27 October 2012
Amazon Sunset (Ecuador)
This is the view over Garzacocha from La Selva Lodge in the Amazon of Ecuador. At dusk Sand-colored Nighthawks glide high above the lake, Common Pauraques call loudly from the edges, and the incessant piping calls of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls could be heard calling the varzea forest on the verges.
La Selva Lodge (Ecuador)
The boisterous sounds of Black-capped Donacobious can be heard regularly around the verges of the lake as dawn breaks, while Hoatzins clumsily move around low to the water, ready to drop straight in at the first sign of danger. A magical setting for a lodge.
Crane Country - USA
This is the scene that is left at Bosque del Apache (New Mexico) once the dawn lift off of Sandhill Cranes has left...beautiful. At this time, it is time to move on to the mass of Snow Geese grazing the fields, for yet more photo opps!
1 August 2011
Where Treerunners roam...(ECUADOR)
This is a shot of the Chical Road in the northern province of Carchi in Ecuador. This road was "discovered" (by Dusan Brinkhuizen) in 2010, and is now well-established on the birding circuit as it is home to a number of rare Choco species that are very easy and gettable here relative to all the other sites in Ecuador. The two biggest drawcards here are the Star-chested Treerunner and the Purplish-mantled Tanager that are easier here than anywhere else and visible from the road itself, with no difficult trekking required like some other sites for them. Other specialties and scarcities found in the area include Beautiful Jay, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Glistening-green Tanager, Rufous-crested Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Toucan Barbet, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Handsome Flycatcher (rare on the west slope), and Semicollared Hawk.
18 June 2011
Tandayapa Cloudforest (Ecuador)
This is a picture of the thick cloudforest than envelopes the lodge trails around Tandayapa Bird Lodge in the Tandayapa Valley of northwest Ecuador. Its location within the Mindo IBA and the Choco bioregion make this an incredible venue for birds, many of which are endemic to this endemic-rich Choco region. Such thrillers as Beautiful Jay and Toucan Barbet can be found in these forests, along with Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Moustached and Scaled Antpittas, Andean Cock-of-the-rocks, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzals and Olivaceous Piha among many others. The hummingbird feeders boast over 30 species including Choco hummingbirds like Violet-tailed Sylph, Brown Inca, Empress Brilliant, and Western Emerald as well as the phenomenal Booted Racket-tail. At night the lodge trails hold Colombian Screech-Owls and Common Potoos. Simply put this is one of my favorite places to bird on Earth. I have been birding the Tandayapa region extensively for six years now and not even close to being bored!
5 June 2011
Flight of the Condor (Antisana, Ecuador)
Antisana Volcano towers some 5800m plus above sea level. The surrounding plains are high Andean grasslands known as paramo, that holds many special high Andean birds: most notably it is the best site in Ecuador for Andean Condor and Black-faced Ibis. It is also a great spot for Andean Lapwing, Andean Gull, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Aplomado Falcon,Paramo Ground-Tyrant, Streak-backed Canastero, Andean Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean (Slaty-backed) Coot, (Andean) Ruddy Duck, Grass Wren, both conclodes species and many more! It is also perhaps the best Ecuadorian site too for the Cinereous Harrier, which is a scarce bird even at Antisana. Furthermore, Antisana is a good location for the world's largest hummingbird, the aptly-named Giant Hummingbird.
5 June 2011
Andean Skies (Ecuador)
A nice skyscape taken at Antisana, Ecuador.
3 June 2010
Prayers Float onto the Wind (Balang Shan, China)
The top of Balang Shan, or Balang Mountain, is quite a sight. Even in June snow can fall on this 4600m high mountain pass. While the Tibetan prayer flags blow in the wind, (and release their prayers onto the wind as they do so), such beautiful birds as "Purple Ground-Tyrants" (better known as Grandalas, Tibetan Snowcocks, Red-fronted Rosefinches, and Snow Partridges and Snow Pigeons can be found right around the temple up there...magical setting and incredible birds.
3 June 2010
Prayers on the Wind
Balang Shan, Sichuan (China)
3 June 2010
Mighty Balang Shan (China)
This is another shot of one of my favorite birding spots on Earth, the mighty Balang Mountain in Sichuan. While the upper slopes play host to Tibetan Snowcocks and Grandalas, lower than this you find yourself in the country of Chinese Monals, White Eared-Pheasants, and the odd Verreaux's Monal-Partridge, in addition to Giant Laughingthrushes and a whole suite of rosy rosefinches.
8 June 2010
Sichuan Pheasant Country (China)
Gong Gang Lin Pass, is a low pass close to the scenically spectacular park of Jiuzhaigou in northern Sichuan. While the park holds such star-spangled birds as Rufous-headed Robin and Snowy-browed Nuthatches, this pass is home to the beautiful Blue Eared-Pheasant, the shy Severtsov's Grouse, and the adorable Crested Tit-Warblers can be found in spruces just behind the bus!
7 June 2010
Yaks, Larks and Motorcycles...(China)
This is a classic scene from the Tibetan Plateau, where open grassy plains, sprinkled with bright yellow flowers, extend to a towering horizon of snowy peaks. In the foreground lies a Tibetan Yak herders favored form of modern transport: the motorcycle, while his characteristic "chuba" coat lies abandoned on top. The photo was taken at one of the Tibetan Plateau birding hotspots, Flower Lake, near the bustling Tibetan town of Ruo Er Gai in Sichuan province. While the lake plays host to shorebirds, gulls, terns, and waterfowl, the open marshes and grasses around ring with the sound of Redshank, and larks display high over the plains. These include the widespread Oriental Skylarks and Horned Larks, and also one of the brutes among larks, the giant Tibetan Lark, one of the World's largest and heaviest. Not far from here such treats as White-rumped Snowfinches hang around pika colonies, and White-browed Tits inhabit the shallow valleys, while the telephone poles make convenient perching posts for hulking Upland Buzzards. The lake is also home to one of the most elegant birds of the Plateau: the regal Black-necked Crane.