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West Slope Diary
6 - 10 October 2001
2. The Tandayapa Trails
what's on the trails? I think that you need to keep walking the
same trails, because you get different birds each time you walk
them. On the main trail, the Potoo Trail. We had a superb view of
a pair of Immaculate Antbirds - we watched them for about
10 minutes. But, despite going along the trail many times, we never
saw them again. On the same trail, we heard, and had brief glimpses
of lecking male Cocks of the Rock, although the best view
of this species was of a (re-nesting?) female at the 'Cock of the
- the 2nd stream bridge along the Potoo Trail. Her earlier nest
had been predated, possibly by herons, but there was evidence that
she was attempting to rebuild the nest.
also had several views of Masked Trogon on the upper part
of the Potoo Trail and on the Antpitta Trail.
fairly rare sight was of two Dark-backed Wood-quail. Their
'car alarm' call is easily heard in the valley, but we encountered
two of these hard-to-see birds in deep cover on the Antpitta Trail.
Even in the gloom, their rufous chests gleamed!
only manakin we saw was Golden-winged Manakin, on two days,
on the Antpitta Trail, near where the Nunbird Trail takes off. We
had good views the second time, and watched its head crest raised
when uttering its weird call.
were thin on the ground in this, lower part of Tandayapa Valley
(but see notes on the upper valley, on the next page. We saw Orange-bellied
Euphonia from the balcony - a new record for 'The Deck'. It's
possible that as the bushes around the lodge grow, they will attract
more birds. Out on the trails, we had Golden, Golden-naped, Metallic-green,
Beryl-spangled, Blue-grey and Black-capped Tanagers,
with Lemon-rumped Tanager in the village. Of these, Golden
Tanager was by far the most common.
were also rather scarce. We just missed seeing a Black-and-chestnut
Eagle when we arrived - we were unpacking at the time! We saw
Roadside Hawk on a couple of occasions - once in the village,
and encountered an American Kestrel on the old Nono road.
We also had a couple of sightings of Turkey Vultures. And
that was it as far as raptors are concerned.
sightings were confined to the Immaculate Antbirds mentioned
above, and we heard what we were told was a Moustached Antpitta.
the village - excellent cheese sandwiches at the local shop! - there
has been White-capped Dipper breeding under the bridge over the
river. However, it had not been present for a week or so, possibly
because of disturbance. The trees, bushes and wires in the village
we found to be productive. We found Black Phoebe on a wire
and, in the trees opposite the shop, Tricoloured Brush-finch
and Lemon-rumped Tanager.