Bosque Humedal de Yalare: February 13, 2010

Bosque Humedal de Yalare is a confusing and informal site in the far northwestern lowlands, offering swampy humid forest and woodland to be birded mostly from the roadside. Very few birders make it out to this degraded and dangerous corner of Ecuador despite the avifaunistic attractions, including Black-Chested Puffbird, Five-Colored Barbet, Slaty-Tailed Trogon, and Brown Wood-Rail. On our recent trip to Playa de Oro, Aimee and I stopped for an hour to explore the area, although it was already late in the morning and bird activity had dropped off for the day. We noted good roadside forest and woodland starting at about 16km from San Lorenzo to Borbon but decided to try birding a side road that branches off to the left from the village of Yalare. Following Roger Ahlman's map and directions for the site in his well-known country report, we ended up several kilometers down this side road in decent but patchy forest that was owned and managed by a plywood company. I fruitlessly played tape for the trogon and the puffbird and searched a small pond for any sign of the wood-rail without any luck. A solitary Yellow-Margined Flatbill and a male and female pair of Red-Legged Honeycreepers were the highlights of our short visit here, which would pale in comparison with our rich and varied experience in the majestic Playa de Oro Reserve. Ultimately, on another visit to the region I'd like to spend a full morning birding this site from a base at nearby Tundaloma Lodge.

Notable birds seen: Plumbeous Kite, Double-Toothed Kite, Black-Cheeked Woodpecker, Long-Tailed Tyrant, Yellow-Margined Flatbill, Black-Crowned Tityra, Red-Legged Honeycreeper.

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