Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tarcoles River birding

Even though this was our last day of birding in Costa Rica, even just standing on the dock and even before boarding the boat, it was easy to see that this was going to be a wonderful morning and super birding. Even though it was hot and sunny, the boat had a canope over the top to protect us from the sun directly overhead.  The breeze blew in off the river.  This was glorious.    

Mangrove Swallow (Tachycineta albilinea).

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea).  This bird was perched across the river from where I was standing.

Terrible photo of an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus).

Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus).

Spectacular adult Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum). 

A shot of the Tarcoles River

We saw a few Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus). 

The Pacific Ocean meets the Tarcoles River.

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana).

River house.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus).  There were actually two in the tree, but the photo was better just focusing on one.

Wood Stork in the glare of water and sun

I thought this photo of a male Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana) had turned out a little better.  Even so, it's the best Green Kingfisher photo I've ever had the chance to take.  We also saw Belted Kingfisher and Ringed Kingfisher on the river.

The best I could do for Mangrove Vireo (Vireo pallens).

Our riverboat captain.

Juvenile Bare-throated Tiger-Heron.

Vernon on the lookout.

Again, a little out of focus and unfortunately so.  But you can still see what a fantastic creature this Costa Rica mud crab is.

This is the female Costa Rican subspecies of Yellow Warbler, subspecies Mangrove Warbler (Setophaga petechia xanthotera).   Of course, it's the male bird that's unique.  Trying to first see and then photograph the male bird earned me an admonishment from Vernon. "Stay calm."  Oh, the story of my life.

Soaring Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) is beautiful.

Wood Storks in flight overhead.

Magnificent Frigatebirds were circling overhead in a large group - thirty birds, maybe more.  This one flew by low and close enough to get a photo.

Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima).

Our riverboat.  At one point I stopped birding and just enjoyed the breeze on my face and arms.  

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus).

Northern Jacana (Jacana spinoza).

The photo above and the two below are of one of my trip highlights. Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) on nest.  Boat-billed Heron is mostly a nocturnal bird.  We would have missed it had Vernon not known about this bird.  Such an unique bird! 

Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus).

Boat trip over, we stopped at the edge of the road to bird a small woodlot chock full of birds. The female Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramchus aglaiae) was amongst them.  Down the road fifty feet a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was calling.

This guy led us to our hotel room door.

A larger version of above.  Completely mild and unintimidating.

Our accommodations at Punta Leona.  Our door is on the right.

Birding the Tarcoles River made me hungry!

Above and below, the Punta Leona buffet.  

Not quite finished.  To be continued ... the dry forest.

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