Thursday 13 December 2012

Endemics and migrants in the cloud forest

The next two weeks of our trip were in  highland cloud forest at 2,400m. The air certainly felt rather thin on the first day running round putting up 18 nets scattered on the hillside.
We were staying at the recently renovated Costa Rica Bird Observatory house at Madre Selva in the Talamanca range, an area of high biodiversity richness and home to many endemic birds.
Three different ringing sites are operated from the base each with slightly different species being caught. This is the ringing table at CRBO ready for action.
Some birds we caught there included several Yellow-thighed Finches
 Nice legs!
 a Black-faced Solitaire which has a wonderful flutey song which unfortunately makes them targets for capture for the caged bird trade.
These were nice to age, hatch year birds having clear contrast in the Greater Coverts
Black-cheeked warblers 
 Ruddy Treerunner
 Sooty -capped Bush Tanager
 and a rather smart Collared Trogon
 As well as residents we were catching some migrants too like this Black and White warbler
 and a Louisiana Waterthrush
Residents and Migrants have different record sheets and rings which kept us on our toes
 At the "Lake" site the nets are in forest around a lake with a sheltered ringing base in a summer house
 We cleared some old net lanes with a machete  to increase the number of nets.
Our star birds here were a Common Paroque which we had seen displaying around the lake at dawn on previous days
 this Flame-throated Warbler
 a Streak-breasted Treehunter which lives in a 2 foot burrow!
Black and Yellow Silky-Flycatcher, a highland endemic
 and a Brown-capped Vireo.
 Collared Redstarts were fairly common
but nice to catch a Slate-throated Redstart too
Of the migrants caught, Wilson's Warblers were the commonest
with a few Black-throated Green Warblers

and quite unusual, a juvenile Ovenbird
and a Summer Tanager
The third site is more open woodland and farmland
but sometimes the cows took rather too much interest in the nets!
 Spotted-crowned Woodcreepers spent the day squabbling in the trees overhead and several were caught here.

This Hairy Woodpecker was nice
 and several Grey-breasted Wood-Wrens too
Two beautiful  Resplendent Quetzels sat in a tree above but not in a net one day.
Hummingbirds were frequent captures at Madre Selva - more about those in the next blog.....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to post comments but there may be a delay as they are all moderated to avoid spam