The best thing about birdwatching or birding is that it is unpredictable what to expect. It is not about reaching a certain destination, but what you see during your trip. You know that there are birds out there, but the questions remain:
But in the end it is a wonderful experience where you can learn a lot from, especially for me.
This was my first birding trip for 2015 and exciting as I was, I couldn't wait to start the day. Most of the sighting I do near the lodges, but during a birding tour we go beyond. I always start my adventure armed with a binocular, camera and notebook. Ready for some action.
During this trip I was joined by the lovely couple Henjo and Elly Hielkema. Two wonderful exciting people who couldn't wait to start this wonderful birding journey too.
Wednesday: January 21th, 2015
The Swallow-winged Puffbird was one of the first birds that we spotted in the morning. Easy to recognize as it is a common bird and not afraid to be near humans. We spotted this one with a large ant in its beak, right before it 'disappeared' into a nest hole ready to feed its young.
The morning started very promising, great weather and great sunlight. We spotted this Black-necked Aracari high up in a tree next to the Kabalebo river. The Aracaris are smaller than the Toucans, but still they have a nice color display.
This Striated Heron didn't want to be noticed by anyone, but we did. Just after taking this shot, it flew right into the dense bushes for cover.
Our friend, the Cocoi Heron, never disappoints us, but still to shy to stay long at one place.
The Rufescent Tiger Heron is also a common bird, but it likes to stand still for a long period of time. Great detail on its plumage. Just look at its sharp beak, just like a knife.
Birding doesn't mean that you can neglect the other kind of animals. We spotted this Smooth-fronted Caiman resting next to a log. Best place for a caiman to hide/rest as it also looks like a log with its appearance.
The Green Ibis was pretty restless during the trip. It never stood still, I was able to capture this picture right before take off. Most of the time this Green Ibis is confused for a Black bird, but to see the right color you need sunlight for the exposure.
Our challenge of the day: the Green Kingfisher. Common bird near the water, but difficult to take a picture of it. I think this was my 55th attempt for the morning.
Highlight of the day: the Crimson Topaz. We went into the Sandcreek, one of my favorite birding spots. There is a certain place in the Sandcreek where I always spotted the Crimson Topaz. A terrestrial hummingbird so it seems. This morning it was very active and agile. I was able to capture this moment while it took a break.
Next to the Crimson Topaz I spotted this young fellow: a young male Crimson Topaz. No wonder that the older Topaz was so active during the morning. New kid on the block!
After the Crimson confrontation we continued our way further into Sandcreek. Guess who we spotted a couple of meters further, a young Spectacled Caiman with its catch of the day: a Wolfish (Anjoemara). Great pro-angler so it seems, because the wolfish was of the same length like the caiman.
During a birding trip it is usually difficult to have a quick lunch break. Here is why: a young Red-capped Cardinal was passing by.
Some birds do enjoy the special attention: this Red-billed Toucan was joining or following us on our trip. It flew from tree to tree next to the river and was actually posing for us too. Great model, great talent. We enjoyed its company very much.
Other birds we saw this morning, but weren't able to capture were:
Birds we heard during this morning:
It surely was a wonderful day. Can't wait what the second day will bring.