Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Down the Tarcoles River

The focus of the last full day was a boat ride along the Tarcoles River to look for long-legged waders and some mangrove specialties.  It was a relaxing morning of birding after the heat and humidity of Carara NP the day before.

While awaiting the boat Vernon pulled a female Yellow-billed Cotinga out from the canopy across the river which didn't last very long in the scope.  A Whimbrel and Yellow-crowned Night-heron were more cooperative.

Mangrove Swallows actually nest on the boat.  They would follow it up and down the river.

We fairly quickly started seeing herons, adult Bare-throated Tiger-herons are always crowd pleasers
 A Black-crowned was also panting in the heat.  The boat at least was shaded.

Heading out towards the rivermouth with the rollers of the Pacific Ocean in view anything seemed possible.  In one of my bigger ID flubs of the trip I called out the lower left bird as a booby.
 Who knew young Neotropic Cormorants could be so white?
Oh well.

We checked the sandbars at the inlet hoping for Collared Plover.  There were Semi-palms and Black-bellieds as well as Turnstones and some WESA/SESA class peeps and a whole lot of Brown Pelicans mixed with some egrets, but not Collared. 

Turning up inlets in the mangroves we started looking for passerines.  Wood storks and herons (like this Little Blue) continued.

I had hopes for getting some decent shots of the various kingfishers.  We saw a couple Ringed distantly, but neither of Pygmy or Amazon.  This is my best Green Kingfisher shot ever though.

The boatman fairly impressively turned us across the current into a little opening not much wider than the boat.  A Mangrove Vireo popped into view.
 A Black-hawk also teed up here.  The book calls it Mangrove, I'm not sure that they haven't been lumped back with Common since publication though.

We tried for Mangrove Hummingbird unsuccessfully.  The Mangrove subspecies of Yellow Warbler was a little more cooperative.  He didn't perch very long, and never in the open, though.

Tomorrow ... back up the river.

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