Monday 25 November 2013

Ochre-bellied, Olive-backed.....a good-bye to Cano...snakes and frogs

At our last ringing session at Cano Palma this morning, this Ochre-bellied Flycatcher was the final bird to be ringed.
 We caught three last year, only the second of this trip.

A noise that never leaves the lowland Caribbean forest is the wing-snapping of  male Manakins. Here is a close up of the wing showing the shape of the primaries that help produce the snap !

A male White-collared Manakin...
We regularly take photos of the upper and under wing, back and tail for research. Quite often we are handling species for which moult and juvenile/ immature plumage is poorly or in some cases not understood. Occasionally the text describes the nest as....""unknown....""
Here he is showing his tail...!!
We also caught a female Olive-backed Euphonia today - the first of the trip.
The birding highlight yesterday was a male Tiny Hawk found in the afternoon at Cano Palma Base Station. Hummingbirds are it's favourite prey !
We have recently caught a couple of species of which only one or two are ringed per year.
Amazingly our third Magnolia Warbler, another juvenile -
This immature male Spotted Antbird, a  good find, and also our third.
 The largest flycatcher we catch - a Great Kiskadee, large and always noisy in the surrounding trees !

Last night we took the opportunity to go on the weekly Cayman count. Success as usual with 20 seen from the boat but the highlights were other species including a Rufescent Tiger-Heron, a nice one for me !
 Snakes were the target (with license to catch and release) for Joan, one of our Spanish herpetologists. Seen here enjoying a Coke, and discussing our taste for British music from the late 70's !
Events on the boat exploded at 2135 and went like this -
Manuel spots a swimming Boa with his lamp -
We lose it, I pick it out with torchlight sliding up the bank -
Manuel parks ... the boat up the bank !! -
Joan scrambles off the boat .......

What a beauty, a mature female Boa Constrictor, length 2.07m.
Such a stunner........the metallic blue sheen was amazing.
A Tree Boa was also collected last night.
Back at Tortuga Lodge two days ago our ringing was affected by rain, we did however notice that "Wendy's pet"" deadly Eye-lash Viper had actually moved, and was now closer to our net pole. We have made our final visit to this site too !
 For those who haven't been introduced to the viper, it is in line with the shelf-string loop...
....and lets look a little closer.....
Oh what lovely legs you have......
Tomorrow our last day in National Parque de Tortuguero...and the plan is to go to the Pacific coast.

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