Thursday, February 26, 2015

into the clear

After about 36 hours of rain we were ready for some sun and clear weather.  Fortunately day 5 dawned clear and we were free of precipitation going forward.

Normally I wouldn't post a pic of a Yellow Warbler from Michigan, much less Costa Rica, but I liked the way this one turned out on the hotel grounds in the muted light just before dawn broke over the mountains.

We birded this morning along a road in the Orosi Valley still in the high middle elevations.  We rode up the mountain until mist was almost starting to fall (along with spirits).  We either reached Vernon's starting point or else he could feel the pulse of the group and we got out just before the mist started to coalesce into actual droplets and started walking down into the sun and birded our way back.

Rufous-browed Peppershrike had teased us repeatedly in the highlands.  They have a loud bright easily recognizable song, but tend to sing from one perch and not move.
This time the trees were smaller and Vernon located it after a minute or so.

Red-headed Barbet had been a bird that was probably in my top 5 most wanted.
 We'd seen this distant relative of toucans the day before, but nothing close to this view.
 I think on most of the trips I've been on we've worked hard for our first Black-faced Solitaire and then had one pop out in the open a couple days later.  This one perched only seconds however.

We'd missed Emerald Toucanet at Savegre so it was nice to connect with one here, our first toucan of the trip.

We got into a little burst of activity with Plain Antvireo, Purple-crowned Fairy, and this Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant.

 Vernon started hearing a Black Hawk-eagle.  An Ornate had called but escaped unseen by the majority of the group a couple days before.  This time a pair of eagles were visible, initially a bird that held its position motionless in the sky before it swooped down and past a lower bird here.

In front of the vertical spiral trunk just below the drooping cluster of brown leaves is an Olive-striped Flycatcher.
 They act a lot more like warblers than flycatchers.  I wasn't able to photograph either my lifer bird or the 2nd one so it was nice to get at least a distant shot here.

This is Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, another bird we had missed in the highlands

Finally, a Black-headed Tody-flycatcher.
 This is one of several lower elevation birds that we were starting to get down to and a bird I've only seen once before.  Other birds we had on this walk were a heard-only calling Highland Tinamou, another high White-winged Tanager, and my lifer Smoky-brown Woodpecker.

1 comment:

Cathy Carroll said...

The black-faced Solitaire photo - over the top. After all the trouble we went through to see this bird in the highlands - your photo here is amazing.