The village of Verbena Sur is perhaps 3 km away from home but, with heavy vegetation backed up against the Espino Blanco Reserve and located at 1100 m elevation, it offers more possibilities for species that I have not been able to record here in San Antonio.
Spotted Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius) and Carmiol’s Tanager (Chlorothraupis carmioli) are two such species and in addition are life birds for me! Perhaps I have seen this woodcreeper before and not been able to identify it, but the views at the Easleys’ property in Verbena Sur were from a distance of just a few yards. Generally speaking,woodcreepers are an identification nightmare, but the buffy eye-ring made this one easy, even before seeing the spotted breast pressed against the tree-trunk.
Carmiol’s Tanager (formerly Olive Tanager) is a greenish, chunky-looking bird, not easy to identify, and it was travelling in a mixed flock that caused considerable distraction. Lucky me, because Steven and Magda Easley, both highly experienced professional bird guides, made sure to draw my attention to it. The tanager bill narrows down the search.