Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

August 23, 2018

San Gil to Cuenca Tourism

Filed under: General — Tags: , — admin @ 1:31 am

Colombia and Ecuador Tourist

Here are my tourist photos from July and August. I started off in Cartagena in Colombia, then went to Minca up in the mountains, then went south to Bucaramanga.

A squirrel in the park
A squirrel in the park

This squirrel was taken in the park at San Gil, just north of Bogota in Colombia. I stayed on a farm way out of town. It was so nice and peaceful.

Villa de Leyva church
Villa de Leyva church

This is the old church in the hills of Colombia. Villa de Leyva was a really nice little town. Very peaceful even though it was full of tourists for the festival.

All the fun of the fair
All the fun of the fair

And as per usual, the carnies came with their fair ground rides. So funny.

Religious trinkets
Religious trinkets

All over the world they make money off religion. It is a growth industry.

Mural in Bogota.
Mural in Bogota.

Bogota, the capital of Colombia had crazy traffic. It was a nightmare trying to get around. A lot of cities are like that.

Lunch in Otavalo
Lunch

A pig cooking for lunch in the bus terminal in Otavalo, the first city I arrived at in Ecuador. It is high up in the mountains and lots of indigenous people live there.

Quito skyline
Quito skyline

Quito, the capital of Ecuador. High up in the mountains and quite a nice city.

Blue-footed Booby and baby
Blue-footed Booby

I went for a whale watching boat ride at Puerto Lopez in Ecuador. We stopped at Isla de la Plata and did a hike over the hills. Lots of boobys and frigatebirds.

Salinas Beach
Salinas Beach

There were so many tourists at Salinas. It reminded me of the Gold Coast in Australia. But even more tacky.

After Salinas I went to Guayaquil for three days, then today I caught the bus up the mountains to Cuenca and I am headed towards the Peru border.

July 22, 2018

Salento Birding Day Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:33 pm

Salento Day Two

Once more into the breach. I got up a bit later this morning and headed off down the track about 7am. There were a few different birds around today. But not a huge amount as what I was thinking. doh!

Bar-crested Antshrike
Bar-crested Antshrike (Thamnophilus multistriatus) Batará Carcajada

This was a good score. I had a good guess that it was something like an Antshrike.

Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager

I think this is right. Ebird says they are around here.

yellow-bellied siskin
yellow-bellied siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus)

I may have seen this one before but for the life of me I cannot work out what it is. Edit: It is a yellow-bellied siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus), thanks Mathew for the idenification.

lesser violetear
lesser violetear (Colibri cyanotus)

I thought it might have been a Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus) but the Lesser Violetear has been seen in this area.

Western Emerald - female - maybe
Western Emerald (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus) female

I am not sure about this id. It had a white chest and a blue crown.

Golden-faced Tyrannulet
Golden-faced Tyrannulet (Zimmerius chrysops)

More photos of these ones today. They seem quite common around here.

Scrub Tanager
Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina) Tangara Rastrojera

Once again I think this is right. It might be a Conopophaga castaneiceps at a rough guess.

Slate-throated Redstart
Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus)

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

Salento Bird List

Bar-crested Antshrike (Thamnophilus multistriatus) Batará Carcajada
Western Emerald (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus)
lesser violetear (Colibri cyanotus)
yellow-bellied siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus)
Summer Tanager
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Black Vulture
House Wren
Golden-faced Tyrannulet (Zimmerius chrysops)
Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina) Tangara Rastrojera
Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus)
Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima) Pigua
Great Kiskadee
Ruddy Ground-dove
Black-billed Thrush (Turdus ignobilis)

http://www.world-birds.com/birds/a/colombia

July 21, 2018

Salento Birding Part Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:04 pm

Salento Part Two

This is the second part of my walk along the ridge line this morning at Salento, Colombia.

House Wren
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

The spanish name is Cucarachero comun. I think this is the first time I have photographed the House Wren. They are very common in North America I think.

Golden-faced Tyrannulet
Golden-faced Tyrannulet (Zimmerius chrysops)

Bay-headed Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola)

This is a better photo of the Bay-headed Tanager than the one in Part One.

Great Thrush
Great Thrush (Turdus fuscater) Mirla Patinaranja

Slate-throated Redstart
Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus)

The Slate-throated Redstart has a white undertail and flashes it a lot like a fantail. It has a yellow tummy, but more on that later and a bit of red on the crown.
“The color of the breast and belly changes from vivid vermilion red for birds in northern and central Mexico to red orange, orange, and yellow orange in Central America, and to yellow in South America.” (Cornell.edu)

Yellow Oriole
Yellow Oriole (Icterus nigrogularis)

Streaked Saltator
Streaked Saltator (Saltator striatipectus)

A bunch of Streaked Saltators were feeding on the lawn when I came back from the trek along the ridge.

Saffron Finch
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Canario Coronado

This Saffron Finch looks like it has a touch or leucism or something like that.

Salento bird list

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) Cucarachero comun
Golden-faced Tyrannulet (Zimmerius chrysops)
Streaked Saltator (Saltator striatipectus)
Great Thrush (Turdus fuscater) Mirla Patinaranja
Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola)
Palm Tanager
Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus)
Ruddy Ground-dove
Yellow Oriole (Icterus nigrogularis)
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Canario Coronado

Quindio Area Colombia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:05 pm

Salento – Colombia

After a marathon twelve hour bus ride through the mountains, I made it to Salento. It was at night when I got in so I started out early in the morning walking along a track just by the hostel.

Bay-headed Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola)

The Bay-headed Tanager is 14 centimeters long with a Yellow-green back. The head is reddish-brown with a front of turquoise blue. The bill is black. The spanish name is Tangara Lacrada.

Flame-rumped Tanager
Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus)

This is the female Flame-rumped Tanager. The male is all black with a red rump.

Golden-olive Woodpecker - female
Golden-olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus) female

The spanish name for the Golden-olive Woodpecker is carpintero verdidorado.

Pale-edged Flycatcher
Pale-edged Flycatcher (Myiarchus cephalotes)

Bronze-winged Parrot
Bronze-winged Parrot (Pionus chalcopterus)

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

mystery bird
Rusty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa sittoides) female

Thanks to Max for the id for this one.

Salento bird list

Golden-olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus) carpintero verdidorado female
Pale-edged Flycatcher (Myiarchus cephalotes)
Bronze-winged Parrot (Pionus chalcopterus)
Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis) Tangara Real
common tody-flycatcher (Todirostrum cinereum) Espatulilla Comun
Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus)
rusty flowerpiercer (Diglossa sittoides)
Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola) Tangara Lacrada
Streaked Saltator (Saltator striatipectus) Guayabero Rayado
Palm Tanager
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Cattle Egret
Shiny Cowbird

July 19, 2018

Bogota Birding Part Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:30 pm

Parque La Florida , Bogota Part Two.

This is the second half of the photos I took today at the Parque La Florida, just behind the airport at Bogota, Colombia. There is a really large area of wetlands with a path going right through them.

Yellow-hooded Blackbird  - male
Yellow-hooded Blackbird (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – male

I could not believe it when I saw these amazing birds. They were so bright.

Yellow-hooded Blackbird
Yellow-hooded Blackbird (Chrysomus icterocephalus)

I think this is either a female or juvenile Yellow-hooded Blackbird.

Shiny Cowbird  - male
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensus) – male

The male is all black and shiny while the female is all drab and brown.

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)

American Coot
American Coot (Fulica americana)

American Coot with a young one.

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

I am quite surprised to see these.

Bogota Birding Part One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:24 pm

Parque La Florida, Bogota.

I arrived in Bogota yesterday afternoon late and got a lift to the area near the airport. I had a shower and relaxed for the rest of the day. This morning I got up early but no-one was around so I eventually made it to Parque La Florida.

Great Thrush
Great Thrush (Turdus fuscater)

At the entrance I saw a Great Thrush. It turns out that they are going to be quite common in South America. Their spanish name is Mirla Patinaranja. The Great Thrush has an orange bill and yellow feet. They are all blackish with a red eye and a yellow ring around the eye.

Bare-faced Ibis
Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)

I went through the park section, crossed the bridge and found some wetlands where there were a few waterbirds. I cannot remember if I have seen Bare-faced Ibis before.

Bare-faced Ibis
Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)

I caught a few of the Bare-faced Ibis in flight but most are out of focus. This is the best of them. Still not great.

Shiny Cowbird - female
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensus) female

The Shiny Cowbird female is very different to the all black male.

Southern Lapwing
Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)

This is the standard position of any lapwing. Mouth open, screaming its head off. They are called Tero in South America and are the mascot of the Uruguay football team because they are so fierce. Or is it feirce? I forget. doh!

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

The Black-crowned Night-heron has got a pretty large range, from Asia to America.

Rufous-collared Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)

The Rufous-collared Sparrow is getting more and more common the further south I go. I still cannot resist taking their photo. They are so handsome.

Bogota bird list

Great Thrush Mirla Patinaranja (Turdus fuscater)
Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)
Yellow-hooded Blackbird (Chrysomus icterocephalus)
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensus)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
Eared Dove
blue-and-white swallow
Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)
Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Tropical Kingbird
Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)
Cattle Egret

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

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