Saturday, March 18, 2017

The other side of Embera Vija

We returned to our canoes after birding the Dusky-backed Jacamar trail and disembarked at the Embera village - where the kids were photographed - on the other side of the river.  After a pre-lunch snack and a look over and purchases of a variety of woven pieces made by Embera women - (I'll post photos of my purchases in a later entry) - we walked another, again quite degraded, trail beyond the village.  By this time it was really hot and already beyond noon.  Our destination was a surprisingly large, and long, lagoon for a couple of target birds at the lagoon.   

Enroute another posed and cooperative Black-tailed Trogon (Trogon melanurus).  What a regal bird.  As I was clicking photos of this bird, I recalled a comment made by a participant on my first Costa Rica trip.  "I think trogons are boring.  They just sit there."  Well, I love trogons and I don't think they're boring.    

Three-toed sloth in the mid-day heat.  You can't really tell from my photo, but it was sitting directly in the sun.  I was so hot and sweaty that I wondered why any creature would select such a resting spot. Then I recalled that sloths need to stay warm and that this creature was basking - not unlike a painted turtle stretched out on a sunny log.

Above and below:  this was not my life American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea), but it was, by far, my best look and will probably remain my best lifetime look.  We were relatively close to this little bird - we on one side of a narrow part of the lagoon and the kingfisher perched on the other side.  But the light was poor and my photos of a little bird perched in deep shade are correspondingly poor.  Never mind; one of my favorite moments of the trip.

We did not find our other target bird, the Agami Heron (Agamia agami), for which the lagoon seemed to be perfect habitat. Paradoxically, some of us had already seen an Agami Heron where we should not have seen one on my first Costa Rica trip.

If the Agami Heron was a miss, we did see Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi) and Rufescent Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum), neither of which I was able to photograph.

Above and below:  arguably our best bird along this trail, Bare-crowned Antbird (Gymnocichla nudiceps).  Thank goodness for this bird's bright blue head and black body visible in this blurry mess ...

... but below I resorted to my next best option.  The bird was vocalizing and I got video of this - one of my favorite video subjects.  Another nearby vocalizing bare-crowned antbird can also be heard.  And, especially in the beginning, my breathing is also heard.

The heat and time of day made the birding slow but we also saw butterflies and an interesting mantis that I'll post in separate entries later.

We returned to the village for lunch and more photos and then departed the Embera village after a completely great day.  It was hard to imagine how things could possibly be better.  On the canoe trip back Rhoda was sitting in the seat behind me and made a comment that I'll never forget.  "Cathy, if I ever call you up to complain about my life, please remind me of this day."

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