Double Vision…Deal With It!

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Wire-Tailed Manakin

I got so excited thinking about how much better I was going to see after cataract surgery, I completely forgot to ask about the length of time and inconveniences of recovery. My timing could have been better, perhaps, like after fall migration, not during. As it stands right now, my current prescription does not work with my right eye, so in between trying to figure out which eye to read with, I have been working on eye-hand coordination with my left eye behind the camera lens and my right index finger on the shutter button. I keep imagining headaches but I’m too lazy to indulge.

Beyond inconveniences like staring too long at name-tags trying to read them and place them with faces on Saturday night at my 50th high school reunion (well, if I had cataract surgery, you probably already deduced I’m not a spring chicken), I’m finding at least my distance vision is improved and I think I can still see with binoculars. After a visit to the eye doctor this morning, I go back for another checkup in two weeks and then I think I can get another right lens for my glasses which will fit with my new vision and then I will quit complaining about all this. “All the better to see you with, my dear.”

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Donacobius – If you saw my post from the Colombian Andes last year this bird might look familiar.

Luckily these pictures were all taken the last day and a half in the Ecuadoran Amazon when both eyes were working about the same. This completes my recap of the Amazon trip.

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The Boardwalk

On the way to the Wire-Tailed Manakin, accessed by walking a boardwalk trail directly adjacent to our rooms at Sacha Lodge, we stopped by Mariposa Lodge, a butterfly house where butterflies are actually raised and shipped to butterfly enclosures all over the world. Below are a few I was able to photograph.

From the canoe, an Osprey and some Large-Billed Terns.

Also from the canoe, this Hoatzin, looking simply fabulous.

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Hoatzin

Here are a few pictures from the boat down the Napo River as we were leaving the lodge. I was saddened by the fact that this once pristine wilderness is now, of course, exploited for oil. There aren’t too many places left on earth that have not been touched by drilling or fracking, I’m afraid. I was encouraged to hear the Amazonian Ecuadorans protesting further drilling at Yasuni National Park and I hope they succeed in stopping it. Ecuadorans have also joined the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect the Missouri River. The world is shrinking rapidly and we are all in this mess together.

On our last morning, we saw our last Trogon, the Collared Trogon below on the left, and after trying to find a White-Chinned Jacamar all week we finally did see one, on the right.

Below, an Oriole Blackbird and a Grayish Saltator. And two Blue-Grey Tanagers.

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Blue-Grey Tanagers

There were two of the Wire-Tailed Manakins, this is likely just another picture of the same one. They weren’t displaying or dancing but they’re still awfully cute.

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I think I just found a new profile picture for Facebook.

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I’ll be back as soon as I can, in between eye drops.

A Riot of Color

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Long-Billed Woodcreeper

I have finally managed to get through all the Sacha Lodge/Amazon photographs, with only a few stragglers left, so as I comb back through them day by day I will try to share the best with you.

Finally settling down into these pictures has buoyed my spirit too, which was broken somewhat by a combination of events. I got sick the last two days of my second trip, which were travel days, basically, off the boat and back to the mainland (I wonder if it was reverse seasickness?), and it took me a week or so after I returned home before I felt like I could eat again. Zapped, everything became more of a chore than usual. And diving back into a cartoonish political sphere didn’t help my mood either. But I think I’m beginning to find some sort of balance again, at least for a while.

Maybe the best medicine was planning to take two short trips next year..something to look forward to.

We visited two clay/salt licks on July 4, where we saw lots of Dusky-Headed Parakeets (above, top) and Cobalt-Winged Parakeets (above, bottom). The Cobalt-Wingeds come to a lick in Yasuni National Park where there is a blind so you can wait for them to gather and witness the pandemonium. Click on the pictures for a better view.

Below, some parrots, which are notoriously difficult to see when in the trees.The Blue-Headed Parrots are in the top of the first picture, but I was lucky enough to get a better shot of two of them below. The Orange-Winged are the two in the lower right and the Mealy has its back to us. I am surprised I managed to get some color off the Chestnut-Fronted Macaws.

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Blue-Headed, Orange-Winged and Mealy Parrots

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Blue-Headed Parrots

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Chestnut-Fronted Macaws

By the second day I was using the flash attachment… And it wasn’t all psittacines.

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Scarlet-Crowned Barbet

I don’t know if I ever saw the part of the bird below for which it was named, but Woodpeckers have a way of being named for miscellaneous field marks. There’s enough to identify the Spot-Breasted without seeing the spots on its breast.

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Spot-Breasted Woodpecker

A female Hook-Billed Kite on the left and a Gray-Headed Kite on the right, below.

A tarantula on someone’s door back at the lodge later…and a glimpse of an Oriole Blackbird, below.

Let us not forget the black birds. Yellow-Rumped Cacique and Black-Fronted Nunbird…

The picture below was shot from the boat, which is always a challenge for clarity. I begin to wonder how much of the image-stabilization really takes over for me.

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Black Caracara

Short-Crested Flycatcher and Gray-Breasted Sabrewing…

I think we had eight species of Woodcreeper on this trip and I added three to my life list. but I haven’t begun to figure out that yet.

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Black-Banded Woodcreeper

What a wonderful owl, to be awake and visible during the day…There were actually two of them, but the other one was obscured by vegetation.

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Crested Owl

I’ll be back very soon with more from the tropics and beyond.