Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Double-toothed Kite

June 28, 2012
Rain in the gauge this morning was 1.1 inches.
Birded from 2:00 to 5:20 San Lorenzo Road and Diablo Beach
Temp at 2:00 was 79.5 Wind from the S at 8 knots
90% Cloud Cover Glaring Grey

I got out between sprinkles today and had a very enjoyable walk. I heard a lot more than I saw today, but I didn't even hear all that much; it's been kind of dead for the last week around here. I did see a Double-toothed Kite which was a treat--this is only the third time I've seen one. The first time it was with a troup of Capuchins and I thought it was weird that it went where they went. I later read that they follow the monkeys to catch the small prey the monkeys disturb with their movements (small lizards and large insects). I didn't notice anything disturbing the forest the second time I saw the Kite, but this time, I saw it fly from the ground to the top of a dead tree. There was a guy weed-wacking the shoulder of the road near the San Lorenzo Park entrance and I guess the Kite was feasting on what was fleeing the weedwacker.
I got a new butterfly: Scarce Bamboo. It was so lime green and vibrant! It looks a bit like a Malachite, only much greener. It was in a flowering tree over Diablo Creek that had many butterflies swirling around it. There were also a few Urania moths. I've been seeing a lot of them this week. I saw a small Morpho of some kind but it was too quick for me to get a good look or photo.
Scarce Bamboo
While I was on the bridge, the thunder began to roll, but it was so nice out that I decided to take a chance and walk to path to Diablo Beach. I saw a Hummer that appeared to have a deep blue on the nape (mantle?) too fast for ID. I also heard the 'chucking' sound I heard along San Lorenzo Road. A prevelant sound today. Song Wren?? It was definitely a ground bird of some kind. I heard a White-tailed Trogon and lots of sharp 'peeeps' I think they were frogs. Speaking of frogs, I heard a very loud 'whooop' sound that I was sure was a frog and when I ran into one of the forest custodians, he told me it was a large frog and was coral colored. I looked it up: Smoky Jungle Frog.

It started to rain and I had to break out my poncho. A few feet later, I saw a Southern Beardless Tyrannulet leaping about in the rusted chainlink fencing around one of the old American builings that still stand, stripped and falling apart in Fort Sherman. It was so close that I took pictures and a short video. The pictures are a bit blurry due to the rain, but I'll post them. I see this bird quite often, but it is always a joy to see. The first time I saw it, I was very confused. I couldn't make up my mind whether it was a warbler or a flycatcher. It does behave like a warbler at times, cocking it's tail and even stretching it's neck warbler-like to glean insects off leaves (or in the case of the photos below, off fencing). It's also warbler sized at 3.3/4 inches.
The white-tipped, cocked tail helps with ID.
Doing the Warbler stretch.
Oops, the electricity just went out, gotta go soon.
I made it back with literally seconds to spare before a downpour. As I turned onto the Marina road, I couldn't help but notice the wind was now out of the NE and was freshening by the second. Lightening flashed and thunder rolled very loudly as I climbed down the hatch.

Today's bird list in order of sight:
Gray-breasted Martins
Great-tailed Grackles
Black Vultures
Tropical Mockingbird
Orange-chinned Parakeets
Tropical Kingbirds mobbing Yellow-headed Caracara
Smooth-billed Anis
American Kestrel
Blue-gray Tanagers
Crimson-backed Tanager
Social Flycatcher
Panama Flycatcher
Unidentified Hummer
Double-toothed Kite
Palm Tanager
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
Great Kiskadee
White-tipped Dove
Brown Pelican

The electricity was out for about 3 hours yesterday, I hope it it's not long this time. If it stays off for long, we will have to open the hatch and put up a screen. I've gotten very spoiled having our jury-rigged air-conditioner. Being on the grid has it's advantages, but there are worse things.   Even if we aren't plugged into power, we can still run our 8 watt bulbs off our battery and I can read.

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