• Colombia 2018 - Rio Claro

    Rio Claro Natural Reserve is at approximately 1,000 ft elevation, much lower than Bogota, and has more palms and other tropical vegetation. Our little sleep buildings were cute and the rooms large and comfortable. There were no bugs to speak of. 

    This was a hysterical encounter on the birding trail the first day. An enormous, aggressive bull was being herded up and over the hill by a cowboy on horseback.  The bull was "held in check" by a single rope around the horns...not too reassuring given his size and his snorts and feints in our direction. We were told by the rancher to get the heck up the hill and after we did that, he told us to get FURTHER up the hill and hurry the heck up..his bull was getting feisty and impatient. We did so, but Juan stood guard in front of us all brandishing a stick he had found.  Driver Hermes, on the other hand, was the first one up the hill and the furthest one up. I never let him forget that during the whole trip. 

    Happily, no one was hurt. It was a serious encounter, but it was really funny, too.

    This Bay Wren, beautiful as it was, would not let me get a good picture. Nuts! He is a real stunner.

     Straight-billed Woodcreeper

    The first evening we went down to the oilbird cave to watch the oilbirds fly out into the night. Oilbirds are very large and squawk large, too. Entertaining!

    These little Purple Honeycreepers were hanging around the dining hall.

    As it turns out, Yellow-billed Toucans can and do scream from the treetops. Calls to match their size.

    Little Olivaceous Piculets, on the other hand, are tiny, but cute and remarkable for their spotted little heads.

    Although seen only high in the trees, the Black-faced Dacnis was a real treat.

    This bird kind of looked like a puffbird to me and sat just as quietly as a puffbird does, but it is a Tityra, a Black-capped Tityra, to be exact. The black cap is only barely visible in this shot.

    Thick-billed Euphonia

    White-mantled Barbet

    Awakening to a real flood...the Rio Claro couldn't hold all the overnight rain.

    Once the waters receded about 3 hours later, the guide and driver discovered that the van had been completely flooded and Juan's birding scope ruined. They had to put heads together and figure out how to manage, but they were absolute champs about it, very competent.

    While they did the difficult problem-solving, the rest of us just fooled around birding. I got good captures of this beautiful female Rufous-breasted Hermit.

    and I found this Cinnamon Becard,

    a White-tipped Dove

    and this charming and cooperative Barred Puffbird.

    I couldn't stop taking pictures of this posing guy.

    In short order, the tow truck had come and Juan and Hermes had a new van waiting for us to board.  Good-bye, beautiful, if a bit too exuberant, Rio Claro.



  • Comments on this post (4 comments)

    • Carol Blackard says...

      What Karen said…. Focus on the beauty and the magnificent adventures of life. Otherwise, the bad news these days may eat you alive.

      May 04, 2019

    • Karen Palmunen says...

      Following your wondrous adventures really brings home to me the magnificence of the universe. Nice to be able to focus on beauty for a moment amid all the less-than-beautiful news around us. Thank you.

      May 04, 2019

    • richard Cimino says...

      Great photos. I’m sure you had a wonderful time.

      May 03, 2019

    • Michael Bowen says...

      Love the Puffbird! The other photos are not too shabby either!! Looks like you had a good and exciting trip.


      May 03, 2019

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