Monday 29 April 2019

Playa de Oro (NW Ecuador) – 29th April (Day 5)

After yesterday afternoons wash-out at Playa de Oro it was somewhat of a relief to wake to dry conditions with a light overcast. We were up at 05:30 and onto the trail behind the lodge in the dark in the hope of finding Choco Poorwill but we did not hear a thing and so headed back for a brief breakfast at 06:30. Back onto the trail behind the lodge at 07:00 it was just about light enough to bird in the murk of the lowland rainforest. Bird being the operative word but there we no birds, its was deafly quiet. Gabo and I got a brief glimpse of a small group of Toucanet which we both thought were Yellow-eared but the birds flew across a clearing and out of sight before we could confirm their identification, we followed them into the clearing but had no luck in tracing them – the species is very rare in Ecuador with very few sightings in the last 10 years. We birded the clearing for a while seeing, Guyaquil Woodpecker, White-necked Puffbird, White-necked (Dagua) Thrush and Plain-brown Woodcreeper new for the list.

We returned to the forest but it was very slow going. A little way on we came across a small Army Ant swarm that seemed to be becoming more active, we decided to wait around which was fortunate as with the swarm were Spotted Antbird, Bicoloured Antbird, Southern Nightingale Wren, Tawny-faced Gnatcatcher, Chestnut-backed Antbird and the prize, an Ocellated Antbird although my views of the latter were a little poor. Moving on, the birding was very slow but a small flock contained Western Woodhaunter, Lemon-spectacled Tanager, Spot-crowned Antvireo and Cinnamon Woodpecker, all of which were lifers. The final birds of the morning were a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer and a Streak-chested Antpitta which were both lifers. We headed back for lunch just as the heavens opened and so we decided to have a siesta while the thunder rumbled and the rain fell in sheets.

Guyaquil Woodpecker - Playa de Oro

Black-cheeked Woodpecker - Playa de Oro

White-necked (Dagua)Thrush - Playa de Oro

Black-crowned Tityra - Playa de Oro

Black-crowned Tityra - Playa de Oro

Cinnamon Woodpecker - Playa de Oro

Spot-crowned Antvireo - Playa de Oro

Blue-chested Hummingbird - Playa de Oro

Grey-capped Flycatcher - Playa de Oro

San Tiago River - Playa de Oro

At 15:00 the rain eased and we headed out once more birding a trail near to the river but it was very slow and we saw little but for a Stripe-throated Hermit, Chestnut-backed Antbird and Tawny-crested Tanager. We headed back to the lodge as it got dark and spent the last hour or so of daylight birding the clearing where the highlights were a Slate-throated Gnatcatcher and a flock of 15 Pacific Cacique. We headed into the forest as darkness fell for Choco Poorwill but despite hearing at least two birds we failed to see any and by 19:00 all had fallen quiet and so we headed back to the lodge for dinner and bed by 21:00. Now familiar, I went to sleep to the sound of overhead thunder and heavy rain.

Links to Other Days of the Trip (Click to View)