07 April 2013

The Silky Road...COSTA RICA (28 Feb)

We packed a lot in on this day. We set off from San Jose, and checked out Tapanti National Park, where Andrew Spencer had seen some quality birds in previous years (notably Ochraceous Pewee, Streak-breasted Treehunter, and Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, which I was still yearning for). On arrival, we quickly added a treehunter to my list quick smart, right where Andrew had seen it before, years earlier! Then we tried his near owl spot, and what do you know, after a duel with the I-Pod, an angry looking Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl was added to my life list, and better still the park was absolutely devoid of people. Andrew, Tayler Brooks and I had it too ourselves, and it was wonderful. 

We, however, could not track down the hoped-for Pewee, and so headed over to Paraiso de Los Quetzales later in the day to feast on Fiery-throated and Magnificent Hummingbirds and try and pick up Costa Rica's marquee bird, the Resplendent Quetzal, while we were there. On site we enjoyed some top notch views of Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatchers, and of course, their loaded hummer feeders, although the quetzal, despite nesting at the time, was elusive and we had to settled for a female.

In the evening (and after visiting Cerro del la Muerte again-more to come on this soon), we headed over to La Georgina and checked in there for an assault on Savegre the next day, among other sites...

06 April 2013


Today we spent quite a bit of time dipping into different sites - Poas Volcano was notable for my first ever Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatchers, while Virgen del Soccorro was visited for its Sooty-faced Finches, which performed beautifully. 

Wish I could have said the same for their Golden-bellied Flycatchers which stayed rooted to the top of a tree and well out of photographic range. The feeders ar Cinchona and La Paz Waterfall Gardens (almost $100 to get in!) though we great with a migrant Broad-winged Hawk posing behind Cinchonas, while hummers and tanagers dropped in to the feeders, including my lifer White-bellied Mountain-Gem, and the Costa Rican endemic, Coppery-headed Emerald among others. 

At night we returned to San Jose, downed a Denny's meal, and plotted where we would see photos next on this flexible jaunt around Costa Rica...

01 April 2013

BIG Eagle Alert...COSTA RICA (26 Feb)

Just goes to prove the extreme diversity of the tropics, when you visit the same pace just weeks apart and turn up a very different bird list on both occasions. And so we returned to Braulio Carrillo National Park, although this time I was armed with Tayler Brooks and Andrew Spencer, a formidable sound recording team. The bird of the morning was clearly a vociferous raptor which called continually and did everything it could to get noticed. Although, when you look like an Ornate Hawk-Eagle it is hard not to get noticed, frankly. 

We had great loks at the this punky-crested eagle, as it glowered at us and called from the perch of a huge rain forest limb. On top of that we enjoyed a second visit to El Tapir, where Black-crested Coquette and Snowcaps could not have performed better, so the coquette nearly walked onto Andre's life list. We had splendid, eye-level views of this bird preening its exquisite feathers, and buzzing around their beloved Porterweed blooms.

Costa Rica continues soon...