It’s a very short walk from the house down to the forest patch at Quebrada La Loca. The main attraction of this location is primarily its beauty. I rarely find anything other than quite common bird species there. Today, which saw my first walk there in quite a long time, was no exception. The two signature species, Sunbittern and Fasciated Tiger-Heron, were in hiding. However, another two species that I cannot find in my garden, but which are always there, were very active and in full view. These are the Golden-crowned Warbler (Basileuterus culicivorus) and the White-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucosticta).
The former is, despite its name, a rather dull-plumaged little bird. Here at Quebrada La Loca it is usually found inside the forest patch and is hard to see satisfactorily in the gloom. Today a small group frolicked happily on the outside of the trees straight opposite don Martin’s cabin. They seemed to be feeding mostly on a small, pale berry that may be a type of mistletoe. I still have no satisfactory photograph of this rather common species.
The same is true of the White-breasted Wood-Wren. It is always good to see this species clearly here in San Antonio because in theory the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys) is also present. Since I cannot properly distinguish between the calls or songs of the two species, I am happy to note that today’s birds were again leucosticta. I have not noted the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, in our immediate area at least, below about 1800 m. The shaky picture below of a banded Whiteo-breasted was taken by yours truly years ago at CATIE. How I managed to bungle the shot is beyond me.
Frequently I find the forest at this location remarkably quiet. I have occasionally seen here some rather exciting species such as Bicolored Hawk and Barred Hawk. On this morning’s visit I had no such luck, but several common species were quite conspicuous and noisy. A family group of Streak-headed Woodcreepers (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) was up close and personal, flitting from one tree trunk to another and ignoring me completely, while Buff-throated Saltators (Saltator maximus) were also feeding their juveniles. This saltator is found inside the forest much more easily than are our other two local saltator species.
Possibly the least common bird on today’s list was the Yellow-olive Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) because I have found it here on only a handful of occasions.
It shared a tree with a pair of Tropical Gnatcatchers (Polioptila plumbea), a dainty little black-and-white bird that is rarely found singly.
My total of 37 common species in the space of a little more than one hour is fairly typical for the month of August. The full list can be found at: