As the sun started to rise, I began to see that we were driving through a valley between mountains where there were some very small farming communities. After about 2.5 hours in the van, we made a stop at a gas station in Olanchito to use the restroom and get some breakfast. It turns out that Olanchito is the gateway to the Aguan Valley, and they are very excited that they can claim the Honduran Emerald as their own!
After our brief stop, we birded along the road on our way to the Honduran Emerald Reserve. Shortly down the road, we finally came across one of the birds that I had been really hoping to find on this trip, Fork-tailed Flycatcher. There were a total of nine individuals with six of them being in the same bush!
|A group of Fork-tailed Flycatchers with one Tropical Kingbird.|
We continued on to the reserve with several stops along the way but only added a few species to our list. When we first pulled up to the reserve, it was hard to believe that this was where the Honduran Emerald lived. The vegetation is rather sparse and at first glance, there were very few flowers for the birds to feed on. We set off on a short hike and found two Honduran Emeralds within about 10 minutes! It turns out that the flowers that the Emerald feeds on are tiny and I just hadn't been paying close enough attention to find them.
|One of 18 Honduran Emeralds that we saw during our time in the Aguan Valley.|
|This White-bellied Wren was singing loudly and finally came out into the open for just a second.|
|The only place that you can find White-lored Gnatcatchers while birding in Honduras is in the Aguan Valley.|
This is also the most southern location that you can find this species.
|Brian, Elmer and I sitting down to eat. (Thanks Greg for the photo).|
|Greg taking a siesta after lunch.|