Rio Ayampe: July 13-14, 2008

With a variety of habitats, including a regionally important river, much secondary forest and border habitat, and perhaps even some primary forest, Rio Ayampe is a rich area for birding. In fact, this area has been targeted for conservation by the Jocotoco Foundation; the only thing missing is the money to buy all the land, I imagine. Prospective donors needing persuasion should tour the southwestern coast: Rio Ayampe and the surrounding hills are lush and green, whereas most of the remaining coastline is either disturbed dry forest or deforested semihumid forest.

Following the advice of several trip reports, I walked on two occasions the dirt road that follows the river on the south side for several kilometers, heading off to the right for a jaunt on a clear trail into excellent forest, and then returning through the river back to the main road. The secondary forest and clearing were very active in the morning and afternoon, yielding the Rufous-Browed Peppershrike, Great Antshrike, One-Colored Becard, Golden-Olive Woodpecker, Scarlet-Backed Woodpecker, and Gray Hawk, among others. What looked to be primary forest was especially productive, and I had my best views yet of the sedentary White-Whiskered Puffbird and Collared Trogon, both occurring in pairs, as well as the much more active Buff-Throated Foliage Gleaner.

Walking the river on the way back was certainly a novelty and comfortable enough in my rubber boots; I saw in particular the Yellow-Tufted Dacnis, Green Kingfisher, Snowy Egret, Striated Heron, Masked Water-Tyrant, and Collared Plover. The river gets a fair amount of action from local fisherman, who use odd hand-held nets, and water trucks from coastal communities throughout the province fill up at the river near the main road.

Notable birds seen: Slaty Spinetail, Green Kingfisher, Collared Plover, Collared Antshrike, Scarlet-Backed Woodpecker, Golden-Olive Woodpecker, One-Colored Becard, Gray Hawk, Tawny-Crowned Pygmy Tyrant, Great Antshrike, Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Superciliated Wren, Buff-Throated Saltator, Streak-Headed Woodcreeper, Speckle-Breasted Wren, Black-Tailed Flycatcher, White-Whiskered Puffbird, Collared Trogon, Buff-Throated Foliage Gleaner, Orange-Billed Sparrow.

No comments:

Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites