Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Monday 27 March 2017

Guyana Day 8 - 27/3/17

This morning initially started with a calling Black-throated Antshrike which we duly saw and took some pressure off as we were running out of time for this bird. We then walked the long trail that loops back onto the trail I had walked independently two days running. It was fairly quiet though hanging back from the group allowed me to see a Chestnut Woodpecker. A Guainan Red Cotinga was also a firm highlight as was another Ferruginous-backed Antbird. We had breakfast and then made our way south along the main road finding a bizarre looking Brown Vine Snake. The long wait to see my main target for the trip was now on as we were heading for a Cock-of-the-Rock lek. We briskly walked through the forest until it started going up hill and through what felt like a large cave and back out the other side. I was distracted by some roosting bats, but Ron soon called us over and just down the hill and little way was our prize, a superb male Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock. I was completely staggered by how vivid the orange was, standing even more so in its dense forest. For over an hour we admired this beauty as a couple of females passed by, which aroused the male into a bit of action on its showground. We sadly left the arena stopping once again for the bats, and back down on the trail a canopy flock left us with sore necks and few ticks to show for it. Back at Atta, another quick lunch and I was back on my trail where this time I completed the whole loop, but I did get lost twice which certainly slowed me up. Much of the same from this morning, but a trio of Black Currasows were exciting to watch.

Back at the lodge, we were now attempting to find what would be a lifer for Ron, and for most of our group, a Rufous Potoo. Ron's Uncle had heard the bird a couple of times in a swampy area, and the only way or chance of seeing the bird was to cut a fresh trail through and wait and hope that it was the area where the bird was. Arriving on site, Ron and a couple of helpers hacked their way through the understorey and after a long spell called us over. It was slightly difficult terrain and thoughts of killer snakes was in my mind constantly until we finally came to a halt and waited until dark. As luck would have it, our stop point was underneath a Chestnut Woodpeckers nest hole, and so we enjoyed good views of these for a while, though my reign over Nick G. of seeing a Chestnut Woodpecker had only lasted a mere ten hours, but I was pleased he had seen one as it meant now more playback from that particular species. Once it was dark, we played the recording for Rufous Potoo, and after ten minutes one amazingly replied. It was initially distant but gradually became closer and closer to a point where we could've seen it, but with the dense mid-canopy, the bird remained out of sight and annoyingly got more distant again. This was game over but we gave it a good go and hopefully Ron will succeed in the near future. We spotlighted back seeing another Rufous Nightjar, resembling the mystery bird from a few nights back. Also of interest was a Common Four-eyed Opossum that ran across the road.

Highlights from today are:

King Vulture
Black Currasow
Black-tailed Trogan
White-throated Toucan
Chestnut Woodpecker  - 3
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Black-throated Antshrike
Grey Antwren
Brown-bellied Antwren
Long-winged Antwren
Ferruginous-backed Antbird
Guianan Red Cotinga
Dusky Purpletuft
Pompadour Cotinga
Purple-throated Fruitcrow
Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock - 3
Rufous Potoo - 1h
Rufous Nightjar - 1

 my bird of the trip - Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
 roosting Bats - slightly cuter these ones
 a photo to prove how skulking Black Currasows can be.

Brown Vine Snake - extremely thin I almost dismissed it as a twig

the arena for the Cock-of-the-Rock