Monday, December 31, 2007

And the final result is....

At the end of this big year time to look at the stats, look back a bit at highlights and to look forwards to the new. I'm not going to post my favourite photos of 2007 but looking back I seem to have been fairly prolific again, I hope you enjoyed them.

My favourite Quebec bird of the year is a tie between Connecticut Warbler and Sabine's Gull. The former because we worked for it and it has been a long time coming. The latter because I like gulls and I think there are few better looking ones around than Sabine's. My World bird of the year is Andean Cock-of-the Rock and I look forwards to seeing them again.

The big year ended on 266, I missed quite a lot, in part because its not always feasible to do the distances required and work has been demanding this year. Also rarities, or at least rarities that stayed around, were few and far between. Another factor has been the limited supply of news in Quebec and, more importantly, good directions. I owe a debt of gratitude to Louise Simard and her Oiseaux rares du Quebec site which provided me with some good information and also to those Quebec birders who took the time to share, too many don't and I'm gradually begining to realise who they are.

The garden list has flourished and the score for the year was 88, bringing the overall total since we moved here in 2003 to 128. The best new bird for the garden was another tie, a Northern Grey Shrike on December 29th was tremendous, I hope it didn't catch the American Tree Sparrow it was after and comes back for another go. A Hornemanni Hoary (Arctic) Redpoll on 22 December was also special, my first 'Snowball'.

My local patch has not had the coverage it deserves but I still managed to take my list there to 193 with three additions for the year. My visits were down, as stated earlier, being just 64 and taking my pits visits to 549 all told. My pits year list was just 141 species.

In Quebec I managed to see seven new species although only Connecticut Warbler was a lifer.

On the World stage, visits back to England in January and then Ecuador in November-December resulted in a World year list of 912 species, the Ecuador trip bumped up my World list to 2,335.

Some stats for the big year were: Field days in Quebec 217. Kilometers covered 26958. Species/bird days per month were January 74/10; February 72/15; March 75/19; April 131/24; May 195/27; June 137/21; July 122/9; August 151/24; September 119/30; October 110/20; November 64/10; December 36/8.

And so there it ends.

If you are a regular reader of my rants and ravings and want to continue to be offended, my 2008 blog address is

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A few extras

Its quiet birdwise so I thought I'd post a final flush of photos from Ecuador. They are here in no particular order.

White-tipped Dove, Tandayapa.

White-chinned Jacamar, Sacha.

Tyrian Metaltail, Guango.

Stripe-headed Brush-Finch, Guango.

Speckled Hummingbird, San Isidro.

Sparkling Violet-ear, Tandayapa.

Southern Lapwing, San Isidro.

Smoke-coloured Peewee, Tandayapa.

The San Isidro mystery owl.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Tandayapa.

Female Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Tandayapa.

Parrot lick, Sacha.

Pale-mandibled Aracari, Rio Silanche.

Orange-cheeked Parrot, Sacha.

A mystery hummer at Tandayapa that I think is a Wedge-billed, any other suggestions (too small for a Brown Violet-ear).

Mealy Amazon, Sacha.

Mealy Amazons, Sacha.

Female Masked Trogon, Tandayapa.

Buff-tailed Coronet, Tandayapa.

Western Emerald, Tandayapa.

Buff-tailed Coronet, Tandayapa.

Buff-tailed Coronet, Tandayapa.

Golden-crowned Flycatcher, San Isidro.

Green & Rufous Kingfisher, Sacha.

Dusky-headed Parrot, Sacha

Double-toothed Kite, Sacha.

Collared Inca, Guango.

Brown Violet-ear, Tandayapa.

Broad-billed Motmot, Milpe.

Female Booted Racket-tail, Tandayapa.

Male Booted Racket-tail, Tandayapa.

Blue-headed Parrot, Sacha.

Andean Emerald, Tandayapa.

Western Emerald, Tandayapa.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ecuador views

This is the last post relating to our recent birding trip to Ecuador. if you want to read chronologically please go back a few posts.

Having thoroughly review all of my notes and having sorted out a couple of IDs the trip list for the whole sortie is 593 seen (453 lifers) and 42 species heard only (635 for those who are hard of maths).

Throughout the whole trip Tropical Birding were first rate and our next guided will be with them, the whole thing could ot have been better, watch this space.

A view on the way to Antisana

A Culpeo, a Fox type that danced in front of the van.

A Llama (in the foreground) up on the high paramo. The Lammas are stock animals but still evocative of the landscape. For more information about Laamas (you have probably guessed, I can't spell Llama) see Monty Python's Llamma sketch!

A view of the Antisana volcano. Quito is surrounded by volcanos, I hope they have a long blue touchpaper when they go off.

A Brazilian Rabbit possibly trying to avoid a Brazilian wax job.

One of many many stunning butterflies seen.

A tree of Oropendola nests.

The welcome view at Sacha Lodge.

Rush hour at Sacha.

Part of the Sacha welcome committee, a Spectacled Cayman

Howler Monkey, part of the audio entertaiment at Sacha, er this one's a male.

Spider Monkey, lots around Sacha and all cute.

A Southern Tamandua that ran up a tree but then found out it was not much of a tree at all.

A Pygmy Marmoset, the smaller monkey in the World and possibly the ugliest.

Suicide Towers, the rain washes the stains off regularly.

The wooden canopy tower (from the bottom)

The Tandayapa Valley, is that a Toucan Barbet in the third tree from the right?