27th February – Broadstone, Poole and 5th February – La Florida & Soata, Colombia.   Leave a comment

I returned from Colombia late on the 24th February. As I hurt my foot during he latter part of the trip I have been more or less confined to home since then. I did go to the inaugural meeting of the Dorset Mammal Group in Dorchester on the 27th with Margaret and fellow birder Richard Webb and I managed to catch up with the Common Rosefinch which a friend of mine has seen visiting his garden in recent weeks earlier that day.


DSC_5766+500 NH Ewan's rosefinch

Common Rosefinch are usually scarce visitors to the Northern Isles in autumn so the occurence of one in a Dorset garden in winter is remarkable. Photo by Nick Hopper.

Returning to the Colombia trip, I take up the story on the 5th February. Leaving Bogotá pre-dawn we stop at the La Florida marsh for a few hours.


A pre-dawn breakfast out of the back of the van.


Early morning at the marsh, this area was once nearly destroyed but has recently been renovated and has become a nice visitor attraction.



An Andean Cavy (a sort of guinea pig) was feeding on the edge of the marsh


We saw an interesting selection of rallids: this is an immature Purple Gallinule.


A Sora Rail, a migrant from North America


Bogotá Rail, a rare endemic found only in the Bogotá area.


Green Heron, unlike the related Striated Heron is a rare visitor from North America.


Bare-faced Rail is common at the marsh


Flocks of Yellow-hooded Blackbirds fed in the reed beds.


The last time I saw a Solitary Sandpiper was on the Isles of Scilly


The endemic Apolinar’s Marsh Wren


After the marsh we made the long drive north to Soata. As we climbed up onto the paramo the clouds rolled in. We wished to see two special hummers, Bronze-tailed Thornbill and Bearded Helmetcrest but heavy rain destroyed any hopes. We arrived at our hotel in the early evening



The treeless paramo at 33500m asl. The plants in the foreground are espelitas, which have specially evolved furry leaves to cope with the extreme cold. Note the rain clouds rolling.


Posted February 28, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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