Thursday, December 1, 2016

Santa Rosa National Park

A trip to Costa Rica in November technically falls in what they optimistically call their Green Season.  aka Rainy season in verbiage not polished for the tourists.  That being said, I only had one day where rain affected my birding, about the same as what I've usually experienced in Dry (Peak) season in the tropics, but that day was at Santa Rosa.  There were a number of species (like Lance-tailed Manakin, Elegant Trogon, among others) that I was vaguely targeting and eBird suggested Santa Rosa as a reasonable spot for them.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive from the motel, but I arrived just as it was brightening.  Roadside Hawks (and Great Currasows) appeared at intervals along the entrance road.

 I found a random place to pull over and started finding a few orioles and doves.  Inca Doves were common.

A family of White-breasted Magpie-jays was probably the highlight of my walk.
 This group was quietly working the middle layer of a huge tree whose foliage was stopping some off-and-on again sprinkles.  This is either a female or a young bird, males have a much better defined black breastband.

The sprinkles turned into frank rain and I left, hoping to find somewhere dry.  I tried driving to another National Park that was on the map that I knew very little about.  The reason for that turned out to be that it was essentially undeveloped;  access was apparently some unlabeled dirt two-tracks that I didn't feel like braving with some rainstorms in the area.  However, turning around brought some parrots into earshot.

I was surprised to see Yellow-naped Parrot, a fairly uncommon amazon class bird that I wasn't expecting to have much shot at.  There turned out to be 4 of the birds tucked into the greenery.

Continuing the green theme, here's a few more Orange-fronted Parakeets close the motel (after rain turned me back from a twisting gravel ascent into another national park)

The sun had come out by evening as evidenced by this Stripe-throated Sparrow.
I saw them daily, though they were a lot shier than I had expected.

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