Napo Wildlife Center
Monday, July 14, 2008: Becky and Laurel decided to stay at the lodge this morning, planning to join us later at the canopy tower. We once again headed downstream to the Rio Napo, where we transferred to a motor canoe for a trip on the river. The plan was to visit some islands, scan the flats and shore, then take the trail from the river to the tower. Once we got to the tower, the plan was for Becky and Laurel to take the trail from the lake to the tower. We would spend much of the afternoon there, then take retrace their steps (not ours!) to return to the lodge. That was the plan, but the weather intervened.
The first part went as planned. My first lifer of the day was Black-tailed Trogon, seen along the Añanguyacu. Once we got to the Napo, we visited two river islands, as well as scanning some flats and the banks from shore. On our first island, I spotted a young male Vermilion Flycatcher. Believe it or not, this was a new bird for the NWC list. Vermilions are present in Ecuador, but there are only a handful of reports from anywhere in Amazonia. This was a first for the Napo.
River lifers included Mottle-backed Elaenia, Chestnut-bellied Seedeater, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, Lesser Hornero, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Little Woodpecker, and Brown-chested Martin.
|River Island Birding|
|Vermilion Flycatcher||Mottle-backed Elaenia||Chestnut-bellied Seedeater|
|Lesser Hornero||Ladder-tailed Nightjar||Yellow-browed Sparrow|
|Sightings from the Boat|
|Roadside Hawk||Yellow-headed Caracara||Napo River View|
|Greater Yellow-headed Vulture||Collared Plover||South American River Turtles|
We birded some of the Community Trail before heading down the Napo Trail to the tower. A Black Hawk-Eagle was the star of the community trail, which also featured a flock of hard-to-see tanagers. When the water in the Añanguyacu is too low for even canoes to get through, the Napo Trail provides direct access to the lodge via the lake. Sixto somehow managed to spot a Blue-backed Manakin along the trail. Fortunately, he was able to get a scope on it so all of us could see it.
The Canopy Tower
When we got to the tower, we were pleased to have a hot lunch delivered! Up on the tower, the weather started to look threatening. The rest of our party wisely decided to stay at the lodge. Pretty soon it was more than threatening, with rain, wind, and some thunder. The tower itself is not attached to the platform, but uses rollers. This made the relative motion of the tree and tower quite apparent. The rain continued for a while as we rested under our panchos. Eventually, the rain ended and the birds came out in force. Lifers from the tower included Channel-billed Toucan, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Blue-backed Manakin, Green-and-gold Tanager, Black-faced Dacnis, Green Oropendola, and Casqued Oropendola.
|Tropical Buckeye||Gray-capped Flycatcher||Green-and-gold Tanager|
|Blue Dacnis||Festive Coquette||Purplish Jacamar|
|Napo Wildlife Center|
A Purplish Jacamar was perch hunting from the guy-wires partway down the tower. We also found Dusky-throated Antshrike and Wire-tailed Manakin on the way down. The walk back to the lake was quite dark inside the rainforest, like twilight. When we reached the open area at the lake we found that it was still light.
Today's totals were 88 species including 20 lifers, making a grand total of 169 bird species including 101 lifers.
Napo Wildlife Center