Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bird Survey Update

We approach the middle of the second week of surveying and we have already been round each of the canal birds study sites once. One of the more hotly anticipated surveys of the week, the canals always produce an interesting array of wildlife and things to see.

The week started off well with our outing on Sierpe Central. A notable occasion for survey leader DW as he saw his first ever Purple Gallinule. Unfortunately this wasn’t on the actual transect but it still made for an exciting spot. The rest of the survey proceeded well with a total of 19 individuals recorded from our 30 study species. (photo: Northern Jacana)

The very next day 6 month intern Hannah lead her first ever bird survey, under the watchful eye of Sonja, on Caño California. Once more California came in with a wide range of species seen, of course Northern Jacanas coming out on top as usual. The team got an extra sighting though as they spotted a Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth hanging in the trees close to the canal. These creatures are usually extremely hard to spot in the trees as they are well camouflaged. But the waterways of the National Park make them easier to view.

The mammalian sightings didn’t stop there though. The outing to Sirena, a couple of days later, was lucky enough to view a Neotropical River Otter. It also doesn’t all happen just on the survey itself. The waiting boat team for that survey was in the presence of a Jaguar. It’s roar being heard through the edge of the vegetation!

All in all an exciting week for the bird survey teams. We just hope that the weather holds up like it is, giving us favourable currents and the opportunity to spot many more birds!

Purple Gallinule – Porphyrio martinica

Northern Jacana – Jacana spinosa

Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth – Bradypus variegates

Neotropical River Otter – Lutra longicaudis

Jaguar – Panthera onca