Sunday, September 30, 2012

White-rumped Sandpiper at Salinas Grandes

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, Manfred Bienert observed 61 bird species at Salinas Grandes (León), including 20 shorebird species. The most interesting find of the day was unquestionably a White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis), a species that migrates from its Arctic breeding grounds to South America primarily over the Caribbean and which is very rarely reported from Nicaragua's Pacific coast.

White-rumped Sandpiper

Other highlights included three Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) – possibly the same individuals seen on two previous visits in July -- Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus), 150 Stilt Sandpipers (Calidris himantopus) and a group of around 300 Wilson's Phalaropes (Phalaropus tricolor).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Agami Heron and Least Bittern at Rio Papaturro

Agami Heron
During a four-day visit to the Centro Ecológico los Guatuzos and the Río Papaturro (along the south shore of Lake Nicaragua in Río San Juan department), David Hille, Georges Duriaux and Liliana Chavarría observed and captured in mist nets a total of 115 species from August 10-13, 2012. Highlights included Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Agami Heron (Agamia agami), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica), Bronzy Hermit (Glaucis aeneus), all five resident kingfisher species including Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda), Collared Forest-Falcon (Micrastur semitorquatus), Chestnut-colored Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus), Black-striped Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus), Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher (Poecilotriccus sylvia) and Nicaraguan Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus nuttingi).


Green-and-rufous Kingfisher

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ruddy Crake at Pearl Lagoon (RAAS)

From August 1-4, 2012, Liliana Chavarría, Georges Duriaux and Manfred Bienert visited the Pearl Lagoon area of Nicaragua's South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS). From the Garifuna community of Orinoco, the group made visits by panga (small fishing boat) to the Wawashang River, Bilam Creek, Mahogany Creek, Shark Lagoon and to the outskirts of the neighboring community of Marshall Point.

During the four day trip, the birders recorded a total of 106 species, including nine hummingbirds, four kingfishers, and eight species of flycatchers. Highlights included White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora), Blue-chested Hummingbird (Amazilia amabilis), White-crowned (Pionus senilis), Red-lored (Amazona autumnalis), Mealy (A. farinose) and Yellow-naped Parrots (A. auropalliata), Russet Antshrike (Thamnistes anabatinus), and a Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher (Terenotriccus erythrurus) along the banks of Mahogany Creek. In the same location, a Snowy Cotinga (Carpodectes nitidus) was seen flying across the river. At the mouth of the Wawashang River, two Green Ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) were observed flying overhead.

In addition to resident birds, a number of early migrants were present, including a total of five Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) seen at Bilam Creek, Shark Lagoon and Marshall Point, and a flock of 16 Purple Martins (Progne subis) seen at El Rama, around 65 km inland from the coast.

Prothonotary Warbler

Purple Martins

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the trip was a Ruddy Crake (Laterallus ruber), seen well in the open crossing a cement walkway between the communities of Orinoco and Marshall Point. Although not uncommon in appropriate habitat, like most members of its genus this skulking reed-dweller is more often heard than seen.