Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

August 24, 2018

Vilcabamba Morning

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:17 pm

Vilcabamba – Ecuador – Day Two

Second day in Vilcabamba. I wake up at 6.30am and get out the door at 7am. I walk down the hill towards the “senderos” by the river and cross the bridge to the Rumi Wilco trail. The sun is still behind the hill so there is not much stirring. I go back down to the tracks along the river where there is a bit more sun.

Fasciated Wren
Fasciated Wren (Campylorhynchus fasciatus)

I was lucky to spot some Fasciated Wrens on a wire going down to the river. They remind me so much of our Australian babblers. They sound and squabble like them. Adorable little things, they are.

Fasciated Wren
Fasciated Wren (Campylorhynchus fasciatus)

They are so nice I have to post two photos of them. The Spanish name is Cucarachero Ondeado.

Pale-billed Hornero
Pale-billed Hornero (Furnarius leucopus )

A better photo than the one yesterday. He was foraging on the trail along the river.

Groove-billed Ani
Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

They are so ugly but I like them. Almost seem prehistoric to me.

Boat-billed Flycatcher
Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua)

Scrub Blackbird
Scrub Blackbird (Dives warszewiczi)

Very bad photo of this Scrub Blackbird in a dark tree with backlighting. A recipe for crap photos.

Vilcabamba bird list

Fasciated Wren (Campylorhynchus fasciatus) – Cucarachero Ondeado
Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
Pale-billed Hornero (Furnarius leucopus )
Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua)
Scrub Blackbird (Dives warszewiczi)

Andean Birding near the Peru border

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

Vilcabamba – Ecuador

I had a big bus ride today from Cuenca to Loja and then changed buses to Vilcabamba. I was going from about seven in the morning until two in the afternoon.

Fasciated Wren
Fasciated Wren (Campylorhynchus fasciatus)

I first went along the track past the Rio Chamba. Then I crossed to the other side and made it to the track near Rumihuilco or as it has been anglicised to Rumi Wilco.

Plumbeous-backed Thrush
Plumbeous-backed Thrush (Turdus reevei)

Golden-Olive Woodpecker
Golden-Olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus rubripileus)

Loja Hummingbird
Loja Hummingbird (Amazilia alticola)

hummingbird
purple-collared woodstar (Myrtis fanny) – maybe?

At first I thought it was a Gray-chinned hermit (Phaethornis griseogularis) , but the bill is too straight. I have no idea what it is. Edit: maybe purple-collared woodstar (Myrtis fanny)???

Pale-billed Hornero
Pale-billed Hornero (Furnarius leucopus )

Andean Slaty-thrush
Andean Slaty-thrush (Turdus nigriceps )

Southern Yellow-Grosbeak
Southern Yellow-Grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster )

Vilcabamba bird list

Plumbeous-backed Thrush (Turdus reevei)
Fasciated Wren (Campylorhynchus fasciatus)
Golden-Olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus rubripileus)
Loja Hummingbird (Amazilia alticola) ???
purple-collared woodstar (Myrtis fanny)
Pale-billed Hornero (Furnarius leucopus )
Andean Slaty-thrush (Turdus nigriceps )
Southern Yellow-Grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster )
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans )
Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)
Saffron Finch
Blue-gray Tanager
Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

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.

August 22, 2018

Isla de la Plata Trip

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:14 am

Whale Watching Puerto Lopez

This has been ages coming together this post. My computer died because I fried the motherboard. doh! I got a really small laptop and it does not have any editing software so I am struggling getting some pictures done for this blog.
But I am managing somehow kludging things from what is on the computer and finishing off with Irfanview.
I am writing this on Windows Notepad, that is how bad things are. argghhh..

Magnificent Frigatebird  - male
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) male

I have finally got a photo of a male Magnificent Frigatebird with its red gullet puffed out. Hooray!

Red-billed Tropicbird
Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus)

There were a couple of Red-billed Tropicbirds on the cliffs of the island.

Collared Warbling-Finch
Collared Warbling-Finch (Poospiza hispaniolensis )

Blue-footed Booby
Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii)

A young Blue-footed Booby without any feathers yet with its parent. He is all down.

Variable hawk
Variable hawk (Buteo polyosoma) Aguilucho

This Variable Hawk was floating over the top of the island.

Pacific Green Turtle
Pacific Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

These Pacific Green Turtles were just hanging around the boats when the crew went snorkling. Aka Green sea turtle.

Humpback Whale  -  baby
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) baby

This little baby Humpback Whale was jumping all over the place. They said he was exercising ready for his big trip back to Antarctica.

Humpback Whale   - adult
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) adult

The adults came to Ecuador to mate and then they head back south with the babies when they are ready.

Puerto Lopez bird list

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus)
Collared Warbling-Finch (Poospiza hispaniolensis )
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)
Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii)
Variable hawk (Buteo polyosoma) Aguilucho
Pacific Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

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

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:01 pm

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

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