Saturday, March 9, 2013

Another First!: Red Knot at Estero Real

As part of a Birdlife International and Fauna & Flora International-sponsored shorebird census on December 1, 2012, Orlando Jarquín, Martin Vallecillo and José Aquino conducted a count of shorebirds in the Estero Real delta, where a low tide had exposed a mudflat nearly 10 km long. Among the many shorebirds feeding in this exposed area, the observers located 13 individual Red Knots (Calidris canutus) probing the mud with their bills as they walked together across the flat. Known as one of the bird world's most formidable migrants—Western Hemisphere populations migrate from the Artic to Tierra del Fuego and back each year—this is the first known, documented record of Red Knot for Nicaragua.

New Species for Nicaragua: Savanna Hawk

On February 21, 2012, Orlando Jarquín, Milton Salazar, Yuri Aguirre, Luis Díaz, Milton Ñamendi and Geordino Bravo visited the finca Cosigüina Sur in Chinandega department. After an early morning walk around the entire finca, the group stopped around 10:30 a.m. at the northeast corner of the property to rest and observe several raptors soaring overhead. Among the birds soaring high above, the birders were able to identify a single Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) gliding north towards the Cosigüina Volcano. Normally found from western Panama south to northern Argentina, this is the northernmost documented record of this species, and the first for Nicaragua.

Nueva Guinea Trip Report by Jessie Stuebner

NicaBirds recently received the following trip report from Managua-based birder Jessie Mentzer Stuebner:

"My husband and I (Cal and Jessie Stuebner) took a two-day trip to Nueva Guinea (RAAS) for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was one of the best birding trips we've ever taken! We stayed at a church property surrounded mostly by farms. The first day, we hiked out from the church, through the farms, to a little water hole. Along the way, we saw flocks of White-crowned Parrots (Pionus senilis) and also a White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) fluttering like a little angel as it hunted. When we arrived at the water, we saw a small flock of Lesser Scaups (Aythya affinis) and a variety of herons, egrets, and smaller birds such as kiskadees and other flycatchers. There were several species that my husband and I, both amateur birders, were unable to identify.

Early the next morning, we went out around the church property and saw lots of little seedeaters and warblers and other small birds. Then, at the recommendation of a local birding friend, when out to a river in a wooded area full of flowering Albezia trees and vines (flowering Macunas, I think). It is an area that is known to have sloths, and we were hoping to see one. We hiked off the road down to the river and found a fallen tree. We could hear so many birds, so we decided to sit on the log and watch. We ended up sitting on that log for three hours (except for when we were excitedly jumping up to get a better view of something!). Unfortunately, we didn't see any sloths, but we did see a Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis), and scores of little birds. Most were difficult to capture with a camera or binoculars - very active little birds, and I'll never know what many of them were! We were able to confirm a variety of warblers, several hummingbirds, becards, and tanagers. Some of my favorites were the Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), the Bananquit (Coereba flaveola), and the Red-throated Ant-Tanager (Habia fuscicauda). In all, we confirmed 20 species by the river and 21 at the church and surrounding farms."

Blue-throated Goldentail

Below is a complete list of bird species identified by Jessie and Cal on their trip:

Day 1 and 2 at Nueva Guinea church/farm:
  • Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
  • Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
  • Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
  • Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
  • White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)
  • Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove (Columbina talpacoti)
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
  • White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)
  • White-crowned Parrot (Pionus senilis)
  • Pygmy-Owl spp. (Glaucidium spp.)
  • Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis)
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua)
  • Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis)
  • Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
  • Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi)
  • Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
  • White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola)
  • Thick-billed Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus funereus)
  • Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanocompsa cyanoides)
  • Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Day 2 at wood/river just outside of Nueva Guinea:
  • Band-tailed Barbthroat (Threnetes ruckeri)
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
  • Blue-throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae)
  • Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)
  • Cocoa Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)
  • Streak-headed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)
  • Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus)
  • Cinnamon Becard (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)
  • White-winged Becard (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
  • White-collared Manakin (Manacus candei)
  • Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons)
  • Bay Wren (Cantorchilus nigricapillus)
  • Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)
  • Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)
  • Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
  • Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)
  • Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)
  • Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
  • Red-throated Ant-Tanager (Habia fuscicauda)