Spotting any of the 30 bird species we monitor in our canal bird project usually requires getting up at around 4:15am for an early breakfast; leaving base by around 4:45; taking a boat ride to the ranger station to pick up the canoe; getting the canoe onto the boat and driving it to the beginning of the survey transect; only then you may get into the canoe and if you are lucky you might hope to see some of the species you have come to look for. Recently however, the birds have decided to make life a little easier for us...
Despite going through this rigmarole of getting myself out on a bird survey on average once a week for the past six months, I had still not managed to see an American Pygmy Kingfisher, the only one of the six Kingfisher species I had left to spot. This week finally brought the sighting I had been waiting for, but in the last place I would have expected to see her... the base office!
Kingfisher in the office!
We´re not entirely sure what she was doing in our office, as there certainly isn´t an abundant supply of fish in there, or even any water. She looked rather confused and it took a bit of gentle persuasion to help her find a way out, but it was nonetheless amazing to see this lovely species at such close range!
This is not the only canal bird species to be found around base recently either. A couple of days earlier an Amazon Kingfisher was seen flying through base, a Belted Kingfisher was spotted passing by the beachfront and a Bare-throated Tiger-Heron even appeared on the porch of one of the dorm buildings!
Tiger-Heron on the porch!
It is certainly unusual to see most of these species away from the canals, but its really making us wonder if there´s any need to leave base at all with so much turning up right on our doorstep!
-Leo, Field Staff