Saturday, March 26, 2016

Harpy Eagle at Bartola!

Harpy Eagle (immature)
Canadian birder G. Elliott Whitby submits the following description of his February 16, 2016, encounter with a young Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)--the first known sighting of this species in Nicaragua in more than 15 years, and the first documented eBird record for the country:

"On February 16 Elliott Whitby, Ardith Ekdahl, Gordon Greer and Denise Orr were taken on a birding tour by boat up the Bartola River from Refugio Bartola. The guide was Juan Jose. At approximately 9:30 the guide told us a Harpy Eagle was passing over the boat. It landed in an adjacent tree and we all got wonderful views with our binoculars and three of us took pictures for about ten minutes. According to (eBird country reviewer Liliana Chavarria) it is the first sighting of a Harpy Eagle in 15 years in Nicaragua."

A Productive Visit to Sabalos Lodge

Janelle and Howard Freshman of Long Beach, California provide the following account of their recent visit to Sabalos Lodge, on the Rio San Juan:

My husband Howard and I birded at Sabalos Lodge February 10-16, 2016. We probably saw more species than on any previous trip to the area. We had a brief look at a pair of Royal Flycatchers (Onychorhynchus coronatus) along the path in the lodge. We saw three Olivaceous Piculets (Picumnus olivaceus) in a mixed flock that included a Cinnamon Becard (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus), Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus), and two Dot-winged Antwrens (Microrhopias quixensis). We got a good look at a male Bare-crowned Antbird (Gymnocichla nudiceps). We saw plenty of wintering migrants including a beautiful male Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina), American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), several Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis), and plenty of Chestnut-sided Warblers (Setophaga pensylvanica) as usual. Resident birds that we saw included included a Bright-rumped Atilla (Attila spadiceus), Black-throated Wren (Pheugopedius atrogularis), Spot-breasted Wren (Pheugopedius maculipectus), Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus), Yellow-billed Cacique (Amblycercus holosericeus), Great Antshrike (Taraba major) and two Slaty Spinetails (Synallaxis brachyura). We also got great looks at two (Neotropical River) otters in front of the lodge!

Plain Xenops

Bare-crowned Antbird

Neotropical River Otter