WingsBirds Updates Updates from WingsBirds Wed, 17 Jul 2024 19:29:50 -0700 en daily 1 <p>Scott Olmstead reports from <a href="" target="_blank">Costa Rica in July</a></p> 2024-07-15 16:25:27 Wings Staff Field Reports <p>We're not quite halfway through our trip, and the birding is going great! So far we've visited two of Costa Rica's most iconic destinations for birders &ndash; Savegre and Rancho Naturalista &ndash; and we've been treated to some real quality sightings of the specialty birds that people come to Costa Rica to see like Resplendent Quetzal, Snowcap, and Sunbittern. Next stop: La Selva Biological Station and the Caribbean lowlands.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="486" /></p> <p>Resplendent Quetzal is perhaps the most famous bird in all of Central America &ndash; don't go home from Costa Rica without seeing one!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="486" /></p> <p>The Snowcap is one of Costa Rica's most unique hummingbirds, and it's been been feeding right around the garden at Rancho Naturalista.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="486" /></p> <p>The strange Sunbittern gave us great views as it strolled along a country road near Rancho Naturalista.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="486" /></p> <p>Barred Parakeets are often seen zooming overhead in tight flocks, but it&rsquo;s not often you get a chance to&nbsp;observe them perched.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="486" /></p> <p>Watching Barred Parakeets feeding on tiny fruits.</p> <p>Fabrice Schmitt reports from <a href="">Central Colombia</a></p> 2024-07-12 09:33:23 Wings Staff Field Reports <p>Our first Colombia: Central -&nbsp;<span>The Eastern and Central Cordilleras and the Magdalena Valley tour&nbsp;</span>has been absolutely fantastic!</p> <p>Starting in Bogota, we had a first day in the Eastern cordillera, followed by some time in the Magdalena valley, and then by several days at various elevations and in different habitats in the Central cordillera, ending the tour at 13,500+ feet high in the beautiful paramo of Nevado del Ruiz.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="487" /><br /><em>The happy group at Ukuku Lodge</em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to pick the best birds of the trip amongst almost 350 wonderful species contacted in only nine days, but &lsquo;Lunita&rsquo;, the stunning Crescent-faced Antpitta coming to the worms at Hacienda El Bosque has been voted as best bird of the trip by the group!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="487" /><br /><em>&lsquo;Lunita&rsquo; the Crescent-faced Antpitta</em></p> <p>Now, we also had a very cooperative Ocellated Tapaculo showing so well in the elfin Forest at Nevados del Ruiz, a beautiful male of Striolated Manakin that we could study for a long time in the scope at the Bellavista Reserve, a pair of Bogota Rail singing in the open at La Florida near Bogota, a prolonged view on a Rufescent Screech-Owl at Otun Quimbaya, and both Black-billed and Gray-breasted Toucanet coming to fruit feeders!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="487" /><br /><em>Black-billed Mountain-Toucan</em></p> <p>In addition to these very memorable sightings, we also had fantastic views on Crested and Sooty Ant-Tanagers, White-throated Quail-Dove, White-mantled Barbet, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Grass-green Tanager, Torrent Ducks, Barred Fruiteater and so many more!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="487" /><br /><em>Barred Fruiteater</em></p> <p>We also visited several hummingbird feeding stations and saw no less than 46 species of these fascinating birds!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="487" /><br /><em>Blue-throated Starfrontlet</em></p> <p>Obviously, besides the incredible diversity of birds, we were amazed by the incredible diversity of flowers, orchids, butterflies, etc. Colombia is definitely THE biodiversity country!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="487" /><br /><em>A family of Gray-legged Night-Monkeys</em></p> <p>The eBird trip report can be seen here: <a href=""></a></p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="336" /><br /><em>A &lsquo;chiva&rsquo; (public transport) at Otun Quimbaya Sanctuary</em></p> <p>Skye Haas reports from the Arizona Owls & Warblers 2024 tour</p> 2024-07-02 13:16:15 Wings Staff Field Reports <p>The spring 2024 Arizona Owls &amp; Warblers tour was a rolicking grand time through the always beautiful painted rock canyons of southern Arizona. It was a late spring to Arizona and we even discovered a patch of snow in the shaded dells of upper Mount Lemmon! These conditions made for a slightly different mix of species then the previous few years; certain breeders like hummingbirds and flycatchers were a little sparse in their typical haunts, yet northbound&nbsp;migrants were plentiful and there were even a few wintering species not normally still present by this date made for quite a diverse array of species for the trip list totals. We logged in 183 species of birds, with six species of owl, 11 species of hummingbird and 12 species of warbler observed. Highlights were too many to list in full, but some memorable&nbsp;sightings include Montezuma Quail, Lucifer, White-eared and Berylline Hummingbirds, Snowy Plovers, Common Black Hawk, a pair of Elf Owls at the nest, and Crested Caracaras (first ever for this tour!).&nbsp; Highlgihts for all on tour also included some of our easier to find species such as the stunning Red-faced Warbler:</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="549" /></p> <p>... and the Mexican Chickadee, found easily on this trip in the Chiricahuas.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="560" /></p> <p>Our group was excited to find the more rare Berryline Hummingbird...</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="581" /></p> <p>... and the Elegant Trogon, too!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="772" /></p> <p>The Arizona Woodpecker is a specialty, with it's soft brown coloring...</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="751" /></p> <p>...and the Virginia's Warbler is sometimes difficult to get a good spot on, but we had great looks on this tour!</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="669" /></p> <p>A Western Screech-Owl relaxing in it's roost is always a sight to see:</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="730" height="706" /></p> <p>Steve Rooke reports from <a href="">Central Asia</a></p> 2024-06-26 11:56:25 Wings Staff Field Reports <p>Even after leading 31 tours along the Silk Road, I never tire of the avian and cultural wonders it has to offer. The weather did its best to disrupt us this year, but we managed to see all the highlights. We ended the tour in the northern steppe where a group of 9 Sociable Plovers were a highlight, along with lots of White-winged and Black Larks. Before that we had watched Rufous-naped Tits in the Zammin mountains, Pander&rsquo;s Ground Jays in the Kyzl-kum Desert, Asian Crimson-winged Finch and Pallas&rsquo;s Sandgrouse coming to drink at a small spring, Meadow Buntings on a high pass, and White-browed Tit-Warbler and Ibisbill in the snow-capped Tien Shan mountains. Add to that the wondrous ancient history, and the ancient buildings and bustling bazaars of Samarkand and Bukhara and you can see why I am already looking forward to my next tour there.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="700" height="408" /></p> <p>Sociable Plover</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="700" height="480" /></p> <p>Pander's Ground Jay</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="700" height="534" /></p> <p>Asian Crimson-winged Finch</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="700" height="384" /></p> <p>Pallas's Sandgrouse</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></p> <p>Meadow Bunting</p> <p><img style="font-size: 1.2em;" src="" alt="" width="700" height="567" /></p> <p>White-browed Tit-Warbler</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="700" height="660" /></p> Trinidad and Tobago 2024-05-06 15:10:29 Will Russell Recently updated tours Lying just off the coast of Venezuela, the island of Trinidad shares much of its birdlife with the nearby continent. A large percentage of South America&rsquo;s avian families are represented but without the confounding variety of species encountered on the mainland. For this reason, combined with its pleasant island atmosphere, its logistical accessibility (English is the official language), and world-renowned accommodations, Trinidad has long been considered the destination for fostering an understanding of Neotropical birds. Mongolia: The Eastern Steppes 2023-09-27 16:47:52 Will Russell Recently updated tours We offer a unique itinerary to the far east of Mongolia, a land of the endless sea of grass, of golden steppes as far as you can see, where the only signs of humans are the tracks we drive on and the occasional nomad&rsquo;s ger. Out here, there are ornithological discoveries still to be made. The avian influence is Manchurian in origin, and our main targets will be Jankowski&rsquo;s Bunting, Baer&rsquo;s Pochard, Siberian Crane, Mongolian Short-toed Lark, Ochre-rumped Bunting,&nbsp;polivanovi&nbsp;Reed Parrotbill and Marsh Grassbird. It&rsquo;s also just possible that Swinhoe&rsquo;s Rail can be found here&hellip; We&rsquo;ll be travelling light and camping &ndash; there&rsquo;s no other option &ndash; and&nbsp;&nbsp;covering huge distances by in 4x4s, the majority of it on dirt tracks. However, the vehicles we use are comfortable (in 2023 and, hopefully in 2024 as well Toyota Land Cruisers), our drivers are marvelously proficient, and the tracks are usually smooth going.&nbsp; Alaska: The Pribilofs and Utqiagvik (Barrow) in Fall 2023-09-21 09:30:41 Will Russell Recently updated tours Alaska&rsquo;s Pribilof Islands lie in the Bering Sea some 300 miles southwest of Alaska&rsquo;s mainland. We&rsquo;ve scheduled an extended stay on the rocky island of St. Paul at a good time for Asian and other vagrants, beyond the breeding season but the sea cliffs and surrounding waters will still have hundreds of alcids and good numbers of the near-endemic Red-legged Kittiwake, and the Northern Fur Seal colony will be overflowing with young seal pups. Colombia: Central 2023-09-18 16:17:02 Will Russell Recently updated tours Hummingbirds galore plus sparkling tanagers, elusive antpittas and even Mountain-Toucan, all while enjoying a cup of Colombian coffee! Poland in Spring 2023-08-01 11:34:14 Will Russell Recently updated tours Birding in Eastern Poland in late May is magical. Every mile of road has at least one pair of White Storks nesting on top of a roadside telegraph pole, the incessant crex crex call of Corncrakes, and Common Cuckoos seem to be in every patch of woodland or reed. The general area hosts a range of habitats, from the extensive Biebrza Marshes &ndash;&nbsp;home to a significant proportion of the world&rsquo;s breeding Aquatic Warblers &ndash;&nbsp;to the primeval Bialowieza Forest. Accordingly, a wide variety of species can be encountered, many in numbers seldom found elsewhere in Europe. Remembering David Fisher 2023-05-18 12:43:48 Matt Brooks Miscellany <p style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 19px;"><span style="color: #292929;"><img src="" alt="" width="470" height="576" /></span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 19px;"><span style="color: #292929;">It&rsquo;s been almost two years since we lost David Fisher, world birder, co-owner of Sunbird, and tour leader known to many WINGS participants.&nbsp; David was also the Chairman of the Neotropical Bird Club, working tirelessly in that role for years. Such was his contribution to the NBC that the club has created a Memorial Lecture in David&rsquo;s name.&nbsp; The very first David Fisher Memorial Lecture has just taken place and has been recorded for posterity on YouTube.&nbsp; The lecture is given by Dr. Alex Lees on the subject of bird migration through the Neotropical region and you can view it </span><a href="" data-cke-saved-href="" data-emb-href-display=""><span style="color: #0775e3;">via this link</span></a><span style="color: #292929;"> - it&rsquo;s a fascinating talk and well worth watching.<br /></span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 19px;"><span style="color: #292929;"><img src="" alt="" width="938" height="525" /></span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 19px;"><span style="color: #292929;"><span style="color: #292929;">David left his estate to be divided between Birdlife International, WWF, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), to whom he also donated his extensive collection of books on ornithology. The RSPB holds one of the largest libraries of bird books in the UK and had reached a point where the collection needed to rehoused in a more modern and accessible facility. Part of David&rsquo;s legacy to the Society has been used in the building of the new library, which opened last year in the new Avocet building at the Society&rsquo;s headquarters in Bedfordshire, England, where a plaque has been placed by the entrance acknowledging David&rsquo;s contribution. Both the plaque and the biannual lecture will be a lasting reminder of someone who was so well-liked and who is so greatly missed.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; -- Steve Rooke</span>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; <br /></span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 19px;"><span style="color: #292929;"><img src="" alt="" width="2000" height="1126" /><img src="" alt="" width="2000" height="1126" /><br /></span></p>