Saturday 14 April 2012

'O' is for OILBIRD!!!!

Wow, another great day here at Asa Wright.  Didn't go off the property today, but had early morning coffee on the verandah, and then after breakfast went down to the oilbird cave.  Bit of a hike with 50lbs of camera gear on your back, but boy was it worth it.  Would have liked some more time there, but these guys are super cautious and keen to keep the birds as undisturbed as possible (a good thing).  So no flash and just using the dull flashlight of the guide (Zac) as lighting for photography.  It was pretty quick, so shooting as fast as possible with a monopod, but think I achieved some pretty good results.  Was certainly a highlight to see this almost mythical species - a nocturnal, fruit eating, echolocating bird!

We then headed back up the hill, where I spent some time on the verandah and around the feeders, before lunch, and then after lunch more time around the feeders.  Finally managed to get a male tufted coquette, what a little stunner!  Got a passable record shot - which for what is supposedly the second smallest bird in the world ain't bad.  Spent some time walking the nature trails and picked up plain-brown woodcreeper which had until now alluded me.  Searched and search for fer de lance and beginning to think this snake is a myth. As the evening came in the rum punch was served and then a couple of short-tailed nighthawks swooped around in front of the verandah.  Very cool end to the day.  After dinner did a night walk along the driveway.  Much the same as previous nights (still no fer de lance) but did here a couple of spectacled owls, which unfortunately would not oblige and come in.  Another awesome day!

Great antshrike male

Great antshrike male again

Long-billed gnatwren, apparently a tough one to photograph

The oilbird cave at Asa Wright

Oilbirds on their nest ledge

Oilbird in flight

Oilbird in flight again

Nesting ledge, note the chick under the adult to the far left

Oilbirds on the ledge

Pair of oilbirds with a chick just visible between them

The cave

Leaf-cutter ant colony

The colony with leaves scattered everywhere

The Asa Wright verandah and view

Feeders on the verandah

Green honeycreeper and bananaquits at the feeder 

Male tufted coquette

Copper-rumped hummingbird

Crested oropendola feeding

Plain brown woodcreeper, finally

Absolutely stunning male ruby-topaz hummingbird

Green honeycreeper


  1. beautiful hue many bird and Oil bird
    nest,chick and pair and flight is interesting. colony fascinate.It was very nice. Thank you Brent. Tokiko