Sunday, April 20, 2014

Another week in Costa Rica -Mar 29-Apr 5

Cherrie's Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Mar 31, 2014
Blue gray Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Mar 30, 2014
Insect, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Mar 31, 2014

Blue crowned Motmot, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
The next posting from the trip to Costa Rica covers the week we spent down around Rio Magnolia Lodge with a couple of trips away from the lodge (one to the coast at Hacienda Baru and another into the mountains outside San Isidro). 

I spent the first few days around the lodge adding more and more species to the trip list and getting reacquainted with the bird life of the southern Pacific foothills.  No life birds the first few days but some great birding nonetheless.  During a walk in the early afternoon on one of the rainforest trails I came across a swarm (hundreds) of lightning bug type insects flashing away in the forest around 3pm. Very cool stuff to see...I tried to capture it on video but the videos do not do the experience justice. No idea on the exact species but they were quite small.
Link to videos:
Beach at Hacienda Baru, Apr 1, 2014
After a few days at the lodge we headed down for a half day at the coast with a visit to Hacienda Baru. As expected it was very hot with temperatures around 90 and no clouds. Despite drinking copious amounts of water after the few hours down there I was wiped out. The entire area down there was also quite dry with many areas that normally hold some water and feature related birds were completely dry. I did manage to run across a few pockets of birds but other areas of the forest were very quiet. I did run across an army ant swarm but the only species of bird around with that group were a few Gray headed Tanagers.  During a few miles of walking I did manage quite a few species with one life bird, a Slate headed Tody Flycatcher.
Scintillant Hummingbird, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
Emerald Toucanet, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
Silver throated Tanager on nest, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
My last day away from the lodge was a day long trip with the guide Andres to Bosque del Tolomuco in the Cerro de la Muerte at an elevation around 1650m.   We started around dawn and went through until around 3pm.  Another hot but productive day and I managed to find nine life birds there with some spectacular looks at many species plus I added two species to the list for the site (an Osprey and a recently dead Fiery throated Hummingbird).
Swallow tailed Kite, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Apr 2, 2014
Another beautiful, sunny hot day around the lodge on April 2 produced more great birds including two lifers (Brown billed Scythebill and Yellow billed Cacique).  I spent a good portion of the morning exploring the various trails before it got too hot. Besides the birds I once again ran across a family group of Howler Monkeys including a young one with a couple adults. I then spent the late morning through afternoon sky watching for various raptors, swifts,etc (plus taking some time out for a swim!). Nothing like having Swallow tailed Kites skim past you not even fifteen feet away as you swim in the pool.

The last full day I spent at the lodge exploring all the trails once again and yet again I ran across some new birds including a life bird, a Yellow Flycatcher.  The diversity of the tropics always amazes me as I have spent weeks at the lodge and I still manage to turn up new stuff. As always it is tough to leave the tropics to go back home but at least Wilson is always happy to see me.

Now for the numbers from the latest trip as of now (still reviewing some photos which may add something new).  I managed a total of 59 life birds bringing my life list up to 878.   I found a total of 294 species on this trip and added 66 to my Costa Rica list bringing my total there up to over four hundred to a total of 414 species.

Even more photos can be found here:

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