• Colombia 2018 - Recurve-billed Bushbird Reserve and Ocaña

    On the morning of 11/25, we got up and birded around the road around San Vicente de Chucurí where we had spent the night. One doesn't have to go far from the hotel to find birds in Colombia. We birded on the road here.

    Spot-breasted Woodpecker

    Plain Xenops

    Crested Oropendula

    Saffron Finch

    From our birding location up on the road we had this view of, I think, San Vicente de Chucurí where our hotel the Tibigaro stands.

    Then it was back to the hotel to pack up and move on. Here are a couple of very friendly Colombians we had to say good-bye to. But, happily, the sweet Isabel and I are still in communication on social media.

    Then, we had a long day of driving to Ocaña, got in late. The drive was on very good roads but the last leg was quite curvy. At this point we were very close to the Venezuelan border and we saw a few refugees with backpacks. The border is open and Colombia does not try to restrict Venezuelan citizens who wish to leave their country and come into Colombia.

    After a night of rest we had a chicken soup and hot chocolate breakfast in the balcony dining area on top of our hotel. This was our view very early in the morning.

    Hermes got us to the Recurve-billed Reserve and he was feeling his oats. Funny man.

    OK, now we're entering the Reserve in search of this amazing bird that was thought to be extinct for 40 years and then respotted in Venezuela in 2004.

    And here's the motly crew.


    Well, this is the best shot I could get of the active bird zipping around in the skinny bamboo. He uses that odd bill as a knife to cut open the thin bamboo and get out insects to eat. He can't work with the more common thick bamboo. He has a wonderful song. Here's a YouTube of it that is just enthralling 


    We were certainly privileged to see him.

    We went into a local town and had lunch at a restaurant on the square. At this lunch, we noticed an interesting painting on the wall. Juan explained that it was a painting of a woman executed by Spanish royalists on this plaza for being a revolutionary spy.

    After lunch, we birded some more. I don't know what this is....somebody help me. He has a rufous cap that is barely visible, a white throat and yellow underparts. This is the fate of photographers...they are wandering around, spot  a nice bird, work at getting a shot, and by then everybody else has left and nobody else saw the bird. Haha. Happens all the time.

    Buff-throated Saltator

    Black-headed Tanager

    Yellow-bellied Siskin

    Cliff Flycatchers snuggling together on a tiny rock cliff edge.

    On the "non-birdy" side of the road we got this view of crops on a hillside. Yes, they are actual crops, not just plantings. I can't remember of what...maybe coffee?

    And on the road itself there were....scooters transporting entire families. Once we saw guys transporting a metal bed on a scooter. Belly laugh at that one.

    It was dark when we got back to Ocaña AND rush hour. 

    The traffic was Guinness-worthy. I never saw so many scooters in my life!

    The next morning, as we were packing up to leave the hotel, I took a few pictures of the neighborhood.

    Meat vendor

    Do It Yourself

    The ever-present juice stand

    Beautiful people...no short supply here in Colombia

    Plentiful produce

    On the way to our next stop, we got to stop and watch a couple of King Vultures. Can you guess which one is the mature adult? On the left are some Black Vultures and one immature King Vulture.

    Yellow Oriole

    Yellow Oriole

    Yellow Oriole

    Golden-winged Sparrow

    Thank you for following these adventures. I love sharing with you. Next up...Perijá mountain range. I'm on a roll now...should finish posting all eight blogposts in a matter of a couple of weeks max.










  • Comments on this post (1 comment)

    • Kathy Wingert says...

      I love traveling vicariously with you and Scott.
      Pictures are breathtaking!

      October 27, 2019

  • Leave a comment