Summing Up Summer: Week 4

So, as many of you well know, I spent the summer working as an Ornithologist in the cloud forest of Cusuco National Park on the Guatamalan border of Honduras.  During the first half of the season I was based in and out of base camp and thus had access to internet.  For the latter half of the season, I was predominantly based at satellite camps on the eastern side of the camp. Camps on the west being more distant which I did not have a chance to visit.

Week 4*, I traveled to Guanales to spend a week mist-netting and conducting point counts.

July 1 – Day  26 – Traveled to Guanales. Arrived just before dinner. After dinner had my first experience with putting up mist nets along a mountainside in the dark with a fading torch.  While out in the field. we heard a peculiar sound.  A guide informed us it was a mammal. We were quite surprised.

July 2 – Day  27 – First day of mist netting in Guanales.  Caught Red-capped Manakins! Check out this video which explains why this is the one species students knew of before arriving in Honduras.

July 3 – Day  28 – Tackled Transect 1 in Guanales: one of the hardest trails in the park with Jack and Jeff. 2,650 meters up a mountain.  It was grueling!  Had some spectacular falls which Jack was considerate enough to rate.   For some reason the guide continued to increase the distance between us as he shot down the trail…. Spent the night investigating owls.

July 4 – Day  29 – Day 2 of mist-netting. Mosquitoes were less bad than previous day or I was better prepared.

July 5 – Day  30 – Strategy paid off. Did the easier transect today to extend recovery time.  Today’s transect was was only 600m with two points instead of the eight of two days ago.  Back in time for breakfast with great views of a Violet Sabrewing that buzzed us and a Keel-billed Toucan which did not. More owling.

July 6 – Day 31  – Day 3 of banding in Guanales.  Best bird of the day: Golden-crowned Warbler through the Ruddy Woodcreeper was also quite nice.

July 7 – Day 32 – Extra birding with students back on Transect 3.   And then it’s back to Base Camp for another week!

Scrawny looking Golden-crowned Warbler in the hand. Look at that stare down. Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Photo taken July 6, 2015.

Scrawny looking Golden-crowned Warbler in the hand. Look at that stare down. Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Photo taken July 6, 2015.

* Counting has never been my strong suit. Especially when tired.

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