We’re back in the US of A but often think about our time in Colombia. Our thanks and our love to Maria and Jorge Martinez for showing us Colombia and going birding with us. We couldn’t have done this without their hospitality and the itinerary they managed to produce for us. We will remember all the friendly people we met, the wonderful new foods we sampled, the rural and city views, the way things work in Colombia and the great birding. It’s no wonder birders like us (or should I say….world-class birders) like to spend weeks on giant birding tours. Colombia is beginning to be a birding destination again after years of turmoil. There’s nothing like a professional bird guide to help adventurers like us to find the birds, which many times seem few and far between. We like to go our on our own if we can but it’s harder. We grab as many photos as we can and use our computers to sort out who’s who. I know that many would call us bird-getters instead of bird watchers but we do both. We love to get our favorite birds in great new photos. We met two very accomplished bird photographers in Texas (father and son) when we volunteered at a nature center. They both had websites. I asked them what they did with their pictures. The answer surprised me. The father said “I look at ’em.” That’s a description of what we do, for the most part.
We literally stumbled on a small bird on our last day birding in Colombia. We wandered around the grounds of a small house near Bogota (owned by Maria’s sister-in-law) and spotted the yellow-backed oriole for one. With only a short time left, we spotted a small flock of birds flitting around some bushes on a hill and shot two dozen photos, trying to freeze one of them on camera. Virtually without knowing it, I managed to get two pretty good shots. The bird is shown on my blog but doesn’t have a title because we just couldn’t determine what it was. We emailed the picture to our guide when we got back to Texas and waited for him to get back to town. He answered us with the improbable name of “superciliaried hemispingus.” Not one to take this laying down, I looked in my field guide and on the web for the common name, only to find that this IS the common name. There are several hemi’s in that part of the world, as my bird expert friend (Dick Griebe) just informed me. I found this little hemi mixed in with the tanagers in my field guide. When I looked on several birding websites, I found that my photos were the best of the many pics I saw of this bird. I intend to upload my two photos to a number of sites to see if they’ll accept them. Please scroll down to my blog entry called “Dairy Visit and Another Farm” and you’ll see him as the fifth picture…………yellow body, huge white eyebrow. Very cute bird.
Check out a few more images from our Colombia trip, including samples of good Colombian food and very old gold figures from the Museo de Oro in Bogota. Thank you Maria and Jorge. We’ll see you in Costa Rica!!
We start with the famous little Colombian potatos……………..