Los Frailes: July 13, 2008

Aimee had been feeling poorly, so I made off by myself to the photogenic Los Frailes beach and coastal dry forest within Machalilla National Park. Last year when we visited, we enjoyed the terrific views from the lookout above the cove, and I decided to start there and walk the trails further around the park in search of Tumbesian endemics.

I was surprised to encounter first the Gray-and-White Tyrannulet, which I had worked so hard to see on Isla de la Plata, right here on the coast, which is a bit out of its range as described in the field guide. Further suprises included the Tawny-Crowned Pygmy Tyrant, White-Edged Oriole, and Superciliated Wren, none of which I was really expecting to observe on a hot and sunny afternoon.

Also noteworthy was a colony of Peruvian Pelicans collected on a rocky island within the cove just north of Los Frailes. These massive pelicans are vagrants to the area, and while they are somewhat difficult to distinguish from the common Brown Pelican on their own, I was lucky to see them gathered together in the same place.

Notable birds seen: Tropical Gnatwren, Tawny-Crowned Pygmy Tyrant, Superciliated Wren, Gray-and-White Tyrannulet, White-Edged Oriole, Peruvian Pelican, West-Peruvian Dove.

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