Fasciated Tiger-Heron at Las Truchas

I have reported frequently on the Fasciated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma fasciatum), in residence on Quebrada La Loca just five minutes’ walk from the house. Now I have an alternate location where this dark-grey, stately heron can be found perhaps even more reliably. The picture below is from an earlier date but is possibly the same individual, which is now an adult.

 

Fasciated tiger-heron juv. at Las Truchas

Juvenile Fasciated Tiger-Heron looking for trout

I investigated a report of a “pato” (duck) at El Gavilán y Las Truchas bar at the top of the road. Locals seem to use the word “pato” for any fairly large bird seen near water, but any duck in San Antonio would indeed be a strange sighting. The tiger-heron was right where it was reported to be regularly in attendance, namely at the second trout pond. It turned out to be an adult and I was able to view it for several minutes when it landed at a spot upstream from the pond. The ponds are located in the steep and dark little gorge or gulley that the mountain stream has carved out. In heavy rain it becomes a rushing torrent.

The thick vegetation yielded a pair of White-breasted Wood-wrens (Henicorhina leocosticta) that I was able to see clearly from close range (the very similar Gray-breasted Wood-Wren would seem more likely at this elevation) and a first-time (for San Antonio) sighting of a Spotted Barbtail (Premnoplex brunnescens). This bird was in the same dark understorey of a gnarly and epiphyte-laden tree as the wood-wrens. At first I imagined a Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, which is also found in our area. Bill shape and spots instead of streaks below were my best indication that it was a barbtail, but the bird definitely did some trunk-climbing as well.

A speedy return to the scene of the crime is in order.

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