Sunday, September 26, 2010


As ever our trusty canoe Luisa has been paddling the canals of Tortuguero up to 3 surveys a week. At times it has been difficult to personal stomach problems, lows of only 1 bird recorded on a survey along Sirena and also the torrential rain. But all this has contributed to our dataset and it’s all equally worthwhile.

This phase has been slightly different to other phases in terms of species make up. We recorded 19 of our 30 study species, compared to 28 in phase 102. This has included having seen over 160 snowy egrets just 6 months ago, to just one record this time around. Our 20 surveys recorded 478 birds across California, Sirena and Sierpe Viejo. Over a third of these birds were northern jacanas (Jacana spinosa). Not surprising to all those that have ventured out onto the water!
Our bird project manager has also already noticed some interesting trends in the gender of the species seen. Whilst in most species where we can determine gender, the males have been more frequently recorded than the females, this has not been the case with the anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Bucking the trend with 11 females recorded to 7 males.
We have had some fairly rare sightings too. Two Agami herons (Agamia agami) we spotted on Sierpe Viejo, much to the delight of the park rangers who want to confirm the area as a breeding site. Also getting in on the act was a Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) which snuck in to say hello one morning, once more on Sierpe Viejo.
With the prospect of migratory species returning for phase 104 we hope to bring the first year of data collection to a close with a bang and some record numbers for the surveys!