Monday, April 20, 2015

Costa Rica April 8-17

Shining Honeycreeper, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Yellow faced Grassquit, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Squirrel Cuckoo, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Orange chinned Parakeet, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Three toed Sloth, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Chestnut headed Oropendola, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Black striped Sparrow, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Silver throated Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, April 2015
Just back from another trip down to Costa Rica just in time to see the big push of migrants here. Although the trip started off with a few issues including a two hour delay in our flight due to a broken seat in the airplane (which no one was sitting in!) which led to a missed connection and having to make additional stops before finally arriving in San Jose several hours after our scheduled arrival. We made it to our lodging near Carara National Park  after ten o'clock and I planned to spend the next morning with a guide at the park. With little sleep I awoke early and waited in vain for the guide to show. Despite much effort to track him down I didn't hear from him until late in the day as apparently he had ended up in the hospital overnight (who knows if the story was true). I also managed to somehow stab myself with a fork at breakfast so the first full day was going great! I birded around the grounds and managed to pick up one life bird...a Turquoise browed Motmot. We left there around noon and the day got better once we arrived at Rio Magnolia Lodge, which would be our home away from home for just over a week. I spent everyday except one (Monday the 13th) exploring the hundreds of acres of various habitats at the lodge. We were the only guests for almost the entire week which was unexpected but nice. The weather was nice and warm with the occasional bit of rain in the afternoon (just the start of the rainy season)...a very nice break from our long and snowy winter. Most everyday I would get up at sunrise and walk out to the gate through primary forest and then down through some more open areas. Later in the morning as it warmed up it was fun to stake out some of the cecropia trees were a large variety of species came in to feed. The remainder of the rest of the day was typically spent covering other areas or just taking it all in from the deck of the cottage or the lodge.

I have attached the eBird list (with some embedded photos) from each day to give an idea of the species I came across. I have gotten to know a lot of the species down there but I certainly still miss some that are heard only.

Thursday April 9:

Friday April 10:

Saturday April 11:

Sunday April 12:

Tuesday April 14:

Wednesday April 15:

Thursday April 16:

The one day away from the lodge we took the hour trip down to the coast to Hacienda Baru. No new birds but some great looks at some including a displaying Orange collared Manakin that put on a great show, a group of three Great Currasows and some close in frigatebirds and distant Brown Boobies among the many others. Also a decent show of non bird life including a group of baby Speckled Caimans, a couple Coatis and an Agouti. I just missed a large troop of White faced Capuchins by a few minutes but I have seen them there many times before.

Overall the trip produced a total of 191 species with three of those being life birds (bringing my total to 915) and six of the total being new to Costa Rica for me (bringing my total there to 461).

All the photos from the trip can be found at this link:

Although it was our seventh trip down here we still love it and we already have the 8th trip planned! The tough part is waiting to go back.

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