Sunday, January 26, 2020

Short Florida stop after Costa Rica


White Ibis and Glossy Ibis, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Black Vultures, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Prairie Warbler, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Palm Warbler 'western', Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Northern Parula, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Sunrise, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
During our brief stop in Florida I had just one full day and some of the morning of a second day but I still managed to find some birds. On Monday I was out before dawn on my way to the Orlando Wetlands Park in Christmas. After a bit of a snafu with directions I eventually made it there right around dawn but missed some of the morning flight taking off. Although sunny it was cool to start (around 50) with a fairly strong northerly wind. Once I made it to an area to the north of the park the wind subsided enough to make it comfortable to be out and allowed me to focus on the warblers and other small passerines I was trying to find. Right away found a few species of warblers and others and continued to find them as I walked the northern edge of the park...more on the warblers for the day can be found here: Florida warblers.
Sandhill Cranes, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Limpkin, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Common Gallinule, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Painted Bunting, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
River Otter, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Purple Gallinule, Orlando Wetlands Park, Christmas, FL, Jan 20, 2020
Once I left the northern part of the park I had to contend with the wind once again but the many waterbirds present were not really bothered and they were still easy to check out. I also had a close encounter with a River Otter that ran right out in front of me. I stayed at the park until late morning and then headed over briefly to the nearby Savage-Christmas Creek Preserve before taking a break for lunch. The wind stayed up all day but at least the temperature climbed into the low 60’s...much nicer than home but a far cry from the temps down in Costa Rica.

With limited time on Tuesday morning and the temperatures even cooler than the day before and with a strong north wind I stayed fairly close to the hotel and made just a couple brief stops at small bodies of water but didn’t find anything unexpected. Overall for the brief stop in Florida I found a total of 84 species.

Full album photos here: Florida Jan 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Costa Rica trip -January 10-19


Crested Guan, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 11, 2020
White crested Coquette, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 11, 2020
White crowned Parrots, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 11, 2020
Violet headed Hummingbird, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 11, 2020
Chestnut sided Warbler, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 12, 2020
Brown hooded Parrot, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 12, 2020
Sunset, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 12, 2020
Back from another relaxing trip down to Costa Rica (our 13th trip!) with almost our entire vacation spent at the incomparable Rio Magnolia Lodge in the southern Pacific foothills with just a one half day trip down to the coast to break up our time at the lodge. We flew down on January 10th and finally arrived at the lodge around 8PM after a very long day of traveling and were greeted by a number of Common Pauraque. The first couple full days were spent around the lodge catching up with a number of species including some that I typically do not get to see very well. It was odd to see the weather back home being so warm (mid 60’s to low 70’s) and setting records and having the temperature there be only slightly warmer down in Costa Rica. The reality of winter weather eventually returned back home but we didn’t have to worry about cold temperatures in the tropics! The lodge produced 109 species on Saturday and 121 on Sunday. Nothing too unusual but a great selection of species and my first of what would eventually be three new species for me at the lodge with a Blackburnian Warbler making a brief appearance (more on warblers for the trip can be found at the following link).
White faced Capuchin Monkey, Hacienda Baru NWR, Costa Rica, Jan 13, 2020 
Beach panorama, Hacienda Baru NWR, Costa Rica, Jan 13, 2020
Red legged Honeycreeper, Hacienda Baru NWR, Costa Rica, Jan 13, 2020
Collared Peccary, Hacienda Baru NWR, Costa Rica, Jan 13, 2020
Kentucky Warbler, Hacienda Baru NWR, Costa Rica, Jan 13, 2020
Black hooded Antshrike, Hacienda Baru NWR, Costa Rica, Jan 13, 2020
On Monday we took our one trip away from the lodge with a morning trip down to Hacienda Baru on the coast just north of Dominical. We arrived around a little before eight and I immediately headed out onto the trails with a brief stop at the always beautiful and almost always empty beach. Typical fare at the beach but I didn’t spend much time there at all...just too hot in the direct sun. Most of the time I was out on the trails covering a variety of lowland habitat. I found a total of eight species of warblers including great looks at a Kentucky Warbler. I ran into a few pockets of birds with several new species for the trip and ones I have never had before at Hacienda Baru. Overall I had a total of eighty species for the morning which I’m certain I could have added to if I knew all the calls and songs I heard...I knew many but several remained unidentified. Mammals also figured in prominently for the day with a troop of at least a dozen Coati, a troop of White faced Capuchin Monkeys (totaling around twenty individuals) as well as several Collared Peccaries and Agoutis.
Golden hooded Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 14, 2020
Chestnut headed Oropendola, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 14, 2020
Massage ready!, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 14, 2020
Pale billed Woodpecker, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 14, 2020
On Tuesday the 14th I explored around the lodge until mid morning when I took a break to enjoy an in room hour massage...vacation is not easy! Despite not being out as much for the morning I still found 109 species for the day including a Mottled Owl calling in the evening.
Spotted Woodcreeper, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 15, 2020
Ruddy tailed Flycatcher, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 15, 2020
Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 15, 2020
Wednesday ended up being my best day overall as far as total number of species even with a bit of a breeze at times as well as a couple of afternoon bouts of drizzle. Running across a large mixed species flock as well as an army ant swarm helped push the total for the day to 132.

Clay colored Thrush, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 16, 2020
White ruffed Manakin, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 16, 2020
Sunset, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 16, 2020
Silver throated Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 17, 2020
White tipped Dove, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 17, 2020
Peregrine Falcon, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 17, 2020
Yellow throated Toucan, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 17, 2020
King Vulture, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 18, 2020
Green flash, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 18, 2020
The last three full days of the trip featured many of the same species along with several new ones.  Each day followed a somewhat similar pattern with a walk out the road to the gate and then back for breakfast and then more exploring for the rest of the morning.  A break for lunch and then a combo of short walks and lots of birding from the balcony in the later afternoon until sunset (which featured a green flash a couple times).   Here is a link to lists from the final three full days at the lodge:
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

On Sunday we headed out for the four hour trip back to San Jose to catch a flight to Florida and a couple more days of warm(ish) weather before heading back home to cold reality (more on Florida in a future post).  Overall the total species for the lodge came to 179 species for the trip with three of those new for me at the lodge (Blackburnian Warbler, Orange billed Nightingale Thrush and Peregrine Falcon) bringing my total to 270 for the lodge over the course of all my trips down there. It amazes me that even after 13 trips to the lodge I still manage to find new species there...the diversity of the tropics always impresses me.

Link to all the photos from the trip here.

More on warblers from the trip here.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Pine Warbler in Granby

Pine Warbler, Granby, MA, Jan 23, 2020
Pine Warbler, Granby, MA, Jan 23, 2020
Wilson out for a cold walk, Covey WMA, Belchertown, MA, Jan 23, 2020
I was lucky enough today to be able to follow up on a report of a Pine Warbler that has been coming into some suet feeders at a private residence in Granby.  The homeowner (Carol) graciously allowed me to visit and get to see the bird and get some documentation photos.  The bird has been seen regularly since Saturday coming into feed on the suet feeders and the bird was seen by me almost as soon as I arrived.  It took a bit more time in the freezing cold to get some photos but the wait was worth it.  An amazingly hardy bird that has endured multiple below freezing mornings the last few days.  Pine Warbler is a very rare species for anywhere in western Massachusetts during the winter season.  More on the warbler can be found at the following:  Pine Warbler in Granby.  After my time with the warbler I headed for home to take the Wilson for a well deserved walk.
Downy Woodpecker, Home, Belchertown, MA, Jan 12, 2020 (check out that temperature!)
Although it is back to typical cold temperatures around here the area had a few days of record setting temperatures when we were down south...amazing for mid January.
Looking northwest from the lodge, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Jan 11, 2020
There will be a post (and lots of photos) to come from our most recent trip down to Costa Rica but for now the above shot will have to suffice.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A few more rarities today including Red headed Woodpecker

Northern Flickers, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Jan 9, 2020
Yellow rumped Warbler 'myrtle', East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Jan 9, 2020
Black Ducks, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Jan 9, 2020
Ruby crowned Kinglet, East Meadows, Northampton, MA, Jan 9, 2020
I spent the morning after work today catching up with a few more rarities as well as other lingering species.  My first stop on a very cold morning was down to the East Meadows to follow up on a sighting from Aaron of a flock of 18 Yellow rumped Warblers (an amazingly high number for this time of year).  I walked around for a bit and eventually found at least four of them plus a Ruby crowned Kinglet, five Northern Flickers and some flyover Red winged Blackbirds and a Common Grackle.  More on the warblers for the last few days can be found at the following link.  I  then headed across the river to check the Honey Pot for the reported Eastern Meadowlark and I finally had it briefly (after missing it on many previous attempts).  
Belted Kingfisher, Bachelor Brook/Stony Brook Resource Area, South Hadley, MA, Jan 9, 2020
My final stop for the morning was down to Bachelor Brook/Stony Brook Resource Area in South Hadley to try to relocate at least two (possibly three) Red headed Woodpeckers that Aaron found on Tuesday.  I was going to try to stop at the location on Wednesday morning before work but just didn't have enough time (I instead stopped briefly at Silvio Conte NWR where I found a couple owls including my first Eastern Screech Owl of the year).  Once I made it to the overlook along Bachelor Brook I heard at least one and possibly two Red headed Woodpeckers as well as having frustratingly brief, distant looks as the bird(s) stayed on the opposite side of the wetland.  The only other notable birds around beyond the various woodpeckers were a couple of Belted Kingfishers working the brook.  With a few new species added today I have now found 82 species for the year in Hampshire County...now to go find some birds in warmer locations.

The weather around here looks to really warm up the next few days with highs reaching well into the 50's both Saturday and Sunday with the chance of reaching the low 60's...record setting for the middle of January.