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Rarest etc in 'Name a Bird You've Seen 2' (2 Viewers)

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Unless things have changed, another one that's on the list that's going to get tough after the death of one individual is Palawan Peacock-Pheasant. I'm willing to bet that more than 99% of birders that have seen it, have all seen the same individual bird.
There's been another Peacock-Pheasant hanging out at the zoo. That's the one I saw. And yes, it's a wild bird.

Regarding Rondonia Bushbird, I was kinda bummed that Cajanuma beat me to it. We've PM'ed and it turns out we saw it within a couple months of each other, and probably the same bird.

And I agree with Nutcracker, Sri Lanka Bay Owl isn't that tough. I saw one in Southern India and passed up the chance to see another in Sri Lanka because I didn't want to deal with the muddy hike after already seeing one.

And if travel ever gets back to normal, Araripe Manakin is on my target list for October.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Wow, Purple-backed Sunbeam is bit mythical (in terms of effort to get to the site) as I understand it!

It's not difficult, it's just a long drive then get out of your car and check along the road, I think most people find it very quickly. But the drive is about 8-9 hrs each way on dirt roads from the nearest other site that a birder might be interested in visiting. I think it's more time vs reward and there is so much else on offer in Peru that most don't prioritize it.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Hahah, yes definitely what I intended to write! :ROFLMAO:

I meant to say that it's definitely much harder to access than Araripe Manakin. No one will ever hire me as an editor, that is for certain!
For those unfamiliar, the most well-known site for Araripe Manakin (and where I saw it) is basically some forest next to a theme park just outside a fairly large town. It actually baffles me how it went undiscovered for so long.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
There's been another Peacock-Pheasant hanging out at the zoo. That's the one I saw. And yes, it's a wild bird.

Regarding Rondonia Bushbird, I was kinda bummed that Cajanuma beat me to it. We've PM'ed and it turns out we saw it within a couple months of each other, and probably the same bird.

And I agree with Nutcracker, Sri Lanka Bay Owl isn't that tough. I saw one in Southern India and passed up the chance to see another in Sri Lanka because I didn't want to deal with the muddy hike after already seeing one.

And if travel ever gets back to normal, Araripe Manakin is on my target list for October.
I think lots of my info is out of date 🤔
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
For those unfamiliar, the most well-known site for Araripe Manakin (and where I saw it) is basically some forest next to a theme park just outside a fairly large town. It actually baffles me how it went undiscovered for so long.
Kinda like Cambodian Tailorbird. I saw that right beside a major highway just outside Phnom Penh.

Although, I suspect that the fact that it looked like a hybrid between two more common species had something to do with it.
 

cajanuma

Well-known member
There have definitely been a lot of great birds mentioned on the thread, but since my Rondonia Bushbird has been mentioned, here's a little background. I think we were the first (and maybe still the only?) independent birders to see this species outside of an organized bird tour, and while it was not very expensive in the context of a longer self-organized trip to Amazonian Brazil, it did require a fair bit of advance legwork, outside support, and luck. Sadly, to my knowledge the site is no longer accessible/safe due to the presence of illegal loggers, but my understanding is that another and more accessible site has now been found for Rondonia Bushbird.

It all began with a trip report by Brad Davis, who had taken a client to see Rondonia Bushbird in 2015 (https://www.cloudbirders.com/be/download?filename=BIRDINGMATOGROSSO_Brazil_07_2015.pdf). This was the impetus for myself and two Belgian friends (one of whom is BF's Temmie) to put together our own trip to Amazonian Brazil in July-August 2017, with the bushbird as the centerpiece. I contacted Brad Davis, who was extremely generous with his advice and support, without which our bushbird twitch would not have been possible. The main problem is that the site where the bushbird is found required a 4-hour boat trip and camping, which had to be organized in the village of Tabajara, with a local guide named Piti who knew the site. There is no cell phone signal in Tabajara however, meaning that contacting Piti ahead of time is very challenging, yet this is crucial as an expedition cannot be organized on the spot without spending several days at least arranging things (among other things, gasoline for the boat is not available in Tabajara). Fortunately, a BirdQuest trip (which it turns out Jeff Hopkins was on) was scheduled to visit Tabajara to look for the bushbird about a month ahead of our planned trip, and this meant that Bruno Renno who was co-leading the trip could let Piti know of our arrival so that he would be ready for us.

When we arrived in Tabajara in mid-July, having driven from Porto Velho with goodies like Campina Jay already in the bag, Piti was waiting for us and had the logistics already sorted (a boat and gasoline, most importantly). After a brilliant full day and a morning's birding around Tabajara (White-breasted Antbird and Chico's Tyrannulet among the many highlights: https://ebird.org/checklist/S38502156 and https://ebird.org/checklist/S38502207), we set off for the boat ride to our campsite where a small creek (the Igarape Sao Joao) empties into the Ji-Parana (or Machado) river. There had been a real dry spell and we did not even bother to put tarps over our hammocks. The next day we set off well before dawn for the two bushbird territories for which we had coordinates, knowing that the BirdQuest group had managed to see it at the 'far' territory. In the month between the BirdQuest tour and our visit water levels in the Sao Joao had dropped quite a bit, which meant that the trailhead that had been accessible by boat now required a longer hike plus wading across the creek. We worked both territories quite hard t he first day to no avail whatsoever, not hearing a single bird, and while the overall birding had been fantastic (https://ebird.org/checklist/S38539764 - note that the 'Yellow-browed' Antbird in the checklist is actually an unnamed taxon), we did feel a little pressure for the next day, which was our last chance at the bushbird (we had to leave the site in the early afternoon). The second day unfolded much like the first, we made a good effort at the 'near' territory, spent a lot of time at the 'far' territory where the BirdQuest group had seen the bushbird a month earlier, but still came up completely empty. We figured we had one last shot at the 'near' territory on the way back out, but even then a bout of playback and quite a bit of listening with strained ears produced nothing. We figured we'd given it our best shot and started to walk back, a little bit dejected but still happy with all the good birding we had, when after about 50 meters an unknown bird song caused me to stop to check it out. As I waited for it to sing again, my ears caught another song that was barely audible in the distance. It was the Rondonia Bushbird! We quickly re-traced our steps back to the spot, where the bird was singing close to the trail, and a very brief bout of playback brought it right out in the open and close, for brief but brilliant looks and a crappy photo (Temmie's is actually pretty decent, but the eBird checklist only has mine: https://ebird.org/checklist/S38539929.

Needless to say it was exhilirating, and one of my best birding experiences ever. But it is a testament to how awesome Amazonian birding is that the bushbird was only the second-best bird of the trip for me. I know my trip mates disagree, but I was even more thrilled to see the mythical Pale-faced Bare-eye (aka Pale-faced Antbird, or the Bird Formerly known as Skutchia) at Amazonia NP about a week later. It is a rare and unpredictable obligate army-ant follower and one of my ultimate dream birds, and unlike the bushbird which is territorial, it is not a species that can be staked out. We actually had a long shot at it at the bushbird place as well, but Amazonia NP is one of the few places in the world where one has a realistic (but still fairly low) chance of seeing it.

That's it for my bushbird story, if anyone else has a story about a special bird they've played on the other thread, this seems like a good place to tell it (my 'best bird of all time' is Pale-billed Antpitta, but that was played by Welsh Peregrine early in the thread)
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Gosh! What a tale Cajanula.

This thread is going to be just as fascinating as the one it has been spawned from LOL.

Any chance you could upload the picture to the Gallery (or on this thread)? We don't have a picture in the Gallery nor in The Opus.
 

Welsh Peregrine

Well-known member
Cajanuma, I’d love to know why you rate Pale-billed Antpitta right at the top; for me it was so memorable for being so much better than expected, charismatic and essentially dancing around my feet!
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Cajanuma, I’d love to know why you rate Pale-billed Antpitta right at the top; for me it was so memorable for being so much better than expected, charismatic and essentially dancing around my feet!
For me it was memorable for walking round the bend of the road where the track up to the site starts, with my non-birding partner and 4 year old son, as we carried on hitching back to town, and thinking: 'birds like Pale-billed Antpitta ain't for the likes of me any more' 😁
 

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