Saturday, March 2, 2013

On Our Own with Ersel

The tour is now over, and we went off on our own with Ersel today.  It was fantastic!  What a different experience, with just the two of us plus Ersel, versus being in a big group with multiple guides.  We started off with a fair drive, stopping at Crocodile Bridge.  The falcon we were hoping for was not there, but we still saw interesting stuff.

masked tityra
 I loved watching this juvie little blue heron fly around and walk along the bank.  Towards the crocodile.  Who was missing his upper mandible.  This picture had a lot of surprises!  I wonder if that croc is still alive.
little blue heron (immature) and crocodile
To the woods!  We went over to the park and started in on the trail.  It was gorgeous!  I love how this guy's head sticks up, and his striped look iridescent.
mystery lizard
 There were a few dragonflies hanging out over the water here, dipping down once in a while in the sun.  It was mesmerizing to watch them.
chestnut-backed antbird
 We did see a royal flycatcher a few times, but no good pictures.  A good enough look that I now know that the bird I saw on an earlier trip and I thought must be a royal flycatcher was definitely ~not~ a royal flycatcher.  I should revisit that.  Anyway, we also saw the nest, apparently it is ~supposed~ to look like this.
royal flycatcher nest
 Okay, check out this little butterfly.  It has a fake head built into its wings at its rear, so that predators will try for the wrong end!  If you don't look at the legs it totally seems that the head is on the other end of its body.

Yes, I tried digiscoping.  It's not great with the telephoto lens on my camera and no attachment for a scope.  But it still took a better picture of this kite than I did on my own!
double-toothed kite
 I can't figure out what this one is.  A leaf-tosser maybe?  I do remember seeing it but it was quickly overshadowed by.........
mystery bird
 The star of the day!  Well, not really for me, but for Ersel.  You know it's special when you see a life bird for the guide.  Yay!  :-)  In true wren fashion she was maddening - I took at least 100 pictures that ~should~ have been of her, and here she is, in the best one of all, still blurry.  :-)
rufous-breasted wren

streaked flycatcher
 Prothonotary warbler, my first time really seeing one!  And it was for a long time - hopping, flitting, blinding us with his brilliant colors.  And his tongue is so red!  Not a big deal at all to Ersel but definitely special to me.
prothonotary warbler
Any day that includes a green heron is automatically better.
green heron

There he is!  Look at that heron!  If you thought a black-crowned night heron looked a little like a penguin, check this guy out.  I love him!
boat-billed heron
 These antbirds were cavorting in a tree right on the path, deciding whether they should have chicks together.  I couldn't really tell whether they reached a definite conclusion.
dot-winged antbird

dot-winged antbird

 Manakins!  We saw 4-6 males hopping around, showing off their amazing colors, and generally being awesome.
orange-collared manakin
 During a lull this woodcreeper came by.  Hahahahaha, I love that I got to see these manakins long enough for there to be a lull!
mystery woodcreeper
I simply had no more time for the woodcreeper.  The manakins were at it again!  There was a female nearby (we saw her briefly) and the boys were all showing off for her.  Making their noise, doing their dance, hoping for a favorable response.  She remained unimpressed though.  Better luck next time guys!  Here is one mid-noise.
orange-collared manakin

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