Nicaragua Day Seven-San Rafael Oak Pine Forest and El Jaguar Reserve

Some of us began day seven with an early morning attempt to see the Highland Guan, a pheasant-sized bird of the highlands. While this bird is considered “locally common” it has a very small and decreasing range from the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas in the north to the the northern highlands of Nicaragua in the south. While we did see a few fly in and sit in trees at the forest edge we did not get any to come out in the open as there were just too many locals moving around and making their way to the coffee plantations. While we did not get any good looks at the guan, we did get a visit from the beautiful and ghostly Gray-necked Wood-Rail. Both the guan and rail are birds that tend to come out in the open only for a very brief period right at dawn and so the lighting is always poor at best.

El Jaguar
Gray-necked Wood-Rail

After breakfast we headed to the San Rafael Oak-Pine forest. This is the southern-most extend of this type of forests range and we located several species here that we did not  see anywhere else. What was really interesting is that it was a rather blustery day with intermittent rain and high winds that did not seem to adversely affect the birding as there was a lot of action despite the conditions. While the lighting was not very good from a photographic perspective, it is a good challenge to try to capture good images despite the lack of lighting. I believe poor conditions can still make for some interesting pictures and I really do like capturing the conditions I am photographing in.

El Jaguar-9
Yellow-throated Warbler searching for insect larvae in pine cones
El Jaguar-10
Yellow-throated Warbler
El Jaguar-13
Yellow-throated Warbler. You can see the long bill that is adapted for reaching into cones to extract insects and arachnids 
El Jaguar-11
Yellow-throated Warbler

We saw many warbler species on this trip which was fantastic. Another great find was the Grace’s Warbler. He did not give us great looks but I was able to get a picture of him peeking out from behind pine needles.

El Jaguar-5 - Copy
Grace’s Warbler

One of the neatest looking woodpeckers I have seen is the Acorn Woodpecker and we were able to get some great looks at a few in this forest .

El Jaguar-8
Acorn Woodpecker
El Jaguar-7
Acorn Woodpecker
El Jaguar-31
Acorn Woodpecker
El Jaguar-17
This Rufous-crowned Peppershrike was a very nice find indeed 
El Jaguar-16
The peppershrike feeding on a caterpillar
El Jaguar-15
Yum!

 

El Jaguar-20

El Jaguar-21
Painted Redstart
El Jaguar-2
A very wet and unhappy looking Blue -crowned Motmot
El Jaguar-3 - Copy
A Buff-throated Saltator sits in the pouring rain
El Jaguar-4
Buff-throated Saltator
El Jaguar-32
Male Variable Seedeater
El Jaguar-35
Female Variable Seedeater
El Jaguar-28
Greater Pewee

We saw some Easten Bluebirds on this trip. The interesting thing about this population is that they are not migrants but, rather, a resident population.

 

El Jaguar-25
A strikingly colored male Eastern Bluebird in the rain
El Jaguar-26
Another look 
El Jaguar-27
The rain is really coming down but the bluebird doesn’t seem to mind
El Jaguar-24
Rusty Sparrow
El Jaguar-22
Rusty Sparrow
El Jaguar-88
A wet Social Flycatcher
El Jaguar-86
A Montezuma Oropendola checking out the bananas
El Jaguar-84
Montezuma Oropendola
El Jaguar-43
Montezuma Oropendola
El Jaguar-85
Montezuma Oropendola posing
El Jaguar-46
Montezuma Oropendola

Some of the tanagers were the  most richly colored birds I saw. The Crimson-collared Tanager, Golden-hooded Tanager and Passerini’s Tanager were all amazing birds.

 

El Jaguar-83
Crimson-collared Tanager
El Jaguar-82
Enter a caption

Crimson-collared Tanager

El Jaguar-78

El Jaguar-81

El Jaguar-77

El Jaguar-76

El Jaguar-80

El Jaguar-68
Golden-hooded Tanager

El Jaguar-58El Jaguar-69

El Jaguar-62

El Jaguar-55

El Jaguar-54

El Jaguar-60

El Jaguar-65

El Jaguar-63

El Jaguar-50
Olive-backed Euphonia 

 

El Jaguar-44
Olive-backed Euphonia
El Jaguar-42
Yellow-breasted Chat in deep foiliage with poor lighting
El Jaguar-75
Violet Sabrewing
El Jaguar-51
Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer
El Jaguar-87
Black-headed Saltator
El Jaguar-41
Green-breasted Mountain-Gem
El Jaguar-38
Green-breasted Mountain-Gem
El Jaguar-91
Green-breasted mountain Gem
El Jaguar-72
Emerald-chinned Hummingbird. Not much of a picture but the best I could get. We only saw this bird a couple of brief moments.  

2 thoughts on “Nicaragua Day Seven-San Rafael Oak Pine Forest and El Jaguar Reserve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s