16 March 2013

Flame on...COSTA RICA (20 Feb)

Aside from Costa Rica's flagship bird, the quetzal, our full day in the Savegre Valley was frankly, magical. Any first time visitor (and lister) to Costa Rica's highlands is going to be happy, as it is loaded with "Chiriqui" endemics (occurring only there and the mountains of western Panama too), which therefore produces a rush of new birds (and possibly also a "rush of blood to the head" too!) This day therefore produced a significant bounce to the bird list. The other nice thing about highland birding, is it is generally easy, and many new birds came to us thick and fast and simply posed in front of us at length. This Flame-throated Warbler exemplified this situation, as it dared us not to see it, it was so damned close. On any other, normal, day, this would have been the standout moment of the day; however, this was no ordinary day, and sharing the limelight with one of the World's greatest birds-the quetzal-is no easy task, even this stunning little bird simply never had a chance!

As well as this frollicking "Flamethroat"; we picked up a number of Long-tailed Silky-Flycatchers (including a pair nesting in the lodge grounds); watched Ruddy Treerunners behaving as if they should be renamed "treehuggers"; gasped at the dashing beauty of another endemic in the form of the super Spangle-cheeked Tanager (every bit as beautiful as this romantic name suggests); and marvelled at the more simple, traditional beauty of the Flame-colored Tanagers visiting our lodge feeders with Acorn Woodpeckers as support. There was plenty to write home about, and the day was far from over; I have not even mentioned the hummingbirds yet, which always excel themselves, as far as most birders are concerned...more from the hummers later!

Another (or more) Savegre update(s) to come...

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