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-> Amazon basin -> Rio Napo islands
13 - 16 October
4. The Rio Napo islands
passed many islands, both on our journey to and from Coca, and on
our crossings of the river to the south bank. On the bare shingle-and-mud
islands, we often saw herons, both Snowy Egret and Cocoi
Heron. The islands were also good for Yellow-headed Caracara.
we only 'landed' on one island. I say 'landed' because we actually
walked across to it across a dried-up river channel from near the
Lodge's landing area. The larger river islands support várzea
forest, but the smaller ones, including this one, only have coarse
grasses and dense, low bushes - a very different habitat. It was,
incidentally, the only time that José asked to use some of
our insect repellent!
surprisingly with all these grasses, there were seedeaters present,
and we saw both Variable and Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters,
neither of them being striking views.
was also a good area for funariids, and, after a bit of a hunt,
we had reasonable views of Lesser Hornero, flying across
the dried-up river channel, and landing in the grasses. White-bellied
Spinetail was harder to see, but we eventually, after following
its call for some time, we had reasonable views of one, and noted
its chestnut wings. Another Spinetail (I forget which one) eluded
us completely, despite José's tape-luring attempts.
Nightjar was a surprise (as we were to it, no doubt!); our views
were restricted to a bird flying rapidly away. More confiding was
a Greyish Saltator, which perched in a low tree.
memorable were brief views of an Olive-spotted Hummingbird
and a Black-billed Thrush, both 'lifers' for us, and both
restricted to an entry in the notebook! José pointed out
to us the call of a Silver-beaked Tanager, but we failed
to see it (we'd seen many in Trinidad). Another bird which we had
seen in Trinidad was Giant Cowbird; we saw one flying over
the island. Two Oriole Blackbirds also flew over.
the shore, we had excellent views of two Collared Plovers,
looking very much like our Ringed Plovers. There was also a Lesser
Yellowlegs by the edge of the water, and Yellow-browed Sparrows
hopped along the shore. Nearby was a juvenile Yellow-headed Caracara.