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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ringing in Tortuguero

Immature Broard-winged Hawk

  I was up at 05.30 and was looking forward to gong on a three hour canoe ride down river. It was raining and I told the guide that could I change it for tomorrow morning instead. However, the rain didn't stop me from walking and I made myself north towards the airfield. I had only just got at the village and came across a Jap net! It was erected just off the main path through a gateway. I ventured in and sheltering under a large building were the ringers or as there called on the other side of the pond, banders. I joined the three and throughout the morning while I was there, we trapped single Rufus-tailed hummingbird and Bronzy Hermit.  Where we were stationed there were birds moving through the trees and with Barbara, whose from Spain, we observed Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow and Chestnut-sided Warbler and American Redstart. There were also the residents including 2 Slate-tailed  Trogan, Streak-headed Woodcreeper and Common Tody Flycatcher. At mid-day it was time to bring the nets down. On the forth net into the forest I could see a hawk in the net! From experience, I know how good hawks are at bouncing out and I thought about holding it until either Leo, Stella or Barbara arrived. Instead I ran back and immediately bumped into Barbara. 'Come here quick!' She had no idea what was going on, but she followed me back to where the hawk was. I could see the excitement on her face and she grabbed the bird before it escaped, and it nearly did. She had it safely in the bag and we returned to the ringing station and waited for the other two to arrive. Everyone were so pleased with the immature Broad-winged Hawk, but we had one slight problem, there was no ring to band the hawk. It was a damn shame and we had to let it go without any info or ring on it! I was told that the organisation that funds the costs of the ringing scheme includes, food, accommodation, boats to other sites, a cook and two security guards. That's a hell of a lot of money and they can't supply the right equipment. Surly the priority here is having the right rings to ring a species like the hawk or else there is just no point in the research taking place? What happened if we trapped 3 hawks this morning and we had to let them all go without any rings on them. But it's not just rings that they in short supply of.
  Anyway, I find it funny how things work out. If it wasn't raining, then I would of gone on the canoe and missed out on seeing hummingbirds and the hawk close up in the hand. I was also invited to join Barbara and Stella in hopefully trapping White-collard and Red-capped Manakin early tomorrow morning half an hour away on the boat.

Barbara ringing the Bronzy Hermit

When released, the hawk flew into a tree nearby for a few seconds before flying deep into the forest

This adult Bare-throated Tiger Bittern and a male Anhinga both landed in the over hanging branches opposite the station

Slate-tailed Trogan

The ringing station

The beach on the west side where some 2-3000 Green Turtles come to lay there eggs

One of my heroes  Jimi Hendtix 'Hey Joe' from 1967. Not many people know that this song is an old country/folk song from 1955. It has been covered by many artist before and after Hendrix released it as his first single in 1966. 

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