it a plover or a dotterel? ), and are endemic to New Zealand, some migrating to Australia. They breed on sandy beaches, shellbanks and riverbeds from July to January.

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) are a common New Zealand Endemic. The male has a large black head and a dark grey body. The female has a white head and chestnut body. In flight they have prominent white patches on the upperwings. They are usually seen in pairs on pastures, ponds and shallow freshwater lakes throughout New Zealand.

Ashburton Bird List

Banded Dotterel
Pied Stilt
Paradise Shelduck
Pied Oystercatcher
Black-backed Gull
Masked Lapwing
White-faced Heron
Australian Magpie
Song Thrush
House Sparrow

October 10, 2011

Canterbury Birds

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Lake Ellesmere and Methven.

The first stop after leaving Christchurch was Lake Ellesmere. It is a convoluted route to get there. I had to go out onto the main highway and dart off into this maze of roads leading through all these low-lying areas. Eventually I found the reserve and camped there for the night. There were a lot of birds in the surrounding pine trees – mainly Blackbirds, Starlings, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Yellowhammer. After that I went for a walk along the track to the hide at Harts Creek.

Lake Ellesmere
Lake Ellesmere

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) were introduced from Australia and are quite common.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) were introduced to New zealand in the 1860’s and there are a small number in Lake Ellesmere.
White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae) colonised from Australia and are now common throughout New Zealand.
Mallard (Anas platyrynchos) were introduced from Europe and America as a game bird and are very common.

Video of Canterbury Birds

Australasian Crested Grebe or Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus cristatus) nest from November to January. Just trying to work out if the Australasian Crested Grebe(Podiceps cristatus australis) in New Zealand is a sub species of the Great Crested Grebe of Australia. It seems that there are 3 sub species, European, African and Australasian. Our one and the nz ones are the same sub-species, australis.

Australasian Harrier or Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) are very commonly seen over roads and fields in New Zealand. They are easily identifiable by their white rump. The only other raptor as far as I can tell is the New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) which is very closely related to the Brown Falcon of Australia. I saw one once in a vineyard in the Awatere Valley in the Marlborough.

Pukeko or Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus) are very common both here and in Australia. In all there are about 13 sub-species around the world.

Southern Black-backed Gull, Maori Name: Karoro, Scientific Name: Larus dominicanus. Also known as the Kelp Gull – very similar to the Pacific Gull of southern Australia, Lars pacifius, which i thought it was at first. The Kelp Gull has a stripey tail and the Pacific Gull has a red tip on the bill.
Red-billed Gull(Larus scopulinus).
Grey Warbler – Maori Name: Riroriro, Scientific Name: Gerygone igata.

Hutt Ranges
Hutt Ranges

Pied Stilt or Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus) has a very controversial taxonomy. There are about 5 sub-species around the world with much disputation about the validity of their various statuses. To compound the issue further, the Pied Stilt interbreed with the Black Stilt in New Zealand and create some obfuscating hybrids. Hopefully I will get to see the Black stilt at the hide in Twizel, up in the Mackenzie country.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) colonised from Australia in the 1930’s.

New Zealand Fantail , Maori name: Piwakawaka (Rhipidura fuliginosa) is considered by some to be conspecific with the Grey Fantail of Australia, having different calls.

Sakura in New Zealand.
Cherry Blossoms in Ashburton Domain

The New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) is an endemic New Zealand bird that lives in the forest and feeds on fruits, flowers and leaves. The ones that I saw at Taylor’s Stream near Mount Hutt were eating cherry blossoms. Their nest is a flimsy structure of twigs and sticks supported on several smaller branches. They breed from November to March and generally have one egg with an incubation period for about 30 days.

Canterbury Bird List

Welcome Swallow
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelabs)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen)
Red-billed Gull
Black-backed Gull
Pied Stilt
Masked Lapwing
New Zealand Fantail
New Zealand Pigeon
Swamp Harrier
Grey Warbler
Black Swan
Mute Swan
Great Crested Grebe
White-faced Heron
Masked Lapwing

October 9, 2011

Kaikoura Wildlife

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Seals and Birds.

A couple of months ago I went for a trip to Kaikoura. I can’t even remember why I went now it was that long ago. Kaikoura is about 125 kilometers south of Blenheim at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. The town has rebuilt itself as a tourist destination for whale-watching tours. It is a very nice spot indeed with the sweeping panorama of the snow-capped Kaikoura Ranges in the background.

Wildlife of Kaikoura

About thirty kilometers north of Kaikoura is the Ohau Stream. Every winter Hundreds of New Zealand Fur Seal pups come to the Ohau Point Seal colony. The pups are born in November and December on the rocky seashore and move up the stream. They stay in the stream for a few days each visit but have to return to the seashore to get a feed of their mom’s rich milk. To feed their pups, the mothers spend time at sea hunting for Arrow Squid and Lantern Fish.

In earlier years the New Zealand Fur Seal was hunted for food and skins. Hunting them was banned in 1894, but they were nearly wiped out. They are making a comeback but present numbers are estimated to be at only 10-20% of their original population. The Maori name for them is Kekeno. Seeing the baby seals frolicking in the stream is the highlight of my trip to New Zealand so far. I highly recommend stopping and paying them a visit.

In Kaikoura itself I went for a wander around the rocky headland and saw some more seals. They just lay around the car park sleeping all day. I saw some oystercatchers, both the Pied Oystercatcher and the Variegated Oystercatcher. Two types of gull – the smaller Red-billed Gull and the large Black-backed Gull, also called the Kelp Gull. There were a number of cormorants, called shags over here.

If you do come here make sure you do an Albatross Encounter. You go on a boat ride and see heaps of albatross from what I can gather. Plus lots of other seabirds as well. I have not been yet, but hope to some day.

Kaikoura Bird List

Little Black Shag
Pied Shag
Little Shag
Black-backed Gull
Red-billed Gull
Pied Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Welcome Swallow

April 3, 2011


Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:22 am

Honshu, Japan

It is very easy to get to Nara from Kyoto. I just took the bus to Kyoto Station and asked Tourist Information how to do it! They held my hand through the whole process and almost put me on the train. A really nice lady even told me to get off a few stops later and catch the express. Nara is a lot smaller than Kyoto so it is not such a mad, bustling city. There are lots of old temples and ponds. In the parks the deer wander around freely and people feed them even though they are not supposed to. Nara Park has many world heritage listed sites such as Kofukuji Temple, Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha.

 Sika Deer (Cervus Nippon)
Sika Deer (Cervus Nippon)

The cherry blossoms are coming out and this lovely couple was having their photos taken in traditional costume. I am not sure if they were getting married or not but they looked very nice indeed.

The Lovely Couple
The Lovely Couple

There is a very old five storey pagoda and this massive Buddha temple which was completed in 752 but burnt down twice. This one was built in 1709 and is the largest wooden structure in the world.


While I was there I managed to video some birds. The Oriental Turtle Dove was filmed in Kyoto. The highlights of the birds in Nara were the Spot-billed Ducks, the White Wagtail, and the Little Ringed Plover.

Birds of Nara

I did take some video of the turtles in the pond, but since found out that they are feral animals – Red-eared Slider Turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans). They are commonly kept as pets and in Australia they are banned because they can get to be such a pest. I stayed in this fantastic traditional Japanese Guest House in Nara with sliding panel doors and tatami mats. It was so cool.

Bird List of Nara, Japan

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) – Kiji-bato
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Common Teal (Anas crecca)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) – kochi-dori
Chinese Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Pale Thrush (Turdus pallidus)
Dusky Thrush(Turdus eunomus)
Japanese Cormorant (Phalocrocorax capillatus)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Large-billed Crow

Red-eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) feral.
Sika Deer (Cervus nippon)

March 31, 2011

Birds of Maizuru

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Western Honshu, Japan.

I arrived on the ferry from Otaru at 9pm and walked to the Port Shine Hotel which overlooks the port, funnily enough. The next morning I went for a walk with the video camera to find some birds. I am not too confident about my identifications because I do not have a birds of Japan book and the internet does not have a very lood photographic listing. Anyway, here is a photo of the port. It is nice and glassy early in the morning. Later on the wind came up and made it all choppy.

The Port of Maizuru
The port of Maizuru

The first birds I spotted were what I thought were Asian House Martins (Delichon dasypus). The were foraging around in the grass pecking at the sticks and seeds. I then spotted what I thought might be Eurasian Wigeons in the creek going into the bay. But on second looks I thought they might be Northern Shovelers. I have really no idea. It is a lot more difficult to identify birds from a video. After that I walked up this wooded hill and spotted a Dusky Thrush on the way back.

The Port of Maizuru
View from the hill

Back down on the street along the port, I spotted some Black-eared Kites and got a few shots of some of them. They have this piercing call and you can hear this on the video. I also spotted an Osprey but failed to get a shot of it. I also filmed some Eurasian Tree Sparrows. On the creek next to my hotel I filmed some more ducks, a pair of Little Grebes and a Little Egret.

Birds of Maizuru video

Maizuru Bird List

Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Dusky Thrush
Black-eared Kite
Little Egret
Eurasian Wigeon ?
Little Grebe
Asian House Martin (Delichon dasypus)

January 26, 2011

Birds of Furano

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Birds of Hokkaido, Japan.

This morning I took off with my video camera and borrowed a pair of binoculars from the nice man at the hostel in Furano, Hokkaido. I just walked down the back streets of the town, firstly seeing a pair of Large-billed Crows high up in a tree. Further down the road in a bunch of trees I spotted a Marsh Tit flittering around among the branches. I could not get any usable footage because he was flittering around too much.

On the way back, i wandered the back streets behind the 7-11 and saw heaps of birds. There were a mob of Brown-eared Bulbuls, Dusky Thrush roosting on the wires and TV antennas, and the Great Tits were free-loading off a bird-feeder in someone’s front yard.

Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos japonensis) also called a Jungle Crow.

The taxonomy of Corvus macrorhynchos is confusing because there are about 11 races spanning from India to northern Japan. Work is being done by researchers Emiko FUKUI, Shoei SUGITA and Midori YOSHIZAWA on “Molecular sexing of Jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos japonensis) and Carrion crow (Corvus corone corone) using a feather”. “A molecular sexing method using the intron-size difference between chromo-helicase-DNA binding protein (CHD1) genes on the Z and W sex chromosomes (CHD1Z and CHD1W, respectively) was developed for wild Jungle crows and wild Carrion crows.” “In the present study, sexing live Jungle and Carrion crows was performed by applying the method to a feather for molecular sexing.”

Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris)

The Marsh Tit is a widespread and common resident breeder throughout temperate Europe and northern Asia. Most Marsh Tits stay in their breeding territories year round.

Great Tit (Parus major)

The Great Tit (Parus major) is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread and common species throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa. There is some talk of the Great Tit being called the Japanese Tit (Parus minor) in Japan. This species was classified as a subspecies of Great Tit, but Russian studies have indicated that the two species coexist in the Russian Far East without intermingling or frequent hybridization.

Dusky Thrush(Turdus eunomus)

The Dusky Thrush is a member of the thrush family Turdidae which breeds eastwards from central Siberia. They supposedly migrate south to South-east Asia, maybe someone forgot to tell these ones. They are frequently treated as conspecific with Turdus naumanni.

Brown-eared Bulbul (Microscelis amaurotis)

The Brown-eared Bulbul is a medium-sized bulbul which is found from the Russian Far East , northeastern China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and northern islands of the Philippines. It is a very familiar bird throughout Japan, where it is called hiyodori, and considered a pest in some agricultural centers.

December 31, 2010

Best Bird of the Year 2010

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Best Bird of 2010

I saw a post on 10,000 birds about the best bird of 2010 so I was curious as to what defines the “best” bird of the year. I still do not understand it, mainly because I am not an obsessed twitcher, and I probably have a personal idea about what I like about birds and photographing them. I still do not know what is meant by best so I am looking through my photos of the year to see which one I liked best. The first ones that took my fancy were the photos of the Rainbow Bee-eaters at Bribie Island.

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater, Bribie Island

I love Rainbow Bee-eaters. Mainly because of their exotic and beautiful colouring and also the way they flitter around like supermodels who have no idea how wonderful they really are. The other bird at Bribie was the fantastic shots I got of the Scarlet Honeyeater. Maybe I just like pretty colours – the brighter the better.

Scarlet Honeyeater
Scarlet Honeyeater, Bribie Island

They were my Australian birds for the first half of the year. So then I went through my Argentina birds. My favourites were the Brown-hooded Gull, Tero and the American Kestrel I saw at Esquel.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel, Esquel, Argentina

Then I went through my Bolivian birds. There was not much in that lot, but I was stoked to get a photo of another lapwing, the Andean one. I had got photos of the Tero in Argentina. I seem to like getting a full set of families. I wanted to get photos of all the ibises as well, but missed the Black-necked [sic] one in Argentina.

Andean Lapwing
Andean Lapwing, Copacabana, Bolivia

My set of photos from Peru was going to be a difficult task as I had heaps of great birds in that collection. The Inca Tern is a stand-out in terms of beauty and exoticity.

Inca Tern
Inca Tern, Paracas, Peru

I loved seeing the American Oystercatcher as well as a Snowy Egret on the beach at Chicama. The Frigatebirds at Mancora rocked as well. But the stand-out performer for sheer excitement and the winner of the Best Bird of 2010 would have to be the Oasis Hummingbird. This one loved the flowers on the Aloe Vera plants near our hostel at Lobitos, just south of Mancora. I was hanging out to see some hummingbirds and this one did not disappoint. So, drum roll please.

Oasis hummingbird
Oasis Hummingbird, Lobitos, Peru

December 27, 2010

Birding Sites in Central America

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 11:31 pm

Here are my research notes for birding sites in Central America. I did not get there last trip but hopefully I will get there some day. Enjoy!

Birding in El Salvador

Playa Los Blancos
Walter Deininger and Rio Jiboa

Birding Spots in Guatemala

Bicycles can be rented by the day, week or month. Motorcycles may be rented as well.

Stay in Guatemala City at Hotel Fenix, Hotel Hernani, hotel san martin in Zonas 1. In Zonas 13 near the airport try Patricia’s Guest House.
In Antigua stay at Yellow House, or Posado Don Tono.
In Izabal, Puerto Barrios stay at Hotel Xelaju or Hotel Lee. Get boat to Livingston.

Guatemala National Parks

Punta de Manabique – Caribbean
Biotopo Cerro Cahui – 2km from El Remate – La Casa de don David
Biotopo del Quetzal
Biotopo San Miguel La Palotado
Parque Nacional Laguna Lachua
PN Mirador – Rio Azul
PN Rio Dulce- boat trip up Rio Dulce gorge starting at Livingston- Exotic Travel has a good tour.
Tikal National Park, Peten District – eastern Guatemala
Refugio Boca del Polochic
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Petexbatun
Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii
Reserva de Biosfera Maya
Reserva de Biosfera Sierra de las Minas.

Suggested Birding Spots
Cerro Alux, Tecpán, Chichicastenago and Panajechel
Los Tarrales Reserve
Volcán Atitlán – boat ride across the lake start at Panajachel. At Santiago there have been many robberies. You need a guide and police escort.
Pacific slope – Finca Los Tarrales, Cerro Tecpán(east of Lake Atitlán)
Las Guacamayas
Laguna Petexbatun.
Punta de Manabique and Monterrico.

Birding Spots in Belize

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize District – Stay at Rhaburn’s Rooms near visitors centre.

Guanacaste National Park – near Belmopan.

Five Blues Lake – near St Margaret village.

Mountain Pine Reserve, Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District
1,000 Foot Falls – via the Chiquibul Road, off the Western Highway at Georgeville.
Rio Frio Cave
Douglas da Silva – on the way to Caracol.
Las Cuevas – in Chiquibul forest Research Centre.
Caracol rainforest

Hopkins –
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS), Stann Creek District,
Sittee River.
Blue Hole National Park.

Placencia, Stann Creek District

Mayflower-Bocawina National Park, Stann Creek District

Orange Walk – Akihito Hotel.
New River and Lamanai
San Ignacio – Cayo District – the road to Sibun River in the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Dangriga – Carribean coast.

Bermudian Landing – Monkey sanctuary – Village Homestays, Howler MOnkey Resort.

Belize is more expensive than some other Central American countries.

Birding Belize Resources

Birds of Belize (H. Lee Jones)

Birds of Mexico and Central America (Ber van Perlo)

Birding Sites in Costa Rica

Santa Rosa National Park
San Jose
El Copal
Carara National Park
Braulio Carrillo National Park
La Selva Biological Station and Cinchona
Poas Volcano and Virgen del Socorro
Cerro de la Muerte
Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge
Savegre Valley
San Geraldo de Dota
Chomes and Monteverde
Santa Elena

Costa Rica can be a bit more expensive than some other Central American countries.

Birding Sites in Nicaragua

La Calera Reserve
Volcán Mombacho
El Chocoyero
Montelimar Beach
Managua and Estelí

Rio Orosi Valley – Montana Linda, Monte Sky, Parque Nacional Tapanti(has guest house).

Limon stay at Hotel King or Hotel Palace.

Birding Spots in Mexico

Tampico, Tamaulipas
Poza Rica, Veracruz
El Tajín, Veracruz
Veracruz, Veracruz
Villahermosa, Tabasco
Palenque, Chiapas
Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Puerto Arista
Isthmus of Tehuantepec to Catemaco
UNAM and Catemaco
Ej. Miguel Hidalgo and Catemaco
Costa Esmeralda

San Blas
Reserva de la Biosfera El Triunfo
Laguna Miramar
Reserve de la Biosfera Calakmul
Rio Lagartos

In Mexico City stay at Hostel Catedral or Hotel Isabel.

On the Yucatan Peninsular

Meridar stay at Santa Lucia Hostal or Nomadas Hostal.
Campeche – Monkey Hostel.
San Miguel de Cozumel – Hostelito, Hotel Marruang.
Tulum – Hostel Tulum, Hotel el Crucero.


Palenque town stay at Posada Nacha’n or Hostal San Miguel – El Panchan stay at Rakshita’s, Chato’s Cabanas.
San Cristobal de las Casas – Backpackers Hostel, Posada Casa Real.

Mexico is relatively more expensive than other Central American countries.

Birding Sites in Honduras

Copán Ruinas
San Pedro Sula
Lago de Yojoa
Cerro Azul Meambar and Lago de Yojoa
Tegucigulpa and Ojo de Agua
La Tigra National Park

La Moskitia

The Reserva del Guisayote is 16km north of Nueva Ocotopeque. Stay at Hotel Turista or Hotel Maya Chorti.

In Puerto Cortes stay at Hotel el Centro or Hotel Internacional Mr Ggeerr.

November 27, 2010

Entre Rios Birds

Filed under: South America — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:05 pm

Gualeguaychu Birds

Last evening I went for a walk over to the other side of the river at Gualeguaychu in Entre Rios, Argentina. I was not intending to take any photos of birds, but happened to walk past this duck pond where there some birds that came close enough to get a shot on my point and shoot camera.

The Black-necked Swan is closely related to the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) of Australasia. It is found in southern South America, in Chile and Argentina and is partly migratory with some birds wintering in Paraguay and southern Brazil.

Black-necked Swan
Black- necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus)

There were a few of these little ducks swimming around quite close to the shore, so I managed to get off a pretty dirty photo. I had a good look on Arthur Grossets website but I could not identify this one. Do you know what it is¿ I have a feeling that it might be some kind of hybrid/domestic variation.

ID required
Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys)

This tree was on an island in the middle of the pond and it was absolutely full of what looked like egrets and some kind of cormorant. I could not see close enough to tell what they were exactly.

Tree full of Cormorants and Egrets
A tree full of Cormorants and Egrets

Thanks to

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